Outdoor Activities to Enjoy this Winter North of Boston

Outdoor Activities to Enjoy this Winter North of Boston

January 25, 2023

The weather outside has been far from frightful so far this winter, and we’re enjoying the slight seasonal chill! There are ample opportunities to bundle up and make the most of these winter days and nights. Deepen your connection with our gorgeous North of Boston landscape and recreational offerings with some of these suggestions for outdoor winter fun this season North of Boston.


The Rink at MarketStreey Lynnfield, through February 28

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean The Rink at MarketStreet Lynnfield is gone. This beloved ice-covered installation is open daily through February 28, so lace up and bring the family for some winter fun. Look out for their weekly theme skates, like Animals Gone Wild at The Rink on January 10, complete with various animal ears, animal-themed tunes, and snacks.

Explore the Natural World with CraneOutdoors

From beach hikes to workshops and guided walks, CraneOutdoors provides many opportunities each week to explore the Crane Beach area in Ipswich, including their Snowy Owl Prowls. Wide-open coastal sites are the location of choice for wintering Snowy Owls and Crane Wildlife Refuge is the place to try to see the exquisite animals perched upon the dunes or salt hay staddles! In winter’s past, the owls have been frequent visitors to the Crane Wildlife Refuge, so bring your binoculars and see what you can see! CraneOutdoors offers both standard Snowy Owl Prowls and Family Snowy Owl Prowls where you can hike in search of these magnificent birds at your preferred pace. Check out their year-round lineup of exciting outdoor adventures designed to get you outside and enjoy one of The Trustees’ most beautiful properties.

If you’re visiting Crane Beach on your own, note that dogs are allowed on a particular stretch of beach from October 1 through March 31, as is horseback riding. Catching a glimpse of equestrian life on the sand in the winter is quite a magnificent sight!

Birding on Cape Ann
Speaking of magnificent sights, our very own Cape Ann is known worldwide for its exciting concentrations of winter seabirds. Thousands of birders visit the rugged coast of Cape Ann and scan the adjacent waters hoping to spot some of the unusual and highly sought-after variety of migrating waterfowl and coastline birds that spend the winter months just offshore. Some of the best birdwatching spots North of Boston include Haliburt Point State Park in Rockport featuring 2.5 miles of trails around the former Babson Farm Quarry and down to the rocky shore; Ravenswood Park in Gloucester with 10 miles of nature trails, crisscrossing 600 acres; and Jodrey Fish Pier in Gloucester, a natural magnet for all types of shorebirds, especially gulls. The best way to get to see these birds and experience them up close is to visit them in their natural habitat–on the ocean! Save the date for the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Birding Boat Trip on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Firefly Nights at Castle Hill at the Crane Estate
Get outdoors for a magical lineup of evenings for grownups this winter at Crane Estate. The property’s summer picnic concerts have long been popular and now Crane Estate is offering a similar experience in February, minus the bugs and kids. Expect roaring fire pits, smores fixings, hot adult beverages, and live music! Events take place February 10 and 11 and 17 and 18 in the courtyard in front of the Great House. Warm clothing and footgear are highly recommended! For ages 21 and older only, register here.

Plan Your Winter Walk
The best way to take advantage of North of Boston in the winter is to go out and discover our local trails, charming downtowns, iconic lighthouses, stunning beaches, and working waterfronts on your own. Now with the help of our North of Boston app, you can make the most of your time here! With the help of the app, you can browse attractions and landmarks, and map those locations you want to see, making for an easy and efficient itinerary, right in the palm of your hands! The Visit North of Boston app is now available through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Happy Exploring!

Photo Credits: The Rink at MarketStreet Lynnfield by Holly Perry; Snowy Owl courtesy of CraneOutdoors/The Trustees; Winter Birding courtesy of Greater Cape Ann Chamber; Firefly Nights courtesy of Crane Estate/The Trustees.