'Tis the season for maple syrup-and lots of it. Sap is on the
rise this month, and with it comes lots of syruping events for
Chicago-area families. Here are a few to check out (start mixing
the pancake batter now!).
MapleFest. Did you know even woodpeckers
collect sap from trees? Discover how people and animals have tapped
trees for sap. Maple-themed snacks and hot beverages available for
purchase. Free. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. March 15. Red Oak Nature Center, 2343
S. River St., Batavia. (630) 897-1808,
Sugar Bush Fair. Bring your appetite to this
one, which features a pancake breakfast, demos of maple syrup
production, a pioneer sugar camp and children's puppet show. Plus,
a wagon transports you to the event area! Free; breakfast is $5 for
full stack of pancakes and $4 for half stack. 9 a.m.-noon. March
15-16. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, 1111 E.
Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg. (847) 985-2100, parkfun.com.
Maple Syrup Festival. Take a walk through the
sugar bush, enjoy storytelling, make a maple craft, warm up by the
fire, and taste real maple syrup. Pancakes available for purchase.
Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 22. North Park Village Nature Center,
5801 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago. (312) 744-5472,
Pioneer Fest and Pancake Breakfast. Enjoy maple
syrup-making demonstrations and try doing some pioneer chores
alongside pioneer re-enactors. And once you've worked up an
appetite, there are pancakes, sausage and pure maple syrup to try.
$9, $7 kids under 12. 8 a.m.-noon. March 22-23. Pilcher Park Nature
Center, 2501 Highland Park Drive, Joliet. (815) 741-7277,
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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