Grab your jacket and a pair of boots (it can get a bit muddy as it is a farm-type environment) and visit from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to step back in time for a historic tour of the Maple Syrup process here in Ontario. You will need $16 for your Daily Vehicular Permit, then a few extra dollars for any various Maple Syrup related gifts or events you might try, such as the first stop.... breakfast!
From the parking lot, you can hop on the free tractor drawn wagon ride to the the Pancake House (Thanks Friends of Bronte Creek!). Inside, they are flipping up fresh pancakes (and your choice of sausage or bacon) (bacon please!) and a healthy dose of pure Maple Syrup with a drink. Purchase a small, medium or family platter of pancakes and head outside to the picnic tables.
The pure Maple Syrup was worth the price of admission alone and it was cute to overhear a child sitting nearby who exclaimed "This is different than the syrup at home" while digging into his pancakes.
Head back to the festival events by hopping back on the tractor ride and be sure to pick up the Festival Passport and Map if you haven't already. Kids can get an Official Park Ranger Card by filling in the seven letters into the passport that are hidden throughout the park.
There are numerous plaques and interactive stations that show you the history of Maple Syrup. Did you know the modern plastic sap gathering pipeline wasn't used until 400 years after sap collection was first recorded?
Group tours take you to each station and explain how sap was collected and made into syrup in Victorian times. The tour guides are excellent and promote learning through hands-on activities and question-and-answer periods.
With farm animals, games for kids, Victorian portraits, Maple Taffy ($2) and a gift shoppe where you can purchase Maple Syrup, there is no shortage of things to do.