Have you ever wondered where maple syrup comes from and why it can be so expensive? Well, you’re in luck! Brookside Nature Center offers a family-friendly program called Maple Sugaring Days, every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in February.
My family and I visited this past weekend and enjoyed the program. You’ll start in the nature center where you check-in and head to the auditorium for a 15-minute presentation by a Master Naturalist. Ours was very informative and went through different fun facts by way of a PowerPoint presentation and some hands-on demonstrations for the youngest to oldest of visitors. I’ve never been one to understand the difference between certain trees, primarily because I haven’t taken the time. So, it was neat to learn how to identify a sugar maple, and in this case, identifying it without leaves on the tree.
It is February after all, so be sure to dress appropriately. You’ll be outside for about 45-minutes after the indoor portion concludes. It was a cold day when we visited and I was glad I had my winter coat, hat and gloves on hand. Meander through the forest to the maple grove where you’ll get a glimpse of the trees, see where they are being tapped and put the knowledge you learned inside to use outside. You’ll get to taste the sap, learn about how much sap is needed to make maple syrup as well as the process by which the sap is cooked down to make the actual syrup. Wrap up your visit with a taste of pancakes, syrup and on our visit, some delicious pure maple sugar.
#OptOutside this February and connect with nature at a time when most people are hibernating!
- Register online for your program date and time. Admission is just $6 per person.
- We recommend this program for ages 3 and up. The older your child, the more they will certainly get out of it, but it’s my belief that it’s never to early to expose your child(ren) to the outdoor world.
- Save time on the front or back end of your visit to explore the nature center, especially if you’ve never been before. It is a treasure-trove of learning experiences for old and young alike.
- The center/grounds are stroller-friendly, but we’d recommend leaving it in the car and using a carrier or other method, especially as the walk through the forest is on trails.
- Bathrooms are available inside the nature center.