Have you tried maple sugaring? This sweet family friendly event is only around for a few months of the year, when the nights get below freezing and the days temps are above freezing. At most of these spots, you’ll learn how to tap a tree, collect the maple sugar water, and then get a lesson on how that is turned into the delicious syrup you can pour on your pancakes.
This year COVID restrictions have kept a few of our favorite places from offering maple sugaring sessions, and all those that are require advanced registration to keep groups small, and most require masks to be worn. Here’s where to try, but note that many are selling out quickly or already have wait lists so make sure to get your tickets ASAP.
Howell Living History Farm
Saturdays in February
70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp.
Learn about the traditional and modern ways of tapping sugar maples, smell and see how they that gets turned into syrup and help collect sap. The farm also has animals and other weekly activities.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center
Saturdays through March 13
247 Southern Blvd., Chatham Twp.
This all outdoor program will show you how to identify and tap maple trees, plus collect sap and make syrup over a wood-fired evaporator.
Nature Center at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville
Weekends in March
Participate in a hands-on demonstration of home maple sugar production and see how it’s all done.
Maple Sugaring Fest: February 28
165 Hobart Ave., Summit
Staggered entry times will be available so you can learn the process of maple sugaring and safely explore the hiking trails afterwards.
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Reserve in Pennington
Saturdays in February
31 Titus Mill Rd., Pennington
Head to the Watershed Center for the Maple Sugar Brunch where you’ll learn about the science and history behind maple sugaring.
Tenafly Nature Center
Sundays through mid-March
313 Hudson Ave., Tenafly
The nature center will teach you the history of maple sugaring, and take you on a walk to their sugar bush so you can experience the process for yourself.
(If you arrive home with fresh NJ maple syrup, try making one of these tasty recipes.)