Spring is a perfect time to visit Fulton’s Sugar Bush. Located less than an hour West of Ottawa, the farm offers lots of fun and engaging outdoor activities for the whole family. Learning about maple syrup production, going on a horse-drawn wagon ride or enjoying a stack of pancakes with freshly made maple syrup are just a few things you will experience at Fulton’s Sugar Bush.
It is definitely one of those places the kids enjoy coming back to year after year. There are many things we al love about Fulton’s as a family and here are our 11 favourites:
1 FREE PARKING
It is rather refreshing to know that when you get to Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush, parking in NOT an expense you have it include in your budget. When you get there, the friendly parking lot attendants will direct you to an empty parking spot and keep order in the lot throughout the day.
Not too many places these days offer free parking, so seeing that Fulton’s is willing to provide this simple service free of charge is one of many reasons for our family to visit them every once in a while.
2. ‘I SPY’ GAME
There is no easier way to get your kids engaged and ready to explore than getting them to play ‘I Spy’ game. So pick up a laminated picture card from the Information Booth on your way in. It will get your kids searching the grounds and checking off the items as you go through your day. The fun part? Even you will find out a thing or two about sugar bush by helping your children learn about the pictures on the card.
3. FACE CUT-OUTS
As you get on the Fulton’s property, the face cut-outs will most likely be the very first thing your kids will notice and enjoy. What I liked in particular about this year, is that in addition to their regular Fulton fun cut-out board, they also have Celebrating Canada 150 board. What a great and unique opportunity for have a picture of your family placed in a frame that celebrates Canada’s birthday!
4. HORSE-DRAWN WAGON RIDES
Imagine yourself sitting on a warm, blanket covered seat on an open wagon. Two beautiful, black horse drawing you through a snow covered, serene forest. You are bathed in the sunshine beaming at you through the naked branches of the maple trees that surround you. The only sound you hear is that of bells attached to the horse’s’ harness. Well, this is a reality at Fulton’s Sugar Bush. For only $3 per person, you can enjoy this wonderful fairy tale-like experience.
5. HERITAGE MAPLE PATH
Aside from the horse drawn wagon ride, Heritage Maple Path was our favourite area to explore. Here we got to warm up by the campfire and learn how a sugar bush camp looked like in the late 1800’s. One of the Fulton employees demonstrated how they used to make sap spouts from staghorn tree branches and another helped some visitors coal burn a wooden spoon. It was fun to see how a Trading Post looked liked back then and see how real furs of different forest animals look and feel like. The kids also enjoyed exploring three additional areas featuring workshop with tools, maple sap boiling station, and maple syrup storage.
6. PANCAKE HOUSE
Ready for a pancake smothered in butter and maple syrup? How about a side of bacon or sausage? And don’t forget about some dessert! During this visit, my son chose Kiddies meal with a Maple Oatmeal Muffin which he saved for later. My daughter on the other hand, went for Cedar Hill Meal with sausage and for dessert a slice of Maple Cheesecake. And of course, there is no better way to warm up after a horse drawn wagon ride than to enjoy a large cup of hot chocolate.
7. LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
During lunch we enjoyed some live entertainment. The musician at first played the guitar and sang lots of classical children’s songs such as “She’ll be coming Down the Mountain”, “You Are My Sunshine” and so on. He also played several Scottish square dancing songs on the fiddle. The children were given different types of hand instruments such as bells, maracas and tambourines and encouraged to join him.
Do you know where March Break comes from? You’ll be surprised to find out that it actually originated due to maple syrup production. If you want the whole story, you’ll have to ask at the Pancake House.
8. FACE PAINTING
From simple red maple leaf on your cheek, to an elaborate full face butterfly, you can get plenty of different designed painted on your face by Aamina from Mississili Faces. This time around, my kids chose to grace their cheeks with a dragon and a roses (and they loved them so much, they didn’t want to wash the pictures off at night!). And as a bonus, you’ll get to warm yourself up in the heated hut she works in.
9. WALKING TRAILS
Fulton’s offers several walking trails. Their trails range from very short (about 10 minutes walk around) to fairly long (about 50 minutes loop). We chose to walk along the orange path. It took us about 40 minutes to explore. On the way we found a few points of interests mentioned in a pamphlet we picked up at the Information Station at the entrance. One of them includes a grave of a former owner of this land, Bernard Shields. Why was he buried in what seems to be the middles of nowhere? You’ll have to stop by Fulton’s to find out!
10. SWEETS AND TREATS
A great way to finish your visit at Fulton’s is to pick up one more sweet for the road. Here you have a choice of stopping by Maple Snowshoes Booth near the playground or Taffy Booth near the entrance to the restaurant. Maple Snowshoes are a deep fried pastry, topped with cinnamon and sugar, and a choice of two different maple syrups. They are very similar to Beavertails. On the other hand, Taffy Booth will provide you with a sweet maple taffy lollipop, freshly rolled up onto a Popsicle stick on the crisp white snow. In addition, both booths offer Maple Cotton Candy – a great treat to take home and enjoy later on.
11. GIFT SHOP
No trip to Fulton’s in complete without stopping by the Gift Shop. I bet you have never seen this many maple syrup products in one place in your life. Here you will find anything from pure maple syrup, maple taffy, maple fudge, maple chocolate, maple tea to maple sugar. Now my favourite were the Luxurious Maple Bath and Body products by Maple Luscious. This was the first time I saw them at this store and I couldn’t resist picking up a mini travels kit to try out at home.
Overall, the 6 hours we spent at Fulton’s turned out to be an amazing family time. If you are in the area, I highly recommend visiting Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush for a day of fun and fresh air.
Not ready for this adventure yet?
PIN IT FOR LATER