We know HubCityFoodies enjoyed the Riverview Maplefest. Did you? Here’s a little taste of what was happening:
Maple Syrup Season is New Brunswick’s fifth season.
It’s the “thaw” that comes every year. When the sun suddenly feels much warmer than it did the day before, with the familiar winter chill most nights.
This change in the temperature is what allows the sap to “run.” We harvest this maple sap and turn it into the maple syrup we all enjoy. There are certainly a few more steps to the process … But you can learn more about them when visiting one of our local New Brunswick maple syrup producers.
My family loves taking advantage of the fifth season — the extra daylight hours and the Maplelicious treats. There are a few traditions we do every single year, but this year I’ve crafted a few more things to do during maple syrup season. Afterall, why not make the most of something so sweet!?
Here is my list of family friendly maple syrup season activities:
- Make Learning Fun with a Game:
- My 5 year old is extremely curious, like many children his age. Learning about maple products, where it comes from and the methods behind turning the sweet sap into four grades of New Brunswick Maple Syrup can be a fun activity to do at home. “What-Cha Doing?”, by New Brunswick author Kim Renton makes a great reading choice for curious little minds and is a good way to learn at home.
Another option is this maple syrup bottle connect the dot game that is part of my Canadian Travel Activity Booklet. The booklet has fun activities like coloring, search and find, connect the dots and is designed to spark conversation and learning.
- Visit a Sugar Camp: Maple Syrup Season is not complete without a visit to a Sugar Camp (locally referred to as a sugar shack). If they hold a brunch, you will want to get there early and be sure to arrive hungry. Menu’s often include breakfast staples, like eggs, bacon, ham, meat pie, baked beans, sausage, pancakes and more all with the sticky sweetness of maple syrup. Maple brunch is a meal and an experience you will not forget.
- Try something new with maple taffy on ice: There is a good chance you’ve asked your child at least once this winter not to eat the snow… I know, me too… but what if we really shake things up by pouring hot maple taffy over snow and then rolling it onto a popsicle stick to make a Maplelicious lollipop?! It’s fun for the kids and a tasty tradition I look forward to year after year.
- Shop the season: Whether you go to a sugar camp, a local coffee shop or the grocery store keep an eye out for New Brunswick’s maple products. Many bakeries will also be offering a maple treat this time of year; Maple syrup is always on my list, but I can’t leave Sucrerie Chiasson without a box of maple cream cones.
- Make a new recipe: Maple Syrup Season is the perfect time of year to try something new. With the coldest part of the winter behind us there are many recipe options to choose from whether you’re cooking dinner, baking a new treat or trying your hand at a family favorite with a maple twist. From specialty coffees, to roasted pork to crème brulée there is sure to be a recipe that interests you and your family from the Maplelicious recipe book.
New Brunswick’s fifth season is a special time of the year. Whether you read about it, color pictures, visit a sugar camp or enjoy maple syrup on waffles all year long we’d love to see how you are enjoying the season.
Be sure to share your pictures and tag #mapleliciousNB
Jenna Macdonald, There’s a Shoe for That
Jenna is the voice behind “There’s a Shoe for That”, a family and travel blog. She believes there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting, travelling or living – but that there is a shoe for everyone, everything and every moment in life. She provides helpful tips, printables, inspiration for your next adventure (at home or on the go) and always knows where to get the best ice cream. Jenna and her family live in northern New Brunswick where they take on each new adventure and live life one step at a time together.
You can follow along with their adventures on www.theresashoeforthat.com and social media.
Covid-19 has changed a lot this past year, but one tradition is still the same — starting spring with a maple breakfast in the woods, and taffy on the snow.
There’s nothing more iconic of our Canadian spring than friends and family finally getting outside, and tasting some delicious maple treats at the same time.
A lot of our maple shacks still aren’t able to operate at full capacity, but some are finding ways to make our annual maple experience still possible.
There are a few brunch restaurants open in the province, but there are all sorts of other great reasons to get outside and support your local producers.
Keep these points in mind when planning your visit:
- Be sure to call ahead. Before visiting your nearest maple shack, check if you need a reservation for breakfasts, or tours. Some are operating at reduced hours too.
- Stick to your family bubble. While it may be tempting to call up old friends, keep your visit limited to your bubble.
- And of course, bring a mask!
Here are five surgeries that can accommodate guests this year:
( And one last thing to remember — be sure to take pictures! Tag @mapleliciousNB and use the #mapleliciousNB hashtag for a chance to be featured on our channels!)
Sucrerie Chiasson, Paquetville
Location: 244 Rue des Érables
Phone: 506 764-3277
Facebook: Sucrerie Chiasson
Sucrerie Chiasson in Paquetville is open, but only at their location at 244 Rue des Érables, and only at limited capacity.
Not much has changed for visitors. There’s a server instead of their usual buffet style breakfast, and someone has to roll your taffy on the snow, but otherwise, you can enjoy an authentic maple breakfast with your bubble.
Trites Maples, Stilesville
Location: 1270 Gorge Rd, Stilesville
Phone: (506) 383-5190
Facebook: Trites Maples
Trites Maple in Stilesville, just outside of Moncton, has decided to do things a little differently this year. Instead of their usual breakfast, they turned their pancake house into their “sales center.”
A maximum of 8 guests at a time can buy an assortment of maple products, including pre-made taffy in a tub, which can be heated, and poured on the snow at home.
“People are appreciating the walk through the woods, and can keep some normalcy to their spring-time routine,” said Joyce Trites.
Dumfries Maples, Dumfries
Location: 7520 Route 102, NB
Phone: (506) 575-8277
Facebook: Dumfries Maples
Dumfries Maples is continuing to hold their maple breakfasts, but at a reduced capacity. Be sure to call ahead and book your time. This weekend is already fully booked.
But you can still come and get some taffy on the snow, which they don’t require reservations for.
“[You’re] more than welcome to come and get some fresh air and take a walk, and get some taffy,” said Jane Scott.
Little Mactaquac Maple, Scotch Settlement
Location: 75 Scotch Lake Rd Scotch Settlement (follow the signs)
Phone: (506) 363-2504 or 260-1867
Facebook: Little Mactaquac Maple
Little Mactaquac Maple doesn’t offer breakfast, but they do have tours that are going on pretty much like normal. With a little social distancing, and mandatory masks inside, they are able to offer their $5 tours, without a reservation. Just park your car and walk the 200 m to the sugar camp.
City of Moncton Sugar Camp, Coverdale
Location: 6 Dewey Rd, Coverdale Parish
Website: City of Moncton Sugar Camphttps://www.moncton.ca/things-do/moncton-maple-sugar-camp-book-tour
The City of Moncton’s Maple Sugar camp is focused on educating, and they’re still able to do that. Call ahead to book a tour and let Heather Fraser explain the importance of the maple industry, while demonstrating how sap comes from the trees to your table. And get a taste of taffy on the snow while you’re at it.