Category Archives: Special Events

Skeleton in the Garden

Halloween Hikes & Happenings

Grab your hiking boots and brooms — Halloween is in the air! For slightly spooky, enchanted enrichments, check out this round-up of Halloween happenings to get you in the spirit.

Waiting for the weekend like…

Sanctuaries After Dark

Enter if you dare: your favorite sanctuary adventures are back for another year of tricks and few new treats.

Boo Meadow Brook Friday, October 22 at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester. Explore the luminary-lit trail looking high and low for hidden creatures, natural items, and costumed characters.

Into the Woods: Guided Halloween Hike Friday & Saturday, October 22 & 23 at Ipswich River in Topsfield. Take a guided, family-friendly walk into the magical forest to learn about nocturnal animals that live there. 

Halloween Night Hike & Hayride Saturday, October 23 at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. Take an enchanted hike and hayride through Wachusett Meadow, leading to a magical campfire and Halloween treat.

Halloween Night Hike Saturday, October 30 at Arcadia in Northampton. Hike the sanctuary with our guide as you learn about the phases of the moon, nocturnal animals, and the history of Halloween.

Pumped for Pumpkins

Pumpkins as unique as the people that made them.

Pumpkin Carving Programs: Friday, October 22–Thursday, October 28 Create crooked smiles, winking faces, and memories with your family. Carve pumpkins with us and get a unique souvenir to take home at these upcoming pumpkin carving programs.

Pumpkin Science: Will a pumpkin sink or float? Bring the scientific method home with this children’s activity.

Pumpkin Bird Feeders: Don’t let that jack-o-lantern smile rot into a frown. At the end of all this pumpkin fun, repurpose your pumpkins into natural bird feeders, perfect for November bird snacking!


Misunderstood Animals: Tuesdays, 7:008:30 pm, starting October 26 There are a lot of animals that may seem scary, but are really just misunderstood! Bats, opossum, ravens, and wasps get a bad reputation (thanks Edgar Allen Poe) but are actually fascinating once you get to know them. Tune in for one, some, or all of this online series.

October Bird Walks: There’s something scarier than Halloween out there — and it’s missing your chance to see a target bird!

Foliage Hikes

Take in the fiery reds, burnt oranges, and bright yellows of the season as fall foliage peaks in October. Find a wildlife sanctuary trail near you, or take a day trip to a corner of the state you haven’t explored yet.

Rare "Golden Racing Ducks" found only at Allens Pond

Take 5: Ducky Derby

Ducks to the starting line! Ready…set…float!

If you aren’t familiar yet, Duck Derby is a fun annual event where thousands of rubber ducks—sponsored by individuals just like you—are released on an incoming tide for an epic race from Buzzards Bay into Allens Pond.

This Thursday, August 19 from 12:30–2:30 pm, they’ll fight their way to the finish line with fierce determination. The first five to cross win Grand Prizes, and many other lucky ducks will claim fantastic runner-up prizes, including a special honor for the “Slacker Quacker” (the last duck to finish the race). Twenty fabulous prizes are up for grabs, including $5,000 cash!

Entries start at just $10 and all proceeds support Mass Audubon, so every entry is a win for the nature of Massachusetts. But don’t delay! Online duck sales end Wednesday, August 18 at 5:00 pm. If you want to see the Duck Derby in action, you must sign up in advance, as the 1.5-mile hike to the race site must be guided by Mass Audubon staff.

And while we wait with eager anticipation for the launch of the race, here are some more fabulous ducks to feed your fowl fancy!

Common Eider © Robert Rice
Common Eider © Robert Rice
Northern Pintail © Brian Vigorito
Northern Pintail © Brian Vigorito
Common Goldeneye © Michael Phillips
Common Goldeneye © Michael Phillips
Wood Duck © Sandra Taylor
Wood Duck © Sandra Taylor
Rare "Golden Racing Ducks" found only at Allens Pond
Rare “Golden Racing Ducks” found only at Allens Pond