We are heading into the shortest and quite possibly the coldest month, but that’s no excuse to stay home. Not when the North Shore has so much to offer, even as the snow flies and the temperature drops. Let these ten ideas get you started:
1. The Great Animal Orchestra and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem | All month
Immerse yourself in the biodiversity of the planet with a visit to this audio-visual installation that draws from artist Bernie Krause’s collected recordings of more than 15,000 species. Krause’s soundscapes are paired with illuminated animations projected on the walls to surround visitors in the experience. Learn more at the museum website.
2. Snowy Owl Prowl, Crane Beach, Ipswich | Saturdays and Sundays all month, plus Feb. 21-25
Join this guided hike through the dunes of Crane Beach to explore the surrounding ecosystem and seek out a sighting of the beach’s most famous winter resident: the snowy owl. A family-friendly version of the event takes a slower pace with more stops to accommodate the smallest birdwatchers. Register at the Trustees’ website.
3. Couples beer tasting, Granite Coast Brewing, Peabody | Feb. 5
Who says wine is the only romantic beverage? You and a loved one can enjoy a flight of locally brewed beers, learn about what you’re tasting from the head brewer, and take home a box of chocolates from Frankie’s Sweet Shoppe. Learn more at the brewery website.
4. Celebrate Galentine’s Day with flowers and cookies, True North Ale Co., Ipswich | Feb. 10
Celebrate your bond with your besties while decorating cookies, creating gorgeous floral centerpieces, and sampling the brewery’s wares. Learn more and buy tickets at Eventbrite.
5. Salem’s So Sweet, Salem | Feb. 11-13
Salem’s annual celebration of ice, chocolate, and community turns 20 this year. Join in by strolling past dozens of professional ice sculptures (they’ll be illuminated on Saturday night), sampling chocolate specials around town, and scanning codes at downtown businesses to enter to win a prize package. Learn more at SalemSoSweet.com.
6. Goat hike with champagne toast and chocolate, Georgetown | Feb. 12
Stroll a mile through the woods with goats – some on leads, some free-roaming – as your companions. At the end, celebrate the romance of the season with a champagne toast and a chocolate tasting. Wish you could bring the kids? Goats To Go also offers family-friendly goat expeditions. Check out the schedule and register online.
7. Galentines Charcuterie & Custom Wine Glasses, Hammer and Stain, Beverly | Feb. 16
Grab your girls for a night of custom-crafted fun, designing your own wine glasses and assembling a tasty Valentine’s-themed charcuterie board to take home. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of bubbly to sip while you create. Tickets and more information available at the Hammer and Stain website.
8. Farmhouse Culinary Workshop: Winter Harvest Soups, Appleton Farms, Ipswich | Feb. 16
Simmer up some warming seasonal soups in this hands-on workshop. Participants will learn how to build flavor with seasonal ingredients, sample soups alongside fresh, farm-baked bread, and bring a quart of soup home to share (or keep for themselves). Tickets available at the Trustees’ website.
9. CamTalks: Collecting and Exhibiting Untold Stories, Cape Ann Museums, Gloucester | Feb. 19
Come listen and learn as Doneeca Thurston, director of the Lynn Museum, shares her thoughts on the responsibility of museums to actively collect and display artifacts of Black history and discusses the process of assembling her museum’s exhibition Untold Stories: A History of Black People in Lynn. More details and tickets available at the Cape Ann Museum website.
10. All Things Glowing Night Hike, Ward Reservation, Andover | Feb. 25
This lantern-guided night hike culminates atop the reservation’s Holt Hill, where participants will find a sky full of stars, roaring fires, and a fire-spinning performance by contemporary dancer Tetra. Learn more and buy tickets at the Trustees’ website.