THE NORTHERN LIGHTS. Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 to 9 p.m., Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. For families with children ages 8 and older. Join Gary Meehan and other members of the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club for a program focusing on the northern lights, what causes them, and when and how to observe and photograph them. Learn how to use the Internet to track their activity. Also, view celestial sights, including the planet Jupiter, through North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club’s telescopes. Event coincides with the Taurid meteor shower. Meet in barn; indoor portion of event runs rain or shine. $6/members, $7/nonmembers; $5/child member, $6/nonmember. Registration required. 978-887-9264 or email@example.com.
SENSE OF WONDER WALKS FOR FAMILIES: COOL CAMOUFLAGE. Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. In order to survive, animals use many disguises. Following a short introduction indoors, go on a hike to look for secretive creatures that hide themselves from prying eyes, then design a camouflaged moth. Meet in the Nature Center. Dress for the weather. Led by Rita Gallant. Open to families with children 3 and older. $7/Audubon members, $9/nonmembers per walk. Register at 978-887-9264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VISIT WITH SANTA CLAUS. Through Monday, Dec. 24, Santa will take time off from his busy schedule to spread holiday cheer at the Northshore Mall, 210 Andover St., Peabody. Visitors can share their Christmas lists and letters with Santa and his helpers; photo opportunities are also available. www.Facebook.com/NorthshoreMall or 978-531-3440.
Workshops and demonstrations
OIL PAINTING DEMONSTRATION. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m., Middleton Community Center, 38 Maple St. The Middleton Art Association will present with Ruth Mowder, president of the Peabody Art Association. Attendees are encouraged to bring supplies and paint. Free; new members welcome. Handicapped-accessible. Refreshments served. 978-774-9466.
CRANBERRY PICKING & CANNING WORKSHOP. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 5 to 9 p.m., Crane Beach and Castle Hill on Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. Learn about the history and habits of cranberries, and get a boots-on-the-ground feel for the matrix of trails that crisscross Castle Neck. Pick cranberries at the bog. Later, head up to the Great House kitchen on Castle Hill to make something tasty. $15/members, $20/nonmembers. Advance registration required at 978-356-4351, ext. 4062, or email@example.com.