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Local Treks

Monday, 09 March 2009

Maple Sugaring Festival

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My friend Sara is a genius at finding great things to do with the kids.  I get to say that because she's not writing this post herself.  But it's true, she is.  Her formula is pretty simple - check the local community papers first.  Find the parks and nature centers, look for the stuff that seems a little off the beaten track.

A good (and muddy) example would be this weekend's annual Maple Sugar Day in the Wissahickon Park section of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park.  Based on the expressions of passers by on the very popular Forbidden Lane trail,  when they saw the tables set up to explain the maple sugaring process, many never realized such a day existed. Or that there were syrup-providing maple trees within the city limits Philadelphia.

Happily, both are true, and the Friends of the Wissahickon volunteers were fantastic at explaining both - to children and adults alike.  Our guides let the kids taste the sap straight from the tree ("like water, but kind of sugary" was the verdict) and talked about how this sap came to be in the tree - and what kinds of tools were used to get it out.  A little further down the way, another volunteer was boiling the sap to syrup.  And a third was taking syrup and heating it, then cooling it, to make maple sugar candies.

We stopped by this particular table for a while, and the girls listened while the candymaking process was explained.  We are all certain that the explanation went in one ear and out the other, with the exception of a fine refrain of 'candy…… candy…. candy' that kept them rapt.

Keep an eye on the calendar - this day moves around!  When: Early Spring.  Where - outside of Philadelphia Pa.
Posted in Acting like a child : Americas : March-May : Young Child by Fran W. at 3:24 PMPermalink

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