Monday, February 23, 2015

Maple Sugaring Events in the Chicago Suburbs

Maple tapping image via LollyKnit on Flickr.
With the bitter, bitter cold, it is hard to believe that it is time for maple sugaring but it sure is! Freezing temperatures at night and *hopefully* warm temperatures during the day cause the sap to rise from a maple's roots making it ready for tapping! There really is no better topping for pancakes---or biscuits---or ice cream than sweet and natural maple syrup! So, let's take some time to celebrate maple syrup's sugary goodness!

While we traveled through New England and Quebec last year, we learned that Ben Franklin was a big advocate of expanding maple sugar production in the U.S. to decrease dependency on foreign sugar sources. I had no idea that this was even thought of but it totally makes sense! Maple sugaring events are such a great piece of Americana and fortunately for us there are plenty in the area! Here is a look at some we found:

February 28-March 1

Sap's Rising at River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook: Take a walk in the maple forest as winter is coming to an end and learn about the maple sugaring process. The event runs 1:30PM-2:30PM both days and is free.


March 7-8

Festival of the Sugar Maples at Coral Woods in Marengo: Learn how maple syrup was made throughout history. Learn how trees produce the sap. Learn how to collect the sap. See how maple syrup is produced in the evaporator house. The event runs from 10AM-3PM each day and is free!

Sap's Rising at River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook: Take a walk in the maple forest as winter is coming to an end and learn about the maple sugaring process. The event runs 1:30PM-2:30PM both days and is free.
 
March 14-15

Maple Syrup Harvest *March 14 only* at Heller Nature Center in Highland Park: Learn how to tap trees and make maple syrup. There are two times available--11:30AM-12:30PM and 2:30PM-3:30PM. The event is $6 pp and you must register. Children must be accompanied by registered adult. Good for those 6 and older.

Maple Sugaring at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles: This event is free and runs from 1PM-4PM each day. Witness naturalists tap trees, try your hand at drilling, see sap being boiled, taste maple syrup, check out exhibits and go on a hike!

Sugar Bush Fair at Vera Meineke Nature Center in Schaumburg: The event takes place 9AM-12PM each day. Enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, juice and coffee. Take a peek at a pioneer sugar camp, check out a puppet show and go on a hayride. General admission to fair is free. Pancakes are $4 for a half stack, $5 for whole if tickets purchased in advance and $5/$6 day of. Other items will be available for purchase.

Maple Sugaring Days at Naper Settlement in Naperville: Watch tree tapping demos and try your hand at drilling. See how sap is boiled down into syrup. Make a bookmark in the Print Shop. Learn the reel. Check out the historic buildings. Try a maple treat and much more! Saturday 10AM-4PM, Sunday 1PM-4PM. Admission is $12/adult, $10/senior, $8/child (4-12) and free for members and Naperville residents.

Festival of the Sugar Maples at Coral Woods in Marengo: Learn how maple syrup was made throughout history. Learn how trees produce the sap. Learn how to collect the sap. See how maple syrup is produced in the evaporator house. The event runs from 10AM-3PM each day and is free!

Maple Syrup Hikes at Ryerson Woods in Riverswoods: The event runs March 14-29 on Saturdays and Sundays only and run every half hour 12:30PM-2:30PM. Hikes cost $6 pp and you must register. Register by calling 847-968-3321.

Sap's Rising at River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook: Take a walk in the maple forest as winter is coming to an end and learn about the maple sugaring process. The event runs 1:30PM-2:30PM both days and is free.

March 21-22

Maple Fest at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia (March 21 ONLY): Learn how animals and people have tapped trees for their syrup. Watch how sap is turned into syrup. Program starts on the hour at 9AM, 10AM, 11AM, 12PM and 1PM. The event is free but their will be maple themed items for purchase. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call to register otherwise no registration needed.

Syrup Tree and Silver Dollar Brunch at Morton Arboretum: Take a hike to learn about the history of maple tapping and how it is done. The hike is followed by a pancake breakfast. There are various times Saturday and Sunday but you MUST register. Registration closes one week before event. Fees are $18 per member, $25 per nonmember and include Arboretum admission. For families with children ages two and over.

Sap's Rising at River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook March 21 ONLY this weekend: Take a walk in the maple forest as winter is coming to an end and learn about the maple sugaring process. The event runs 1:30PM-2:30PM both days and is free.

Maple Syrup Celebration at River Trail Nature Center on March 22 ONLY: Check out the evaporator in action. The free event is from 11AM-3PM.

Get Sticky! Maple Syrup Sunday at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook: Take a short 30-minute stroll in the woods while learning how map sap is turned into syrup. Event runs March 22 10AM-3PM and costs $10 pp. Register at 630-850-8110.

Maple Syrup Hikes at Ryerson Woods in Riverswoods: The event runs March 14-29 on Saturdays and Sundays only and run every half hour 12:30PM-2:30PM. Hikes cost $6 pp and you must register. Register by calling 847-968-3321.

March 28-29

Maple Syrup Hikes at Ryerson Woods in Riverswoods: The event runs March 14-29 on Saturdays and Sundays only and run every half hour 12:30PM-2:30PM. Hikes cost $6 pp and you must register. Register by calling 847-968-3321.

Helpful Hints:
  • Make sure to dress for the weather.
  • Due to the prolonged extreme cold this year, verify these events are still occurring on published dates. Hopefully, we have turned a corner with the temperatures and we will be done with the super-low temps!
  • This list will updated if we find more events.
  • Have fun!

StumbleUpon

1 comment:

  1. Who knew that you could have this experience in Chicago and not just in Vermont? Glad that you shared this.

    ReplyDelete