Sweet! Maple Sugaring Getaways with Kids

Your taste buds will love these sweet family escapes

Maple Sugar Getaways with Kids
Michele Falzone/Getty images

The transition from winter to spring is a delicious time to be in New England and Canada. March and early April make up maple sugaring season, when buckets appear on maple trees and sugar shacks transform maple sap into delectable maple syrup. It's a lot of fun for kids to see this process in action, and there are always yummy samples to try.

Maple Syrup Fun Facts

  • Native Americans taught European settlers how to make maple syrup.
  • Living up to its maple-leaf symbol, Canada is by far the biggest maple syrup producer in North America. Quebec is the powerhouse, with production exceeding 6.5 million gallons.
  • In the United States, Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state, with more than half a million gallons each year. 
  • A person who makes maple syrup is called a sugarmaker.
  • The building where the sap is boiled down to make syrup is called a sugarhouse.
  • A sugarmaker's plantation of maple trees is called a sugarbush.
  • A maple tree should be about 40 years old and at least 8 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
  • Maple trees produce maple sap, which is a naturally sweet, sticky water that is collected and later boiled to become a thicker syrup.
  • It takes 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup, which in turn can also be boiled down to produce maple cream, maple sugar, and maple sugar candy.
  • Maple syrup is distinguished based on color and taste into four maple syrup grades. From light to dark they are: Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, Grade A Dark and Grade A Very Dark.
  • The darker the syrup, the stronger its flavor. Syrup produced earlier in the season tends to be lighter in color and more subtle in flavor. Later in the season, syrup tends to be darker and more robust, but all maple syrup is produced by exactly the same process.

Be sure to budget for tasty souvenirs you can enjoy all year long. Many establishments also offer sleigh and wagon rides, dog sledding, and other winter fun.