Maple Sugaring with Kids in Connecticut: Maple Syrup Festivals, Sugar House Tours, and More
Smell something sweet? Right about now, sugar houses across Connecticut are busy collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into tasty, golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from late February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields). Here, we share the latest information on maple syrup activities and sugar house tours for Connecticut families during this year's syrup season.
2021 Update: Masks and social distancing will be important at any of these events or sugar houses. Due to changing conditions, call each location before you go to ensure that activities are happening.
Connecticut Maple Syrup Farms and Activities
Get a taste of fresh maple syrup. Photo by Ally Noel
Maple Sugar Day - Greenwich
Tuesday, February 23 to Saturday, February 27, 2021
Learn how to tap trees and make maple syrup with the Greenwich Land Trust. Hands-on demonstrations are held at the Louise Mueller Preserve. Dress warmly for an outdoor walk.
Maple Day - Farmington
Sunday, February 28, 2021
It's the annual Maple Day event at the Stanley-Whitman House. Learn about tapping the tree, boiling the sap, and take a tour of the historic home. Please pre-register for this event.
Maple Sugar Festival Weekend - Stamford
Sundays, February 21, 28 and Sunday, March 7, 2021
Experience the sweetness of the enhanced three-day maple sugaring experience at this annual festival at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. See first-hand how sap is turned into maple syrup, make a maple-themed craft, enjoy a Sunday Farmer's Market, storytelling, food and waffle trucks and a children's play zone. Preregister at the Nature Center's website.
Maple Sugaring in Your Own Backyard - Canton
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Roaring Brook Nature Center will offer a demonstration on how to tap and boil sap to make fresh, locally made syrup. This is an all-ages event which runs at two time slots. Masks and reservations required.
Syrup Saturday—New Canaan
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Celebrate the end of sugaring season at this fun brunch accompanied by other maple-themed activities. Children are encouraged to come in their pj's. Event opens at 8:30am. Children under 2 are free.
Sweet Wind Farm — East Hartland
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Visit Sweet Wind Farm for its annual maple festival. There will be live demonstrations, tree-tapping, music, pancakes, and sugar-on-snow. The farm also offers group tours and classes. This is a free event.
Kids learn to tap trees at MapleFest. Photo courtesy of Sharon Audubon Center
Maple Sugaring Festival—Washington
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Join the Institute of American Indian Studies for this annual festival that explores the ways local Native Americans traditionally made maple syrup. Pancakes, coffee, orange juice will be served from 11am to 4pm. Syrup making demonstrations are at noon.
Maple Sugar Madness — Glastonbury
Maple Sugar Madness is canceled for 2021.
During the afternoon, watch how maple syrup is made at the Welles-Shipman-Ward house in Glastonbury. Sample pancakes cooked on an open hearth with the freshest maple syrup possible.
Hebron Maple Festival — Hebron
The Hebron Maple Festival has been canceled for 2021.
This family-friendly annual event is a town-wide favorite. Sample maple food and beverages, music, sugaring demonstrations, and quilt show. Tractor rides for the kids!
Sharon Audubon MapleFest — Sharon
The Sharon MapleFest is canceled for 2021.
Learn about the origins of maple syrup and see the syrup making process first-hand. The events will include a 45-minute tour of the tapped trees and the property, so dress warmly!
Plymouth Maple Festival—Plymouth
Plymouth Maple Festival in Plymouth has been canceled for 2021.
Kids will get a chance to hang the buckets, collect sap, and watch maple syrup boiling on an outdoor fire. Enjoy live music, kids crafts, and maple baked beans and ham.
Pancake Breakfast — Windsor
The pancake breakfast is canceled for 2021.
Enjoy breakfast of pancakes and fresh maple syrup, then amble over to the new refurbished sugar shack where you can see the magic happening right before your eyes. Call ahead to register.
There are many ways to tap a maple tree. Photo courtesy of Flanders Nature Center
Maple Sugaring Tours and Visits in Connecticut
Flanders Nature Center—Woodbury
Saturday, February 27 to March 14, 2021 (Saturdays and Sundays)
Flanders has a lovely sugar house and is open for tours on Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoons. Experts explain how maple syrup was first discovered by Native Americans and how the making of it has evolved over the years. Lots of maple goodies in their sugar house are for sale.
Sullivan Farm—New Milford
February and March
Late February through the end of March, the staff and students at Sullivan Farm will be tapping over 1600 trees and producing maple syrup. If you would like to drop by, watch for the rising steam from the sugar house. Local youth are encouraged to learn the process and participate in the harvest.
Hydeville Sugar Shack — Stafford Springs
A family operated team of sugar harvesters, the Hartensteins tap, collect, and boil down their tasty syrup for about 6 weeks in the Spring. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for information. Call ahead for a visit.
Call for a tour
During the first three weekends in March, you can watch the wood-fired evaporator boil away, see the buckets on the trees, and visit the barnyard animals. Maple syrup and maple candy will also be available for sale.
Brookside Farm II—Litchfield
Call for tour
This is a family-run, small operation that doesn't do tours but will personally come out and explain a bit about the syrup and help you choose the right grade for you. Call for more information.
Hilljack Sugar Shack—Litchfield
Call for a tour
A father and son team provide free tours to the public during the sugaring season. Call ahead and have a full-farm tour.