Looking for some family-friendly events to enjoy in Boston this month? Here are a few options you might want to consider.
The Merrimack River Eagle Festival
Every winter, the Bald Eagles return to Merrimack Valley. In celebration of this grand event, the Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge hosts the Merrimack River Eagle Festival. Typical activities offered during the festival include visiting eagle hotspots, guided eagle tours and opportunities to pose for photos with a raptor and to see live owls and hawks from Drumlin Farm. A variety of family activities are also offered each year at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Joppa Flats Education Center.
The hour-long raptor show at City Hall is recommended for families with children ages six and up, while families with younger children may want to enjoy one of the shorter raptor demonstrations offered at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats. The viewing spots throughout the area can be accessed by driving yourself or by taking a guided tour. For those who choose to drive themselves, guides in blue knit hats will be available at each site on the map to provide additional information and to answer questions. This option is recommended for those with young children or those who otherwise may need more flexibility in their schedules.
The Merrimack River Eagle Festival will take place on February 18th in Newburyport and Amesbury. With the exception of the photo experiences with Hunt’s Photo & Video, all Eagle Festival activities are offered for free. Other winter activities offered at Joppa Flats include:
- Wednesday Morning Birding: Program for adults that takes place on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 12:30. Preregistration is not required.
- Saturday Morning Building: Program for adults and children age 8 and up that takes place on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:30 am. Preregistration is not required.
- The Wonder and the Wow: Harbor Seals and Seabirds: Program for adults that takes place on February 11th. Preregistration is required.
- Bald Eagles and Bagels: Program for families with children ages 7 and up that takes place on February 19th or March 19th from 9:00 to 11:30 am. Preregistration is required.
- February Vacation Week Flybys at Joppa Flats: Program for families with children ages 2 to 10 that takes place on February 22nd and 23rd from 10:00 to 3:00 pm. Preregistration is not required.
- Focus on Seabirds: Program for adults that takes place February 26th from 9:00 to12:30. Preregistration is required.
- Owls of the Salt Marshes and Forests: Program for adults that takes place on March 4 from 3:30 to 10:00 pm. Preregistration is required.
Children’s Winter Festival
The Children’s Winter Festival offers additional opportunities for family fun in Boston. Taking place in the Boston Common, the event features a giant three-story high inflatable tube slide known as Snowzilla, the SNowGlobe Live! 15-foot-tall snow globe where participants can step inside for winter wonderland photos, skating and a number of other free events for families to enjoy. The L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School will also present activities including their Snowshoeing Discovery course where participants can learn about the sport with the help of expert instructors who will lead a guided trek through Boston Common.
The Children’s Winter Festival will take place on February 23rd from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The festival will also feature a DJ from Magic 106.8, refreshments from Essentia Water, Dunkin’ Donus and DAVIDsTea as well as an appearance of the L.L. Bean Bootmobile.