One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.
Norman Bird Sanctuary spans more than 300 acres and seven miles of hiking trails where binoculared bird lovers can spy on local and migratory birds. Hikers can explore the woods or climb Hanging Rock to feast on views of the ocean. In addition, the Sanctuary organizes public programs such as hands-on educational events for children and evening lectures for adults.
Thanks to Zoo New England, little patches of wilderness from Africa, South America, Australia, and other parts of the world now dot Massachusetts. The non-profit organization operates both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, each full of exotic creatures and their habitats. These microcosms represent an ideal world, one where endangered species thrive and fragile ecosystems last for generations to come.
At Franklin Park Zoo, tigers display their exotic stripes in the Tiger Tales exhibit where guests are educated on the perils these animals face in their natural habitats. Elsewhere, thousands of plants as well as mandrills, ocelots, and a pygmy hippopotamus turn the zoo into a tropical rainforest.
Stone Zoo, meanwhile, places simulations of the world's highlands next to Spot Pond. One area focuses on the Sierra Madre mountain range, which spans Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. The elevated habitat counts jaguars, coyotes, Gila monsters, and cougars among its denizens.
A portion of every admission goes to the organization's conservation efforts, which supports projects both locally and globally. For would-be zookeepers, Zoo New England hosts various adult and kids' educational programs, and lets volunteers help in the care of zoo plants and animals.
Cambridge Historical Tours unearths nearly 400 years of history during informative jaunts that cast light on the area's captivating, funny, and sometimes gory past. Sheathed in authentic Victorian attire, guides lead groups on 75-minute treks back in time, fusing wholesome doses of humor with laboriously researched facts. Guests take in the historic landmark Memorial Hall on the campus of Harvard University, and absorb the eerie ambiance of the Cambridge Burial Ground, where many of Harvard's early presidents are buried.
As the days begin to wane and the trees' green leaves start to turn, Clark Farms celebrates the arrival of autumn by hosting its annual fall festival. The friendly farmhands welcome in guests of all ages for themed activities, which allow them to savor the season while experiencing a small taste of New England countryside life. Visitors can navigate the corn maze's labyrinth of towering stalks and direction-savvy scarecrows, or satisfy a need for speed with a zip down a 30-foot slide or lap around a professionally designed go-kart track. Clark Farms also encourages adults and kids to learn about farm life by taking a hayride around the grounds, touring the pumpkin patch, or visiting the petting zoo's resident quadrupeds and bipeds. When the sun sets and the weather turns crisp, the staff keeps crowds cozy by selling warm treats—including fresh donuts and apple cider—and by building roaring bonfires.