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Maple Syrup

March 9th, 2012

No matter what corner of the Chicago area you find yourself in, you will likely be able to check out a maple syrup festival somewhere during this month.

Here are a few of the festivals that I am aware of. Feel free to add any others in the comments. These are generally very educational events that the whole family can enjoy.

North Park Village Nature Center

5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL , 60646
(312) 744-5472

Bring the family to experience the entire maple syrup making process, from tapping the tree and collecting sap to boiling it down to syrup. Stroll the sugar bush, enjoy storytelling and live music, make a craft, and taste homemade syrup.

Fees: Free

Age Range: All Ages

See the entire maple syrup-making process from tapping the tree and collecting the sap, to boiling it down into syrup.  Take a walk through the sugar bush, enjoy storytelling, make a maple craft, warm yourself by the fire, and taste real maple syrup fresh off the fire.   The Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet and warm tradition that is free and fun for all ages. No registration required.

Pioneer Fest and Pancake

Breakfast! Enjoy pancakes, sausage, and 100% pure maple
syrup! Come for the maple syrup making
demonstrations and try your hand at pioneer chores
while stepping back into time with our pioneer reenactors.
Age: All
Pilcher Park Nature Center
Sat/Sun 3/24-3/25 8 am-12 pm
$9 Adults/$7 Children under 12 (my understanding is that the fee is only if you are eating, but call to confirm this)

Phone: 815-741-PARK (7275)

Sap Collectors

Fullersburg Woods, Dupage County

Mar. 9, 2012

Hike to the sugarbush to collect sap from sugar maple trees. Ages 6 and up; under 14 with an adult. $3 per person. To register, call (630) 850­-8110.

  • Mar 2, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods
  • Mar 9, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods
  • Mar 16, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods

Maple Sugaring Days

Naper Settlement

Saturday and Sunday, March 10 & 11, 2012
Maple Sugaring Days

The history of maple sugaring
Maple sugaring was an integral part of American life in the 1800s and was the foremost sweetener until the end of the Civil War. A community social event celebrating the arrival of spring, the difficult work involving in collecting and processing the sap required many hands. This festive gathering was a welcome diversion following a long winter. Until the end of the Civil War, maple products were the most important food sweeteners in the United States because they were far less expensive and more available than cane sugar.

Time:
Saturday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sunday 1:00-4:00 pm

Ticket Information:
$9 adults
$8 seniors (62+)
$6.50 youth (4-17)
Naperville Heritage Society members and Season Pass Holders receive free admission.

And,  the one at Kline Creek Farm already passed, but here is a YouTube video that they took to show the tree tapping. I’m sure the drill is authentic 1840s ;)

And here are a couple more places to find lists of maple sugaring events in Illinois and surrounding states:

http://www.midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/touring/spring_scenery/maple_syrup_festivals.html

http://www.chitowncheapskate.com/2012/03/chicagoland-march-maple-syrup-events.html

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  1. Melissa Martin
    March 10th, 2012 at 07:47 | #1

    Maple Sugaring Days: March 10 & 11 at Johnson’s Mound
    The sap’s rising! Join us in the time-honored tradition of maple tapping at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve in Elburn. We’ll explore the art, science, and folklore of the “sugar bush,” or maple grove, from early Native American times to the modern sugaring industry. District naturalists will demonstrate how to tap a maple tree, and you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at drilling and setting a tap.
    We’ll simmer sap over an open fire and watch as it thickens to syrup. There will be a “Sugarin’ Time” hike, during which you’ll learn how to distinguish maples from other species of hardwood trees in the woodland.
    Saturday, March 10; 1 – 4 p.m.
    Sunday March 11; 1 – 4 p.m.
    Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve, Elburn
    41W600 Hughes Rd., Elburn

  2. admin
    March 10th, 2012 at 15:41 | #2

    Thanks, Melissa!

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