It’s maple syrup time!

If you are looking for something fun and inexpensive to do with your family, why not head out on a day trip into the country to visit your local sugar bush? It’s distinctly Canadian, budget-friendly and educational too.

You can also stock up on that liquid gold right from the source.

Nature’s theme park

A trip out to your local sugar bush isn’t exactly a trip to the amusement park, but your family can really make a day of it. First of all, there is the top-notch breakfast/brunch offered at these places- with stacks of pancakes and maple syrup (of course).

There are also usually sleigh or wagon rides, tours and lessons on how maple syrup is made, nature walks and more. Check out your local spot and see what they offer. Some places even have playgrounds and activities for the kids.

It’s good value and good fun. The big question is- what will you do with that maple syrup once you get home? Think beyond the pancake.

Maple chicken

Maple syrup is great to cook with because of its flavourful glazing. Brown four boneless chicken breasts in a pan. Meanwhile, mix together 1 cup of maple syrup, 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard and 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar. Coat chicken and simmer on low, turning frequently until cooked.

Maple syrup and toast

No dessert in the house, but fancy a sweet treat? Make toast squares and dip them in maple syrup. Tasty- and a little different flavour than your typical pancake, waffle or French toast.

Maple nuts

We’ve often proclaimed the health and budgetary benefits of nuts. Have you ever jazzed them up by glazing them with maple syrup?

Toss a couple of cups of almonds, peanuts, cashews in 2 tbsp. each maple syrup and brown sugar. Roast for about 10 mins in a 325 degree oven. A great snack to keep on hand.