Our guide to where to get your classic New England spring sugar fix.

One of the great harbingers of spring in New England is maple sugaring. Below is our guide to sites around Boston where you can see trees tapped and visit steamy sugar shacks where sap is boiled down to rich amber sweetness. Keep in mind that it’s a tradition that’s endangered—over the past half century the sugar in maple sap has declined by half, which scientists believe may be caused by global warming stressing the trees. And Note: These tours fill up, so advance registration is highly recommended.

Monday to Saturday, through March 23
Maple Sugaring Tours | Natick Community Organic Farm, 117 Eliot Street, Natick
Hour-long tours show how to tap a tree, explain how Native Americans and colonial settlers made maple syrup, and demonstrate the process in a sugar shack.
Cost: $8. Registration required.

Boiling maple sap down to syrup in the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary sugar house in Topsfield, March 2014. (Greg Cook)
Boiling maple sap down to syrup in the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary sugar house in Topsfield, March 2014. (Greg Cook)

Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18
Sugaring Off Tours | Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield
Naturalists lead hour-long tours showing how to identify a sugar maple, tapping and sap collection methods. Watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse and taste the final syrup. Hot dogs cooked in maple sap (aka sap dogs), soups and desserts will be available for purchase.
Members $10/$8, Nonmembers $11/$9. Registration is required.

Saturday and Sunday, March 17, 18 and 25
Maple Sugaring Weekends | Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon
A 90-minute outdoor, guided tour shows the sugaring process from tree to table via historical reenactors who show how sugaring has evolved from Native American to colonial to current procedures. Then taste of the final product. Pancakes with syrup, “sap” dogs (hotdogs cooked in maple sap), maple-sugar dusted popcorn available for purchase.
Adults $10, Children $10. Registration is required.

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Sap to Syrup | Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon
For children ages 4 to 6. Learn how to find sap dripping out of tapped trees, discover how sap is turned into syrup, compare the taste of pure maple syrup and imitation syrup.
em>Members: $9, Nonmembers: $12. Registration required.

Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25
Maple Sugar Days Festival | Brookwood Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Road, Canton
Discover how people learned to get sugar from a tree, with hands-on demonstrations of sugar making tools. Then watch sap cooking into syrup in the sugar house and taste real maple syrup. Plus games for children, a warming bonfire, artisan crafts demonstrations, and horse-drawn wagon rides ($3/person).
Adults $10, Children $5 Children. Registration not required.

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Categories: Kids Nature