It’s that wonderful sticky time of year when days grow longer and the trees get tapped to start the process of making maple syrup. In March and early April families all around Ontario can get a taste of the maple magic.

Take a trip to the woods to learn about maple syrup making, followed by some taste testing of course, often over pancakes! Many of the farms and festivals, also have crafts, wagon rides, and other family activities. It’s a great day out for the whole family.

The Best Maple Syrup Farms and Festivals in the GTA

Here are the places we recommend if you are looking for some family fun involving syrup. These are listed in order of the date they open for 2019.

Maple Town (Milton)

Mountsberg Conservation Area’s sugar bush has been producing syrup for more than 150 years. See how sap is magically transformed into syrup and smell the fragrant steam rising from simmering kettles. Highlights: indoor pancake house, Play Barn, wagon rides, sugar bush tours, maple candy tasting, Raptor Centre with live birds of prey.

Open weekends March 2–April 7 and daily during March break (March 11–15); 10 am–4 pm
Admission $7.75 adults (ages 15+), $5.50 kids (ages 5–14), free for ages 4 and under

Sweet Water Season (Milton)

Get a historic perspective on maple syrup as the First Nations people knew it at a reconstructed Iroquois village in the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Learn how maple syrup was discovered by the Iroquois through an interactive demonstration. Highlights: maple taffy tasting, maple syrup “flights”, discovery hunt for kids.

Open weekends March 2–April 7 and daily during March break (March 11–15); 10 am–4 pm
Admission $7.75 adults (ages 15+), $5.50 kids (ages 5–14), free for ages 4 and under
Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival (photo: Ontario Parks)

Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival (Oakville)

At this annual maple syrup festival, 1890s costumed interpreters give guided tours and demonstrate how to tap maple trees and make maple syrup and maple sugar. View artifacts in the maple museum or tour the 100-year-old Spruce Lane Farmhouse. Highlights: on-site living history museum, family activity centre with games, indoor pancake house, wagon rides

Open weekends March 2–31 and daily during March break (March 11–15); 9:30 am–3 pm
Admission $17 per car; pancake meals from $4

Brooks Farms Maple Sugar Festival (East Gwillimbury)

The maple festival at this farm dedicated to year-round famly fun features self-guided and guided educational tours, sap and syrup tastings, and more. Later in the season, the 10-acre Barnyard Playland is more likely to be open. Or your visit with the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which starts April 13. Highlights: indoor pancake house, train/wagon rides, campfire in the sugar bush, Barnyard Playland, Farm Market & Bakery

Open daily March 9–17, weekends March 23–April 14; 9 am–4 pm (tours 10 am–2:30 pm)
Admission $10 per person (under age 2 free); pancake meals from $4.50; Easter Egg Hunt dates (April 13–14) $14 per person

Maple Syrup Festival at Westfield Heritage Village (Hamilton)

Learn about the making of maple syrup in different time periods, beginning with Canada’s First Nations, then the 19th-century pioneers, then walk through the woods to the sugar shack to see how Westfield makes its own maple syrup today. Highlights: pancake breakfast, antique tractor wagon rides, historic buildings, gift shop.

Open March 3, 10, 13, 14, 17, 24, and 31; 10 am–4 pm
Admission $12 adults, $6.50 ages 6–17, free for ages 5 and under

Maple Magic (Mississauga)

This family festival at the Bradley Museum isn’t a sugar bush experience, but is all about the syrup, with sap-related history and learning, maple trivia, maple treats, and pancakes, along with historic Bradly House tours. Highlights: pancake lunch, oversize family games, petting zoo, Camp Lumberjack.

Open March 9–17; noon–4 pm
Admission $9.04 adults, $6.25 kids, $22.60 family

Sugar Shacks and Maple Syrup Festivals Near Toronto
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival at Bruce’s Mill (photo: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority)

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival at Bruce’s Mill (Stouffville)

Enjoy the great outdoors as you walk along a “maple trail” detailing the making of maple syrup. In addition to maple tasting and tours, this festival features kids’ entertainers and non-syrup-related hands-on activities. Highlights: wagon rides, Treewalk Village, clown, wood-carving demos, archery, life-size games, maze.

Open weekends March 9–April 7 and daily during March break (March 11–15); 9:30 am–5 pm
Admission $10 adults, $6.50 kids, free for ages 4 and under; $4 parking; does not include Treewalk Village or wagon rides

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival at Kortright Centre (Woodbridge)

Winter in the woods has never been so sweet! Aside from the maple syrup demonstrations and pancakes, the conservation area will have face painters, balloon artists, and more entertainment. Highlights: pancake meals, wagon rides, face painting, balloon twisting, Pawsitively Pets, Maple Syrup by Lamplight Tours, life-size games, maze, gift shop.

Open weekends March 9–April 7 and daily during March break (March 11–15); 10 am–5 pm
Admission $10 adults, $6.50 kids, free for ages 4 and under; $4 parking; does not include pancakes, wagon rides, or Maple Syrup by Lamplight

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival at Terra Cotta (Halton Hills)

Syrup-making demos, pancakes, sugar bush hikes are on the schedule daily during the festival, but check the schedule for entertainment like chainsaw carving, a “flying” dog show, a magician, puppet shows, and Métis and folk music. Highlights: pancake house, taffy station, wood branding station, giant games, axe throwing, puppet show, magician, music, blacksmith.

Open weekends March 9–April 7 and daily during March break (March 11–15); 9:30 am–5 pm
Admission $10 adults, $6.50 kids, free for ages 4 and under; does not include pancake house and some activities

Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival (Oshawa)

See how maple syrup was made over 400 years ago through to the modern methods of today, visit a replica pioneer cabin, take part in hands-on activities, and enjoy some hot pancakes at the top of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Highlights: indoor pancake house, horse-drawn wagon rides, pioneer cabin, pioneer games, maple taffy, gift shop.

March 8–10, 13–17, 23–24, and 30–31; 9:30–noon or noon–2:30
Admission $6 online, $7 at the door; does not include wagon rides ($2) and pancakes (from $4)

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival at Island Lake (Orangeville)

For just three days in March, head to the Island Lake Conservation Area for entertainment, games, and maple syrup! Highlights: pancake breakfast, Maple Syrup by Lamplight tours, wagon rides, wood branding, face painting, axe throwing, scavenger hunts, vendors, chainsaw carving.

Open March 15, 16, 23; 10 am–4 pm
Admission $10 adults, $6.50 kids, free for ages 4 and under; does not include pancakes or Maple Syrup by Lamplight

Maple in the County (Prince Edward County)

A fun-filled weekend celebrating maple syrup near the end of March. With 10 sugar bushes featuring maple syrup demonstrations, s’mores, pancakes, lumberjack shows, petting zoos, wineries, live music, and more. The event takes place at various locations in Prince Edward County, a two-hour drive east of Toronto. For locations, see the map.

March 30–31; times vary by location
Admission prices vary by location but range from free or by donation to around $10
Top Sugar Shacks and Maple Syrup Festivals Near Toronto
Dozens of Ontario producers, including Shaw’s Maple in Simcoe County, take part in the huge Maple Weekend event (photo: Shaw’s Maple)

Maple Weekend (multiple locations)

More than a dozen sugar houses from the Waterloo-Wellington area to the Ottawa Valley participate in the Ontario Maple Syrup Association’s annual Maple Weekend event. Sample fresh maple syrup, tuck into a pancake breakfast, see sugar-making demos, do a horse-drawn sleigh ride, and more. Each producer has its own itinerary: see the full list of participating maple producers to plan your day. For locations, see the sugar bushes map.

April 6–7; times vary by location
Admission prices vary by location

PCFarms Maple Syrup Festival (Uxbridge)

See a working organic maple syrup farm in action! Pefferlaw Creek Farms, a family-run, 200-acre organic maple syrup farm in Uxbridge, is hosting a maple syrup festival for the second year. Highlights: wagon rides, maple taffy, sugar bush tours, kids’ crafts and games.

April 2019 date is TBD

Muskoka Maple Trail and Maple Festival (Huntsville)

Experience all things maple on Main Street in downtown Huntsville—the grand finale event to close the Muskoka Maple Trail season. Highlights: all-day pancake breakfast, maple treats of all varieties, maple syrup producer meet-and-greets, live music, beer garden, street performers.

April 27; 9 am–5 pm
Free; does not include food and drink and some activities

Can’t get out of the city?

Try the Sugar Beach Sugar Shack TO event (March 9–10; 11 am–5 pm) for a taste of traditional cabane à sucre activities in downtown Toronto, including maple taffy tasting, ice skating, obstacle course, winter marketplace, and specialty bar. Admission is free.

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