Published on February 13, 2020

Maple Sugaring Programs at Ipswich River

The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling, billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse. No matter your age, we offer many ways to take advantage of the age-old tradition of maple sugaring here at Ipswich River!

Weekend Sugaring Tours • Spring Flapjack Fling • Sugaring Tours for Schools


Sugaring Off Tours

Saturdays & Sundays, February 29–March 21

Sap buckets on tree © Marie-Anne Verougstraete
© Marie-Anne Verougstraete

On our naturalist-guided tours, learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse, and get a sweet taste of the final product.

Afterwards, warm up by the woodstove in the Barn, where hot dogs cooked in maple sap (aka sap dogs) and delicious soups and desserts made by our volunteers are available for purchase. Visit our gift shop to browse a selection of maple products, and be sure to bring home a bottle of our own freshly made maple syrup.

Members: $11 adult, $9 child
Nonmembers: $12 adult, $10 child 

Tours last about an hour and run in all weather. Advanced registration is required.

Register Online >


Spring Flapjack Fling

Saturday, March 21

Pancakes on griddle © Kanko (via Wikimedia)
© Kanko (via Wikimedia)

Wrap up the maple sugaring season with our annual pancake breakfast! Bring your family and friends and enjoy the fruit—well, sap—of our labor, then take a sap-to-syrup sugaring tour.

The menu includes flapjacks with Ipswich River's own maple syrup as well as fruit, orange juice, coffee, tea, and milk. The breakfast sitting is 45 minutes, followed by a 1-hour sugaring tour to see and learn about the entire sap-to-syrup process. Advance registration is required.

Breakfast & Tour

8:15 am, 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm
$20 Adults • $15 Children • Babies on laps are free

Sugaring Tour Only

9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Members: $11 adult, $9 child • Nonmembers: $12 adult, $10 child • Free for children under 3 (must be in backpack carrier)

Register Online >


Maple Sugaring Tours for Schools

Pre-K – Grade 8

Maple tap with frozen sap © Gary Johnson
© Gary Johnson

We offer tours for schools Tuesday through Friday during select weeks in February and March. Learn about the sap collecting methods and the sap making processes used by Native Americans and modern sugar makers. We will observe trees and wildlife in late winter and taste sap from the buckets. We will end the tour with a visit to our sugar house to see how sap changes to maple syrup, and of course, for a sweet sample of our fresh syrup! 

  • Cost: All programs are $9 per person
  • Dates: February 12-15, February 26-March 15
  • Times: 9:30-10:30 am, 11:00 am-noon, 12:30-1:30 pm

→ To book a program for your class, contact Stina MacDougall by email or by calling 978-887-9264 x7705.