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
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.
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.
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)
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
Saturday and Sunday, March 10 & 11, 2012
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.
Saturday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sunday 1:00-4:00 pm
$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: