Learning about nature is sweet at these upcoming maple sugaring events where your kids can learn how maple sap becomes maple syrup.
WEST CHICAGO: Kline Creek Farm is hosting Maple Sugaring events on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5. See how to tap trees with tools from the 1890s, help check the collection buckets, watch sap thicken over the fire, and try a taste of real maple syrup. These one-hour tours at the farm in West Chicago start at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. Ages 6 and up; under 18 with an adult. The cost is $5 per person. Register online or by calling at 630-876-5900.
ST. CHARLES: The Kane County Forest Preserve District will be hosting Maple Sugaring Days on Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12, at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles. Naturalists from the forest preserve will teach visitors how to tap a maple tree. You can try drilling and setting a tap, watch sap simmer over an open fire as it thickens to syrup, join in on a “Sugarin’ Time” hike to learn how to distinguish maples from other trees, and then sample pure, local syrup. Plus you can check-out the interactive exhibits inside Creek Bend Nature Center. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday and is ongoing, so you can arrive anytime in the span to enjoy the activities. This is a free program. (Note: A lot of visitors often show up right at 1 p.m., so if it works for your family to arrive even 30 minutes later, you might find it less crowded.)
NAPERVILLE: Naper Settlement’s Spring Fever Maple Sugaring event will let you learn about the time-honored method of collecting sap the old-fashioned way and see a demonstration of the maple tree tapping. Enjoy hands-on activities and presentations that recount Illinois’ Native American heritage and pioneer past and try a tasty maple treat. Each of the historic buildings will have a different theme and special activities for families to enjoy. The event is offered Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors (62+) and $8 for youth (4-12). Naperville residents and Naper Settlement members are free.
OAK BROOK: The DuPage County Forest Preserve District is hosting Get Sticky! Maple Syrup Day on Sunday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. You’ll take a 75-minute guided stroll through the woods and discover the sweet secret of turning sap into syrup. This event is open to all ages and costs $10 per person. You’ll need to register in advance – either online or by calling 630-850-8112. Find more info here.
BATAVIA: Red Oak Nature Center will host its annual Maple Fest on Saturday, March 18. You can learn all about delicious maple syrup through tree taping demonstrations offered at the top of every hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a free event; there will be maple snacks and hot beverages available for cash purchase. Find more info here on Page 17.