Mark your calendars because maple sugaring season is upon us! If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to the run-of-the-mill syrup versus the true-blue maple, now is your chance to find out. Tree-tapping season officially kicks off in February, but sugarings and tastings run through April across the state of Pennsylvania. Festivals and breakfasts will have families breaking any lingering New Year’s resolutions, but it's SO worth it. From day trips to local events, check out what the syrup season has to offer.
NOTE: Some of these events are definitely destination activities (averaging a 3-4 hour drive) that likely require an overnight trip, especially when bringing little ones. Please check the drive times before planning your trip.
Date: February 25, 2017
This event at the Tyler Arboretum takes the kids out into the woods to see where and how maple syrup is made. Then they get to try it out on pancakes! No pre-registration is required for this rain or shine event. The snow date is March 5.
Date: February 25, 2017, 11 AM–1 PM
Experience the maple-making process at Peace Valley Nature Center, including tastings of the maple sugar and maple sap, and enjoy a waffle with your fresh syrup. Teacher-led walks are ongoing throughout the day.
Date: February 25, 2017, 2–4 PM
Nottingham County Park hosts this educational event including samples and a history lesson into the art of making maple syrup.
Date: February 26, 2017, noon –3 PM
Take part in this annual celebration featuring demonstrations and tastings that include mini pancakes! Guides take small groups through the woods to see the process from beginning to end. End your walk at Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) historic headquarters for hot chocolate and warm treats with maple syrup. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. The last tour leaves at 3 PM. WVWA Members: $5 adult/$3 child (12 years and under) and Non-Members: $10 adult/$5 child (12 years and under).
Date: March 11-12, 2017
The Maple King officially kicks off the season at Buffalo Creek Sugar Camp with the ceremonial tree tapping. Attend and enjoy free candies and baked goods.
Date: February 25 and March 4, 2017, 7 AM– Noon
Held at nearby Camp Eder, this annual festival takes place on two consecutive Saturdays, and it features a pancake breakfast, maple sugaring tours, and local arts & crafts vendors. An all you can eat pancake breakfast runs from 7:30-11:30 AM, $8 for adults and $4 per child. Children under 3 are free! Maple sugaring tours begin at 9 AM–Noon, $8 for adult, $5 for children. Planning to do both? Get the package- breakfast with a tour $12 Adult / $7 Child (under 3 Free).
Date: March 4, 2017
This festival at John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove is free and includes demonstrations, kids activities, and live owl presentations!
Date: March 4, 2017
Marvel at the magic of maple during this tapping at Green Lane Park and test your taste buds with a blind tasting.
Date: March 4, 2017 Noon – 4 PM
Visit Fox Chase Farms to taste maple syrup, learn about the process of making maple candy, and enjoy crafts and storytelling. Admission $3 per person.
Date: March 11–12, 2017, 10 AM– 4 PM daily
Somerset County boasts 15 maple farms. This is your chance to try them all! Make it a weekend and drive from farm to farm to enjoy truly unique maple treats. Tours and samples are free.
Date: March 25–26, and March 29–April 2, 2017
This full festival experience is an annual tradition, with live demonstrations, Maple Queen entertainment and pageant, arts and crafts, as well as a quilters show. Entrance is $5 for adults, $1 for children 5–12.
Image courtesy of Friends of Wissahickon.