My son did a research project on wolves last year. His interest in learning about and appreciating the animals carried over into the summer. When I was looking through a list online of things to do with kids around Boston, there was a listing for Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, MA. No one I knew had ever been there, but lots of people said they’ve passed Wolf Hollow signs on the way to Crane Beach and wondered about it.
There was some information about Wolf Hollow online, but not enough to give me a good picture of what was going on. We booked tickets and headed up there on a Saturday in August. If you look at reviews online, many say the parking/entry is a little confusing, small and odd, but that once you are in it all runs smoothly and I would say that this was the case for us (except that I had the warning from the reviews so expected worse than it really was).
After we pulled in, checked in and were waiting for the presentation to start (in an area that was basically the front yard of an old house surrounded by high fences). We enjoyed looking at the small gift shop, the portapotties, complimentary bug spray, and volunteers sharing some educational material.
Right on time, we were given an introduction and instructions about the presentation. We followed a small boardwalk behind the fences, to a presentation area with a couple sets of small bleachers. It was sort of a zoo presentation feel. There was a large enclosure in front of smallish covered bleachers in which all of the presentation took place. There were three other enclosures that we could see a tiny bit of from the enclosed presentation area. There seemed to be “regulars” who went to Wolf Hollow often, and they all seemed to sit on the far right side (farthest from where you enter the area entrance), so that may be the best view. It was crowded when we went, we could certainly see, but I wouldn’t say we had the best view (3 out of the 4 of us who went are small so generally can’t see in a crowd to begin with not to mention sitting on bleachers with mostly adults sitting in front of us).
We went in August, so the wolves had their thinner summer coats. That along with their seeming tame-ness pretty much just made them look like big dogs with giant paws and pretty large teeth.
All of the wolves were rescues. It turns out there are no wolves in New England. I did not know that. The presentation was fantastic. The wolves were neat to see, but the presenter, who ran Wolf Hollow (said he was a teacher by day) was so incredibly passionate, knowledgable, entertaining and polished, in his performance, presentation and fielding questions it was enjoyable and interesting for the entire time. There were not a lot of little kids when we were there. It’s probably not going to be super enjoyable for families with toddlers. There was some talk of politics.
My daughter and husband hadn’t really wanted to go, but they had a great time and would like to go back. We learned about wolves in general, wolf conservancy, and about each wolf or wolf/dog hybrid at the rescue. My kids really liked “getting to know” each wolf making the gift shop wares a little more tempting as there were post cards and other products with pictures of the different wolves.
It was a good time. The wolves came for treats so guests could see them up, but weren’t trained in tricks. It was definitely an educational presentation and not an entertainment show sort of field trip. I’d recommend taking a trip to Wolf Hollow, if you are into wolves or conservancy and personal interest or kids who like to learn about that sort of thing!