Attending an open house or tour at New England’s maple sugarhouses is a wonderful way to ease out of winter hibernation, stretch the limbs, loosen the heavy muffler, and see nature up close as it begins to wake up to the new spring.
Out in the sugar maple groves – which maple people call the “sugarbush – it really does feel like an awakening. Cool nights and warm days get sap flowing into taps, buckets and plastic tubing.
Outdoors, snow is piled loosely in shaded areas, but receding fast. Green sprouts may be popping up and birds and forest animals are getting more active. At the
Sap is headed to the “sugarhouse,” a shack where wood-fired heaters boil the sap to steam off the water and create the syrup.
Indoors, guests can watch the boiling off process and taste syrup, candy, sugar-on-snow and other maple treats. Some sugarhouses live side-by-side or near small cafes where maple reigns at the king ingredient.
All northern New England states host Open House weekends at sugarmakers. Many towns host maple festivals, which add entertainments, music, arts and crafts, pancake breakfasts, horse-drawn wagon rides and other fun to the season. Take your kids on a half-day or full-day tour; they will have a blast.
See our Fairs and Festivals page for all of New England. Here are some of the major events:
March 4-25 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Come to Old Sturbridge Village on weekends in March to see maple sugaring as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England at a real working sugar camp. See the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to "sugaring off." See demonstrations of the traditional Native American methods, early 19th-century New England, 20th century metal buckets, and contemporary tubing. Costumed historians will also cook period foods made with maple products.
Whitingham Maple Festival, March 17-18 in Whitingham and Jacksonville, Vermont
Seven Whitingham sugar makers welcome the public to learn about the art of maple syrup and sugar making and the historical importance of sugaring. Other events include and craft fair, pancake breakfasts, sugar on snow and ham dinner, craft fair and horse drawn sleigh rides.
Hebron Maple Festival on March 17-18 in Hebron, Connecticut
The Maple Festival is held throughout the Town of Hebron. Events include tours at Wenzel Sugar House, Woody Acres Sugar House, and Pierce's Sugar House; chainsaw carvers; fire truck tours; historic church tours; scavenger hunt, letter boxing at Burnt Hill park; pellet stove demos; craft fair at the Gilead Church; blacksmithing, woodworking, and wood turning demonstrations; Revolutionary War encampment; ice cream eating contest; birds of prey exhibition; silent auction.
Massachusetts Maple Weekend, March 17-18 at sugarhouses in Massachusetts
Sugarhouses around the state will be open for tours and demonstrations.
Maple Festival and Irish Celebration Day on March 17 at Curran Homestead, Orrington, Maine
Sap will be turned into maple syrup on the wood stove, and there will be Irish music and food in celebration of the Curran family's Hibernian ancestry.
Vermont Maple Open House Weekend on March 24-25, 2018
Maple producers throughout the state
Visit sugarhouses across Vermont, watch sap being harvested and maple syrup being made. Many sugarhouses host special events like pancake breakfasts, tours of the sugarbush (the maple tree groves), live music, and kids’ activities. Check event website for list of participating sugarhouses.
Maple Madness,March 24 atWoodstock Inn and Suicide Six ski area, Woodstock, Vermont
Enjoy maple tastings, a silent auction, door prizes, cash bar, and live entertainment.
Maple-Fest Celebration 2018 on March 24 in Poultney, Vermont
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, 5K Fun Run, Craft Fair *10 a.m.-3 p.m.), horse and wagon rides, story hour at the Poultney Public Library, sap raffle, silent auction, maple dinner, pictures with Sugar Bear.
Maine Maple Sunday 2018 n March 25 at sugar houses statewide in Maine
On Maine Maple Sunday, sugarhouses of Maine celebrate this sweet Maine product by opening their doors to the public for tours and events and tastings. They are pleased to offer maple stories, and maple foods for sale. Maine Maple Sunday is officially one day, but some sugarhouses are open all weekend.
New Hampshire Maple Weekend, March 24-25 at sugarhouses in New Hampshire
More than 60 sugarhouses across the state participate in this open house. Learn how maple syrup is made; plus free samples, horse-drawn rides, sugar on snow, pancake breakfasts, and more.
Maple Sugar Festival 2018 at Boyden Valley Winery on March 24-25 at Boyden Valley Winery & Farm, Cambridge, Vermont
Festival includes sugar on snow tastings; tours of a working sugar house; syrup tastings; tastings of Vermont Maple Reserve, Gold Leaf, and Vermont Ice Maple Crème Liqueur; free parking and admission. Email email@example.com
Vermont Maple Festival 2018 in St. Albans on April 27-29 in St. Albans
Visitors flock all over the U.S. and the world visit downtown St. Albans for maple treats, maple fun, and the chance to see the maple sugaring industry in action. What goes on? Live entertainment; antique show; craft show; paint and sip, tastings of beer, cider, and mead; sugarhouse tours; pancake breakfasts; a carnival; . Schedule of events.
St. Johnsbury World Maple Festival 2018 on April 28 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Saturday morning opens with a 5k run and a pancake breakfast at the Welcome Center. The street festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Railroad Street. Entertainment will be provided all day long and the streets will be lined with over 60 craft and food vendors.