Ontario parks have some interesting events each year and Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s legendary Maple Syrup Festival lives up to the coolness meter.
Yes, folks: Fresh Ontario maple syrup will flow over pancakes, bacon and more as visitors prepare to celebrate an annual spring tradition.
Fresh air, maple candy, and lots of fun await visitors of all ages!
“I think our Maple Syrup Festival is fantastic because it celebrates a delicious and very important part of our Ontario heritage and transports visitors back to a simpler time,” says Sheila Wiebe, Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Bronte Provincial Park Creek.
Here are 6 reasons to put on the long johns and get cheesy this March:
1. Channel your inner Victorian
Our festival focuses on the period 1899-1910 and the original buildings of Spruce Lane Farm.
Join us around their old home as park staff, in period costume, prepare candy on wood stoves while explaining the joys and hardships of living off the land. There’s no heat here, no hydro, no running water, just old-fashioned hard work and fun.
Kids play and sing songs at the family activity center, or jump on hay bales and visit the farm animals.
2. Learn how maple syrup is made
Join a guided tour of Maple Lane, where you can see how trees are tapped and the methods by which sap has been collected and produced over the past 400 years.
Discover how this delicious superfood gets from trees to tables and why it takes 40 years for maples to be the right size and age to produce this Canadian delicacy. Watch hot syrup being poured into sugar molds and listen as staff explain the process of making maple sugar.
3. No more cabin fever – breathe some fresh, beautiful air
For many visitors to Bronte Creek, the Maple Syrup Festival is their first real foray outdoors since it started snowing before the holidays last December. Dress warmly and you can spend the entire day outdoors taking in the sights and sounds of this iconic Canadian winter experience. No wonder attendance has increased from 5,000 to 52,000 over the past 27 seasons.
4. Teach your children about conservation
Experiential learning is best, especially for kids who love to run, jump, and wander. Your kids will learn as they play: why maple syrup time is so important, why we should respect these beautiful maples, and how the entire sweetening process contributes to our local identity.
“If you understand it, you appreciate it. And if you appreciate it, you can protect it,” says Wiebe.
5. Go from learning to doing
By attending the Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival and other winter activities around the province, children and their families can gain a new appreciation for nature and become stewards of the natural beauty that surrounds us every day of the year.
“As performers, we strive to move people toward environmental stewardship, even by doing something as simple as watching maple syrup flow this time of year or learning how precious the sap is and was to our ancestors. We want people to take what they learn and experience at the festival and share it with others so we can increase stewardship of our parks today and tomorrow,” says Wiebe.
6. Pancakes aren’t just for breakfast!
Do you stack them high and dip them in fresh maple syrup, or do you dip each bite into the syrup?
No matter how you enjoy your pancakes, you can enjoy them as a meal for breakfast, brunch, or a mid-afternoon snack.
Take some syrup home and make a delicious loaf of banana nut bread!
Ready to “seize” the fun at the Bronte Creek Maple Festival?
The festival happens in March! Visit the Bronte Creek events calendar for more information.
Find directions to this Oakville park here.