If you’re looking for a winter family-friendly activity that’s sweet, celebrates the outdoors, and is educational, why not try maple sugaring in NJ? Luckily, you don’t have to travel far—the Garden State has a bunch of places where you can learn about the process of identifying maple trees, collecting sap, making the syrup, as well as tasting the sweet sap (and bringing home the skills to tap your own trees). Scroll down to know more about maple sugaring in NJ, and for winter things to do, check out our guide to Winter Activities in NJ. (featured photo credit: Istock/Marc Bruxelle)
18 Places To Try Maple Sugaring in NJ
(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center
Maple Sugaring Demos February 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27, March 5, 6, and 12 at 1 PM or 2:30 PM
Maple Sugaring for Seedlings March 19 at 10 AM
Learn how to identify and tap maple trees, collect sap, and make real maple syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. Spiles and syrup will be available for purchase while supplies last. For kids under 5, don’t miss Maple Sugaring for Seedlings.
Cost: $5 per person
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, 247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ 07928
The Watershed Institute
February 12 and 19
This presentation will cover the history, folklore, and science of maple sugaring. Find out how to tap the trees while using drills and spiles, and then try a sample of the sweet maple sugar. Kids will be fascinated to learn about the evaporation process and how sap transforms into maple syrup.
Cost: $10 per adult and $10 per child 5 and up
31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, NJ 08534
Tenafly Nature Center
February 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, and 20 with a variety of session times
Bring the whole family out to identify a maple tree, hear about the history of maple sugaring and see how the technology has changed. Dress warmly since the program starts indoors and then heads outside.
Cost: Children under 2 are free, member $8, member family $30, non-member $10. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.
313 Hudson Avenue, Tenafly, NJ 07670
Echo Hill Park
February 16 at 4 PM and February 27 at 1 PM and March 19 (Rain date March 20)
Kids will be thrilled to see the North American tradition of maple sugaring up close. You’ll take a trip through time to experience the art of the sugaring process. Along the way, you will see an early American Frontiersman taping his trees, visit a sugar “farmer” at his evaporator, and enjoy a Native American story about the discovery of maple sap.
Cost: $3 per person, and other programs are at no charge depending on the date
42 Lilac Drive, Flemington, NJ 08822
Maple Sugaring at the Hermitage
February 19 (rain date February 20) at 1 PM
During this program, you’ll learn how to identify sugar maple trees and tap them. They will be tapping a total of 15 trees, and you will even be able to tap one of your own in the end—a great way to try maple sugaring in NJ in your backyard.
Cost: Families $25 and Individuals $15
335 Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423
Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge
February 19, 20, 26, 27, March 5, 6, 12 and 13, times vary
Take part in a 60-minute outdoor program at the Sugar Shack, a half-mile hike from the Environmental Center. See how trees are tapped, view sap-collecting methods from the past and today, and see the boiling process used to make maple syrup.
Cost: $6 per student/senior or $7 per adult
190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
(908) 722-1200 x5002
Howell Living History Farm
February 19 and 26 at various times
On this historic farm, you’ll watch farmers collect sap in the woods, make syrup in the sap house, and then get to taste it on top of whole wheat pancakes after visiting the farmhouse kitchen. Take your newfound knowledge home to tap maple sugar in your backyard.
70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township, NJ 08530
Trailside Nature Center
February 19 and 21 at 11:30 AM
This program shows the journey of sap to syrup, and after, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate by the fire. There will be a wildlife event before and a winter walk scavenger hunt after the maple sugaring event.
Cost: $5 for Union County residents, $6 for non-county residents. Pre-registration is required, and it’s weather permitting.
452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, NJ 07092
The New Weis Center
February 19, 23, 27, and March 5
Learn about the process, history, and ecology of maple sap and syrup. Start with a short hike to learn about winter tree ID, sap ecology, tree biology, and some of the many things sap is used for. Then learn how to tap, collect and taste the sap, then see how the evaporator works. Finish off the day with a syrup taste test.
Cost: $10 per person
150 Snake Den Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456
Rancocas Nature Center
February 20 sign up for the waitlist
Take a self-guided hike with multiple interactive stations along the Rancocas trails. Learn about the sugar maple tree and the history of maple sugaring, watch a tapping demo, and taste the rewards. There will be a campfire burning too.
Cost: members $8, $25 family of 5, non-members $10 and $35 for a family of 5
794 Rancocas Mt. Holly Road, Westhampton, NJ 08060
(609) 261-2495 or email@example.com
Franklin at Lorrimer Sanctuary
February 25 and 26 at 4 PM
Get ready to drill a spile in a tree, collect sap, boil it, and get a tasty reward at the end. This program is all outdoors.
Cost: $10 members, $12 non-members
790 Ewing Avenue, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
February 26 at 10:30 AM
If you are not looking to travel and want to learn what maple sugaring is all about, Duke Farms has a virtual option. Learn about the relationships between the trees and flora and fauna, what they need to thrive, and what valuable lessons humans can learn from them.
Cost: Free; the Zoom link will be sent before the class starts.
Schiff Natural Lands Trust & Schiff Nature Preserve
March 6 at 10 AM and 1:30 PM Demos
This educational presentation will explain the history of maple sugaring, the seasonal life cycle of the sugar maple tree, and how syrup is made, starting with identifying a maple tree through tapping the tree. Watch a wood-fired evaporator at work and then sample the sweet stuff. There’s also a two-mile field walk to the working maple grove if you’re up for it.
Cost: Free for Schiff members, and the non-member fee is $5 per person ages 3 & up
339 Pleasant Valley Road (Use 339 Schiff Dr in your GPS), Mendham, NJ 07945
March 6 at 1 PM, 2 PM, and 3 PM
Learn the steps involved in turning tree sap into delicious maple syrup at the annual all-day Maple Sugar Fest. The whole family will enjoy spending the day outdoors, hiking the trails, and partaking in a Maple Sugaring Challenge—tap it and see how much syrup you can get from the tree. Don’t miss the hot chocolate, maple vendors, and more.
Cost: RRA members and kids under 3 are free, non-members $5
165 Hobart Ave., Summit, NJ 07901
It’s the annual open house to try maple sugaring in NJ. See how the trees are tapped and syrup is made. The farm will post more details closer to the event.
50 Neilson Road, Wantage, NJ 07461
Miller-Cory House Museum Maple Sugar Sunday Story Time and Craft
March 27 at 2 PM
Kids will love to learn how the maple sugar rises and flows how it is collected using wooden buckets and handmade spiles. After, they’ll have storytime and a craft. There will also be open-hearth cooking with period recipes and techniques.
Cost: $5 for adults and children 13 and older, $3 for children ages 3-12. Free for 3 and under
614 Mountain Avenue, Westfield, NJ 07090
Happy Day Farm
February and March 2022 dates to be announced
Did you know that it takes about 80 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup? Take a tractor ride of the 130-acre farm with over 600 maple trees. See the sugar bush and learn about the equipment needed to collect sap. Also, learn how to identify maple trees and even help in the tapping process.
Cost: To be determined, children under 1 and under are free, cash only
106 Iron Ore Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726
Are you going to try maple sugaring in NJ this winter? Let us know!
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