One of the things I love about writing this blog is that over the years I’ve grown increasingly aware of the subtle rhythms of New England agricultural life. I know that pick-your-own season officially opens with strawberries in June, that fresh berries and stone fruits start to top pancakes in local eateries in early July, and that corn mazes spring up anew each September. You can always catch a hayride (preferably to a pumpkin patch!) in October and the holiday season brings with it a chance to harvest a Christmas tree the old fashioned way.
But one of my favorite discoveries has been the brief (blink and you’ll miss it!) season of Maple Sugaring that generally happens late February into March. So this year I thought we’d put together a short list of fun ways to enjoy this short season!
Although we haven’t written posts specifically about these maple sugaring celebrations, we have been to nearly all of these destinations at other times during the year and are therefore able to provide you with our signature “VENUE PREVIEWS” for each destination. So you can still have all that inside Out and About Mom information you’ve come to know and love 🙂
So round up your sweeties and head out for the sweetest celebrations of the year!
March 3rd, 2019: The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic hosts Family Maple Sugaring. Learn about the process of making maple syrup including a lesson on how to tap a maple tree at the Museum. Includes a craft for the children and maple tasting for everyone. Pre-registration required. OAAM Venue Preview; Website; Facebook Page
March 9th-10th, 2019: The Stamford Museum & Nature Center hosts its annual Maple Sugar Festival Weekend. Join them for pancakes (with maple syrup of course), freshly-tapped Stamford Museum & Nature Center maple syrups available for purchase, fun family activities including face painting, arts & crafts, live music (plus visit the Heckscher Farm animals and Heckscher WILD! creatures), and more! OAAM Venue Preview; Website; Facebook Page
March 9th, 2019: The New Canaan Nature Center hosts its annual end of syrup season celebration, Syrup Saturday: A Pancakes & PJs Party! They’ll be serving up flapjacks and an array of toppings in the Visitor’s Center. Other fun activities include: tree tapping demos, a real maple sap “boil down,” campfire with marshmallows, real v. fake syrup taste test, and NEW maple syrup Instagram scavenger hunt. OAAM Venue Preview; Website; Facebook Page
March 10th, 2019: Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton offers their annual Maple Sugaring in Your Own Backyard demonstration teaching you how to make maple syrup the easy way. They’ll cover the entire process from identifying the tree to the best part – tasting the final product. OAAM Venue Preview; Website; Facebook Page
March 16th-17th, 2019: Although the OAAM crew has not officially visited the Hebron Maple Festival, a list of maple sugaring activities seems incomplete without it! We’ve had LOTS of friends recommend this annual event to us and it’s definitely on our “to blog about” list. Visit local sugar houses for demonstrations, browse maple syrup and maple syrup products, and enjoy many other family-friendly activities. If you head there yourself, we’d love to know what you think! Website
March 17th, 2019: Maple Sugar Madness at the Welles-Shipman-Ward House in Glastonbury is another event high on our “to go” list. Witness tree sap being transformed as it boils in a large pan over a granite fire pit and changes into delicious maple syrup! Additionally, pancakes will be cooked on the open hearth using an 18th century recipe and served with syrup reserves. The house and barns will also be open for tours. Website
March 23rd, 2019: Make sure you’re hungry when you head to Northwest Park in Windsor for the 29th annual Friends of Northwest Park Pancake Breakfast in the warming shed! There will be pancakes and sausage smothered in 100% pure maple syrup made right at Windsor’s very own Northwest Park. You can also check out their new sugar house, which will be open weekends during February and March. OAAM Venue Preview; Website; Facebook Page
Ongoing: Lamothe’s Sugar House in Burlington, one of the state’s largest local syrup producers, offers FREE tours of their sugar house on weekends in late February and March. Enjoy complimentary maple-flavored coffee and treats, taste different varieties of syrup, learn about the syrup-making process and witness the sap being boiled down into maple syrup! Plus browse the adorable gift shop for tons of maple treats. OAAM Blog Post; Website; Facebook Page
Ongoing: While we were visiting Hurst Farm in Andover for their annual fall hayride a few years back we noticed that this picturesque family farm also has a working sugar house that’s open for tours during the maple season. Tours are weather permitting (and depending on whether or not the sap is running ) so call ahead to make sure they are producing syrup. (860) 646-6536 OAAM Venue Preview; Facebook Page
Originally posted on 2/28/19; please be sure to check each venue’s website for any event updates or schedule changes.
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