Spring in Burlington Ontario

Spring in Burlington Ontario
Discover Burlington this Spring

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maple Syrup Festivals in Burlington

It is almost March and that means that we are only a few days away from the start of Maple Syrup festivals here in Burlington!  When I say that I "love" maple syrup, it's not really an exaggeration - I wait patiently through the winter with the sweet memories of maple serving as my light at the end of the tunnel. I remember visiting these festivals as a child and now I have the opportunity to bring my own children out to experience this delicious fun.

We are so lucky to have three unique maple experiences all in our own backyard.  My family tries to rotate yearly between each festival or sometimes we squeeze two visits in.  Conservation Halton offers Maple Town at Mountsberg and Sweet Water Season at Crawford Lake.  Bronte Creek Provincial Park has their annual Maple Syrup Festival.

Visitors to Bronte Creek will have the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour led by costumed interpreters.  Along the way you will learn how the trees are tapped, how syrup and candy are made, you can view artifacts in the maple museum and tour the historical Spruce Lane Farmhouse.  By the time you are done touring, you will have probably worked up an appetite.  Fear not, you can hop on a wagon ride and head to the pancake house where you guessed it pancakes, maple syrup and sausage are on the menu!  But the fun doesn't end there. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a hike through the trails at Bronte Creek and if you have kids be sure to visit the children's farm where you can get up close and personal with cows, pigs, turkeys and more.  If the kids still have excess energy head over to the playbarn and let them run, jump and play.  As a previous visitor to this festival, I recommend giving yourself at least a couple of hours to see and do everything and dress for the weather as most activities are outdoors.  Entry into the festival is $16.00 and includes parking, but you will need extra cash if you want to purchase food and souvenirs.  The festival runs weekends in March and daily during March break.

At Mountsberg the folks of Conservation Halton transform the park into Maple Town.  You can stroll through the sugar bush and see the tapped trees or you can jump on the wagon ride for a guided tour.  I know that the horse drawn wagon ride is always a highlight for my girls (and me!) One of the great things about this event is that you can experience everything in one spot.  There are several out buildings where you can see maple syrup being made, see how maple sugar is made (try a sample), and of course there is the pavilion serving up pancakes, syrup and sausage.  Outdoors the trees in the area are tapped and you can watch the sap drip into the buckets, there is a vintage cooking demonstration with a big cast iron pot over an open fire and kids and adults can try the shoulder harness for carrying the buckets. You will need to walk into the area of the park that is dedicated to the event so dress warm and wear good footwear especially if it's muddy (which in my experience it usually is) due to melting.  Once you've had your fill of maple be sure to visit the Raptor Centre for the "birds of prey" demonstrations, hike along the wildlife walkway and bring the kids to the playbarn to visit the animals.   On March 3rd, visitors to Maple Town will get an added bonus with the Flapjack Olympics running 11am-3pm.  

Crawford Lake in keeping with their aboriginal roots has Native Style Sweet Water Presentations where you can learn how maple sugar would have been made in an Iroquoian Village more than 600 years ago.  While your there be sure to sample the cornbread dripping with pure maple syrup or maple taffy on snow (available from 1 until 4 pm).  All of the maple activities are in the 15th century reconstructed Iroquoian Village which you can spend some time exploring including the longhouse.  Kids will love the craft-making and discovery hunt and everyone can get active with a walk/hike on their 19km of trails.  Did you know that Crawford Lake is also home to a rare meromictic lake (where layers of water do not intermix).  This location does not have food services on-site so be sure to bring something along to snack on if you are planning an extended visit.

Admission to maple events at Conservation Halton are Adults: $7.50, Children (ages 5-14): $5.25, Seniors (65+): $6.50 and Children 4 & under No Charge.  You will need extra cash for food, souvenirs and the wagon ride.  Both festivals run March 2-April 7 Weekends, Holidays and Daily during March Break (March 11 -15).  

We hope you have a sweet time at the maple syrups events and if you need any assistance planning your visit to Burlington be sure to visit our website or give us a call at 905-634-5594 or toll-free at 1-877-499-9989. 

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