Four seasons in one day—it’s not just a line from an old Crowded House song, it’s April in Ottawa. Instead of despairing over what to do with the kids over a four-day holiday weekend marked by schizophrenic weather patterns, embrace the madness: jam a pair of rubber boots on everyone and head to the nearest sugar bush.
Nearby Lanark County is the self-described Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario. Call them sugar shacks, maple farms or cabanes à sucre—they’re designed to attract kids of all ages in weather of all kinds, and several have extra activities planned for the coming long weekend.
Fulton’s Farm, near Pakenham, will offer face painting, an egg hunt, music, Aboriginal performances, cotton candy and horse-drawn rides. There are self-guided trail tours, “I Spy” and “Mystery Hunt” trail games and, of course, maple taffy on snow. Check out the Maple Shoppe and pancake restaurant.
An hour from Ottawa in Lanark County, Wheelers is also open throughout the holiday, with an egg hunt, horse-drawn sleigh rides, hiking trails, taffy on snow and a Maple Museum.
East of Ottawa at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm, kids can meet the Easter Bunny. There’ll be a wagon ride out to the sugar bush, baby animals to visit in the petting barn, and an all-you-can-eat pancake buffet. For aspiring photographers, there are country gardens, cedar groves, wooded glades, a 150-year-old quarried field stone house and the chance to spot wildlife along the trails.