Spring has finally sprung and it’s time for the sweetest of spring activities — the annual trip to the sugarbush for Ontario’s annual Maple Weekend. Not only is maple syrup the first crop of the season, it’s also an excuse to experience Ontario’s maple heritage and remind yourself why being Canadian is awesome (one word: taffy — need we say more?).
You can get your taffy fix during Maple Weekend, a free, family-friendly two-day event that takes place at participating maple syrup producers across the province. Held each year on the first weekend of April, this is the weekend maple syrup producers pull out all the stops to give their visitors the ultimate maple experience.
Visit a sugarbush during Maple Weekend and see how trees are tapped, watch sap boil, eat maple taffy, and pick up a bottle of golden goodness to bring home with you. Every sugarbush will have a different experience for you to enjoy!
Be prepared to fall in love with maple syrup, Ontario farmers and the rural landscape in spring (in that order). Here’s a rundown of what to expect from your Maple Weekend experience, runny noses and all. Warning: Be aware you will smell of spring after a Maple Weekend outing. Also, fun is NOT optional.
Read on for five things you can expect from Maple Weekend.
Expect to make maple memories
Do you remember your very first trip to the sugarbush? Chances are your kids will remember theirs, too! From the taffy to pancakes drizzled in syrup, maple syrup season is made for making memories, and Maple Weekend is one of the best times to create warm family memories that will last a lifetime.
Expect to get sticky
What would a trip to the sugarbush be like if you didn’t walk away with sticky hands and a mouth filled with taffy? Taffy and maple syrup are both sticky, but we don’t mind! Half the fun is figuring out how to get the taffy off the stick without also getting it into your hair and clothes. Good luck!
Expect pink cheeks and runny noses
One of the best parts of visiting a sugarbush in the spring is you get to be outdoors during one of the best times of the year! This is when the air feels warm, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and you naturally want to savour the spring excitement. Many sugarbushes offer trails through their property, where the whole family can enjoy the best of spring’s bounty. And if you’re not a fan of runny noses, we have the solution: bring a tissue.
Expect a sweet education
You’ll learn all about how maple syrup is made, and how it’s been produced through the ages. This is an educational experience with a sweet ending, and one that your kids will love! Pick up a copy of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association’s colouring book and your kids can show off their artistry and learn something at the same time.
Expect lots of laughs
Ontario’s maple producers are friendly folks – this is their favourite time of the year, and they love to share their spring bounty with visitors. And who could avoid a chuckle while taffy is sticking to the sides of your face, and you’re outdoors in the spring sunshine, and loving Ontario maple!
Visit the Maple Weekend website to see what producers in your region are offering over the weekend and plan your route accordingly. Visit one sugarbush or visit several. Either way this can the sweetest road trip ever!
Producers are located across the province, in Algoma, Algonquin & District, Eastern, Grey-Bruce & District, Haliburton-Kawartha, Lanark & District, Ottawa Valley, Quinte & District, Simcoe & District, Southwestern, and Waterloo-Wellington.