Flash Back: It's Maple Syrup Time

by Natasha

Spring is just around the corner, I can almost see the sunshine at the end of this icy winter.

One of my favourite things to do when the snow begins to melt is visit a sugar bush.  Maple syrup season “officially” starts in late February, and I’m just going to wait a little bit before heading out with my family.

We love visiting Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm.  It is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day, and is short distance from Ottawa. Parking is free too!

If you head down early, you can enjoy a delicious all-you-can-eat-pancake brunch before you start exploring the farm.  The brunch is nothing short of a feast that includes pancakes, french toast, beans and sausages served. They have a few other items on their menu as well for those looking for some variety.

My favourite part about Stanley’s Olde Farm - besides brunch- is the number of activities available to help pass the day and enjoy the outing.

For example, you can ride in a horse-drawn sleigh through the farm to see all of the maple trees. This is an especially enjoyable activity around the last few days of snow, as you get to see the trees and hills covered in white. The ride will set you back $4.75 per person.

Stanley’s farm is of course, still a farm. So it’s natural that they have animals around for little children to visit and see. The barns are filled with horses, pigs, cow and sheep and is free to visitors.

And of course the point of visiting a sugar bush is to see how the sap turns into syrup, and eventually ends up on your pancakes. Stanley’s not only let’s you see the the process, but also has some delicious taffy in snow for you to try at $2.50 per serving.

Don’t sit too long on the idea of visiting the sugar bush, as maple syrup season ends in early April. You have just over a month to get your fill of winter-fresh maple!

Details: Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm 2452 Yorks Corners Road Edwards, Ontario K0A 1V0 613-821-2751

It’s open on weekends from 9am to 3pm and they are open most of March Break (closed Monday) from 10am to 2pm.

Baby H – Tobogganing Adventures

by Natasha This is the first winter season that I was able to enjoy with my son. He was too little and immobile in the previous winters to really enjoy anything but the sight of snow. But now that he’s up on his feet walking and is able to express himself in little words here and there, I decided the time for him to enjoy the season has finally arrived.

That was also greatly helped by his exceeded enthusiasm every time we stepped out of the house to get in the car and drive to the day car. He would see the snow on the ground and start saying, “snow! snow!”. When it got a little warmer outside, I decided it was time the Baby gets his fill of the white fluff.

I dressed Baby H in his winter attire, layers upon layers of clothes and we went out to our front yard. I had thought about the big-kid hill around as a start, but Baby H is too little for it still. He sat on the red Micky Mouse round sled and I began pulling it forward. At first he was a little confused about my part in this activity, but once he clued in, all I could hear from behind is “Again, Mommy! Again!”.

Back and forthing on the front yard eventually created a nice smooth path, but I think the bumps along the road were Baby H’s favourite part. Every time we’d hit one, he’d giggle to the point of falling out of the sled.

We played and played for an hour, and I couldn’t stop watching my child smiling and laughing this whole time while sledding about in his red Mickey and rolling in the snow uncontrollably.

It was a great and season-appropriate activity to do in our own yard, and a good workout to boot.  If we get more of the good weather and fresh snow, you’ll be sure to find me out front pulling my little dude around. I suggest you take some time and enjoy the season too.

Natasha is a new mommy to her first born, Baby H. She runs ShopHaven, a blog that reviews products and profiles local businesses and individuals from the Ottawa area. Natasha is also the creative force behind ShopHaven Baskets; a highly customized gift baskets service.  Follow Natasha on Twitter (@shophaven) to keep up with her daily adventures and Baby H’s mischiefs.

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