Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities

Volunteer showing girls how to tapa maple tree at a Warner Nature Center maple-syruping event, Minnesota

With an abundance of nature centers around the Twin Cities, we have ample opportunities to learn about and participate in the maple syruping. This is the process of taking the sap of a maple tree and turning it into the maple syrup we find in grocery stores. Look for one or more of the following activities and/or demonstrations at these events: tapping the maple trees, collecting the sap, boiling it into syrup, and the best part — according to my kids, anyway — a sample of the finished product.

March is usually maple tapping month in Minnesota – the best time to tap maple trees. Although, depending on conditions, it could start as early as January or as late as May. The weather is ideal for maple sap when we reach that freeze/thaw period of the winter – where there are warmer daytime temperatures (near the 40s), but then below freezing temps overnight. Once the early buds start popping on the trees in April, the season is over.

Check back often through March of 2024, because we’ll keep adding events as they are announced.

Maple syrup events in the Twin Cities Central Metro 

Fort Snelling State Park

101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul, MN 55111
FORT SNELLING STATE PARK has a long annual tradition of offering maple syrup programs to Twin Cities-area folk and making them kid-friendly. Our family enjoys spending time in this, one of several urban-area Minnesota State Parks, mostly hiking and biking the trails along the Minnesota River. There’s exciting HISTORIC FORT SNELLING atop the bluff to explore, too (separate fees apply). March 3, 17 and 30, 2024, 12-2pm. REGISTER BY 1 DAY PRIOR. FREE admission, but a $7 park day vehicle permit is required.

If you can’t make one of the events, you can learn more on the DNR’s Syruping Page: Did you know, that it takes approximately 30 to 40 gallons of sugar maple sap to produce just one gallon of syrup? And sugar maples are the most productive. Other maples will make less. That, and the short season, explains why a bottle can be so expensive.

Variety of maple syrup products at the Pond House in Bloomington, Minnesota
Maple Syrup at the Pond House

Maple syruping in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro

Baker Outdoor Learning Center

2309 Baker Park Road, Maple Plain, MN 55359
It’s worth a trip out to BAKER OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER northwest of Minneapolis-St Paul to take in a spring maple syrup program:

  • MAPLE SYRUPING: Learn about maple tree tapping and boiling sap into syrup. Then, taste test to see if you can tell grocery store syrup from the real stuff. Outdoor program. Registration is required by two days prior. March 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2024. $6/pp.
  • MY PRESCHOOLER & ME: NATURE DISCOVERIES: A parent-child program for preschoolers ages 3-5. Storytime first with Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack by Alan Page. Then hike to the maple sugar bush to learn more about maple syrup. Dress for outdoors, registration required. Registration is required. March 16, 2024, 10-11:30am. $6/pp.

Eastman Nature Center

13351 Elm Creek Road, Dayton, MN 55369
EASTMAN NATURE CENTER is operated by Three Rivers Parks – a collection of park locations that traditionally offer an abundance of inexpensive, family-friendly opportunities to learn about maple syrup. This year, Eastman has scheduled the following programs:

  • SAP COLLECTING: Free, drop-in programs that include helping to tap sugar maples, learning about and tasting the final product. March 24, 30 & 31, 2024; 1-4pm. FREE.
  • MAPLE SYRUP PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS: Special program about maple syrup designed just for ages 4-5 with caregiver. This is an immersive, outdoor program with registration required. March 12, 2024. $6/pp.
  • JOURNEY INTO THE SUGARBUSH: A naturalist-led exploration of the sugarbush and the process of tapping maples trees and turning sap into syrup. Registration is required. March 9, 10, 16 & 17, 2024. Please visit link for start times. $6/pp.
  • EASTMAN MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL: Explore the Eastman sugarbush, help collect sap, watch maple syrup cooking at the cauldron and learn about maple syrup science, history and the impact of climate change. March 23, 2024, 1-4pm. $6/pp. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT MAPLE SYRUP: On their maple syruping page, Three Rivers explains the science of syruping. For instance, the part of the tree that we tap into, is called the xylem layer. It works a bit like our own blood vessels, carrying water from the tree’s roots to its leaves. Keep reading for more upcoming maple syrup events at Three Rivers Parks.

Historic Eidem Farm

4345 101st Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Shadow farm staff as they collect and process maple syrup at the MAPLE SYRUPING AT THE FARM event. A tasty maple treat around a bonfire is included. Pre-registration required. Learn more about year-round programming at HISTORIC EIDEM FARM. March 23, 2024, 2pm-3:30pm. $6/pp. Register for event #180010.


Maple syruping in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro

Harriet Alexander Nature Center

2520 Dale St N., Roseville, MN 55113
IT’S TAPPING TIME! A FREE event, with tours and stations for identifying maple trees, tree tapping, sap cooking, and sampling maple flavor. Craft kits to take home. Families can purchase their own syrup for waffles and pancakes at home. Learn more about events at HARRIET ALEXANDER NATURE CENTER. March 23-24, 2024. 10am-4pm on Saturday and 12-4pm on Sunday.

Tamarack Nature Center

5287 Otter Lake Rd. White Bear Township, MN 55110
SAP TO SYRUP: Learn all about the process of tapping maple trees for syrup during a 45-minute guided tour. Registration required for staggered start times. Learn more about events at TAMARACK NATURE CENTER. March 16 or 23, 2024; noon-3pm. $7/pp.

Wargo Nature Center

7701 Main Street, Lino Lakes, MN 55038
At the MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL, learn about the tradition of gathering maple sap and cooking it down to make the sap turn into maple syrup and sugar. Make maple crafts and go on a scavenger hunt. Learn more about WARGO NATURE CENTER in Lino Lakes. Pre-registration required. Search keyword: “maple”. March 23, 2024, 12pm-2pm. $5/pp+ vehicle fee.

Preschool Maple Syrup Program at Warner Nature Center in Minnesota
Preschool Children taste test Maple Syrup

Maple syrup events in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

Carpenter-St Croix Nature Center

12805 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033
Two upcoming MAPLE SYRUPING programs are offered at the Minnesota campus of the CARPENTER NATURE CENTER (there’s a branch across the border in Hudson, Wisconsin, as well.) Families will learn about trees as they hike to the sugarbush. Then tap maple trees and learn the process of turning sap into syrup, with a sample at the end. Dress for snow and mud. March 16 & 23, 2024. $8. 1pm-3pm. Registration is required – Call 651-437-4359.

Dodge Nature Center

365 Marie Avenue West St. Paul, MN 55118
DODGE NATURE CENTER includes a working farm on its property and trails that wind through trees that can be tapped for maple syrup programs. This spring Dodge is hosting the following events at its West St Paul parcel:

  • DODGE PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Pancakes with real maple syrup – yum! Afterwards, take a naturalist-led hike to learn about the syruping process. March 9, 2024, drop in between 8-10:30am. FREE, donations appreciated.
  • MAPLE SYRUPING: Ages 6+ with caregivers can observe the process of turning tree sap into syrup at Dodge Nature Center. Visit the evaporator and sample real maple syrup and sugar if you like. Registration required. March 9, 16 & 23, 2024. $8/pp.

Collage of spring farm baby event at Dodge Nature Center in South St. Paul, Minnesota


Maple syrup events in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

Baylor Regional Park

9406 10775, County Rd 33, Norwood Young America, MN 55397
In early April BAYLOR REGIONAL PARK, west of the Minneapolis-St Paul metro, presents two special maple syrup programs:

  • FAMILY MAPLE SYRUP TOUR: The event is designed for all ages. Registration required. April 2, 2024, 5:30pm-7pm, $10/pp
  • MAPLE SYRRUP FESTIVAL: Families can experience the process of maple syrup making from tapping to boiling during this program for all ages. Registration required. April 6, 2024, 10am-1pm, $10/pp. 

Cleary Lake Regional Park

18106 Texas Avenue, Prior Lake, MN 55372
HANDS ON HISTORY – MAPLE SUGARING: This historical interpreter-led program explores the cultural significance of maple syrup while getting hands-on (and taste) experience. Reservations required. Learn more about CLEARY LAKE REGIONAL PARK in Prior Lake. March 16 & 17, 2024. $6/pp.

Eden Prairie Outdoor Center

13765 Staring Lake Parkway, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Join the EDEN PRAIRIE OUTDOOR CENTER, nestled within Staring Lake Park, for two maple syrup programs this spring:

  • MAPLE SYRUP MAKING: Families will learn the history of maple syruping and participating in making a makuk container. Registration required. Activity #187212. March 3, 2024, 2-4pm and March 9, 2024 & March 16, 2024, 2pm-3:30pm; $12/family. 
  • MAPLE SYRUP MOON & SPRING EQUINOX: Learn a little about the Maple Syrup Moon while attending this night hike. Dress for mid-March weather. Registration required. Activity #187207-03. March 23, 2024. $9/pp. 

Gale Woods Farm

7210 County Road 110 West, Minnetrista, MN 55364
At the annual MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL families can collect sap at the charming and very much real-working GALE WOODS FARM, watch maple syrup cooking and sample syrup on pancakes. March 16, 2024, 10am-2pm. $8/pp. 

Small girl watching maple syruping process at Gale Wood Farm in Minnesota
Gale Wood Farms

Lowry Nature Center

7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, MN 55386
LOWRY NATURE CENTER bursts with a mix of different maple syrup programs for all ages this March. Browse to get a feel for what might interest your family:

  • LOWRY AT NIGHT: LAMPLIGHT MAPLE SYRUP: Explore the sugarbush after dark to learn about maple syruping. Dress for 90-minutes outdoors. Registration required. March 5, 2024, 6:30-8pm. $6/pp.
  • MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL: Make maple sugar and syrup, watch a tree being tapped and learn about this tradition and stop by the Sugar Shack to taste the maple syrup. March 23, 2024, sessions between 1-4pm. $6/pp.
  • SUGAR BUSH PHOTO HIKE: Naturalist-led photo hike through a maple-basswood forest. You’ll learn a little about the maple syrup process and taste samples. Pre-Register for this event. Saturday, March 9, 2023; 12:30–2:30pm. $6/pp.
  • LAURA INGALLS MAPLE SYRUPING: Listen to stories about Laura Ingalls tapping trees in the Big Woods. Then try it for yourself. Dress for messy,  outdoor weather. Registration required. March 30, 2024, 1:30-2:30pm. $6/pp.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318
MAPLEFEST at the MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM includes an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast (with fresh maple syrup, of course) and, for Arb members, admission to the arboretum. The event takes place at the MacMillan Auditorium in the Oswald Visitor Center Reservations required. While at the Arboretum, there’s so much for families with kids to explore! March 23, 2024. Tickets $23/adult, $18/ages 11-15 and members, and $13/ages 3-10

Pond-Dakota Mission Park

401 East 104th Street, Bloomington, MN 55420
MAPLE SUGARING AT THE GIDEON POND HOUSE is all about learning how maple sugar is made, including choosing trees to tap, collecting the sap, and the boiling process of making collected sap into syrup and sugar. Drop-in program for all ages. March 23, 2024; 1-4pm, FREE.

Richardson Nature Center

8737 East Bush Lake Road, Bloomington, MN 55438
We are big fans of RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER and appreciate their steady stream of free event days each month. In March, you can drop in to learn about maple syrup free of charge at
FREE FAMILY FUN DAY: MAPLE SYRUPING. March 3, 2024, 3-4pm. FREE.

Westwood Hills Nature Center

8300 W Franklin Ave, St Louis Park, MN 55426
The very family-friendly, educational and plain old fun WESTWOOD NATURE CENTER hosts a maple syrup event for preschoolers this March. Registration is required as spots are limited:

Wood Lake Nature Center

6710 Lake Shore Drive, Richfield 55423
WOOD LAKE NATURE CENTER, a quiet oasis in Richfield, is offering a lineup of maple syrup programs for all ages. Choose from the following:

  • SATURDAY & SUNDAY SPECIALS: MAGICAL MAPLES: Hike into the woods to help collect and boil syrup in a pot or boiling vessel, then learn a little history and how maple syrup is made. Pre-register to guarantee your spot. Walk-ins as space permits. March 2, 3, 9, 10 & 17 2024. $5/pp. 
  • NATURE ADVENTURERS – MAPLE SYRUP: This parent-child program from preschool kids ages 3-5 will include stories, crafts and outdoor discovery time. Dress for outdoors and please pre-register as space is limited. March 6, 2024, 10am. $10/first child, $5/second child. 
  • MAPLE SYRUP WRAP UP: Last chance to learn about Maple Syrup at Wood Lake this year. Participants can help pull the taps and boil the last of the sap as the syrup season comes to an end. March 24 1:00-2:30 & 3:00-4:30 pm. $5/person. 

Volunteer showing kids how to tap Maple Syrup at Warner Nature Center in Minnesota


15 books to read during maple tapping season

Read aloud picture books

Early readers

Middle grade school readers

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More maple sugaring fun ideas for families

Here are some of our favorite local resources for family fun of the educational kind.

  1. Print a full-color booklet: Minnesota DNR Young Naturalists – Sugar From Trees. Make it home-school fun and print the Teacher’s Guide with multi-disciplinary activities to cover a variety of subjects for 3rd grade through middle school.
  2. Learn the history of Maple Sugaring and the Ojibwe at MNopedia.
  3. Make some maple syrup snow candy with the Kitchen Pantry Scientist.
  4. Make your own DIY pancake kit for kids with Non-Toy Gifts and cook up a pancake meal at home – my kids love mini pancakes.
  5. Tap your backyard maples with instructions from Carpenter Nature Center. This handy printout tells homeowners what is needed for maple sugaring in their own backyards.

Maple Syrup spout dripping clear sap into bucket

How Do I Get Classes Listed?

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This article is currently sponsored through January 31, 2025.

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9 thoughts on “Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities”

  1. Hello
    I am the Program Coordinator at Gale Woods Farm. The listing for our Maple Syrup Festival at is incorrect. The event runs from 10am-2pm NOT 1-4. If it’s possible to post a correction, we would appreciate it!

  2. Here’s an event you missed:

    Sugar Bush Photo Hike
    Saturday, March 9, from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.,
    Lowry Nature Center, in Carver Park Reserve, Victoria.
    Explore Lowry’s sugar bush through the lens of a camera. Go on a photo hike through a maple-basswood
    forest with a naturalist and photographer during the exciting season of maple sugaring. Learn about the
    process of making maple syrup, tap a tree together and sample some of Lowry’s award-winning maple
    syrup. Cost is $6 and reservations are required. Call 763-559-6700 to make a reservation. There is a 20
    percent discount for groups of four or more. This program is open to all ages and children 11 years and
    younger must be accompanied by an adult.

  3. What happens if we tap a tree this weekend with it being upper 30’s and below 30 at night, but then later in the week it doesn’t get above freezing or it barely does. Are we done for the season or ?

    1. That is an excellent question and one I can’t answer, but the experts at these events probably can. I was wondering myself if we would have a short season this year.

  4. Pingback: Family Fun Twin Cities: Maple Syruping with Kids in the Twin Cities - doitinnorth

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