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Agricultural Attractions

Get Ready for Maple Sunday

Local advice

Family Blogger

Jennifer Hazard

Need a suggestion for something family friendly to do in Maine? Look no further than Jennifer Hazard. She’s the incredibly outgoing married mother of two and editor of her blog On her site, she documents her family’s adventures throughout the state, giving readers an amazing glimpse into the unique and fun experiences of being a family in Maine.


Maine Maple Sunday is one of our favorite early spring events. Held during the fourth Sunday in March, farms throughout the state open their doors for the day. Our tradition is a visit to Jillson’s Farm & Sugarhouse in the small town of Sabattus. The family farm, owned by Pat and Ed Jillson, is known for their bountiful breakfasts, homemade jams and jellies, and delicious maple syrup.

Before touring the farm, we enjoy stacks of pancakes, sausage, giant squares of cornbread, baked beans and more homemade breakfast treats. We chat with friends and family, enjoying the warmth of the woodstove nearby. There’s a celebratory feeling in the air that can’t be denied.

When we can’t possibly eat anymore, we visit the Sugarhouse, where Ed Jillson explains the sugaring process. Steam rises from the evaporator as the sap collected from the trees boils down to maple syrup.

The kids also enjoy visiting the barn, where they can feed Greenfire, the Jillson’s sweet horse. The barn is also home to sheep, chickens and pigs. The kids call them over to the fence, and enjoy a gentle nuzzle or two from their farm friends.

One tip: if you’re planning to go to a Maine Maple Sunday event, get there early and dress in warm layers. The lines for breakfast can be long and are typically outdoors. Thankfully, there is a lot happening to keep families occupied. Taste samples of maple syrup and maple ice cream, and sugar on snow, where warm maple syrup is poured on shaved ice for a taffy-like treat — a delicacy in New England!

For a complete list of participating Maine Maple Sunday farms, visit the Maine Maple Syrup Producer Association here.

Editor's Notes

There’s only one Maine delicacy that rivals lobster as the state’s most delicious export, and that honor goes to maple syrup. Every step of the mapling process is a point of state pride, and both locals and visitors make it a priority to visit at least one of our famous sugarhouses while in maple country. It’s easy to stock up on syrup while in Maine, with many sugarhouses offering shipping options so you can enjoy the sweet stuff all year long.

Check out Get Real, Get Maine’s online tool, Find a Farm, to search for Maine farms by the product or experience you’re looking for. Refine your search to “Maine Maple Sunday” and choose from the many Maine sugarhouses on offer. Get ready to indulge in everything maple while in Maine: maple taffy, maple candy and maple ice cream are just a few of the many maple treats produced by our local sugarhouses.

For a complete guide to maple syrup, incuding how it’s made, upcoming events, the history of sugaring, and recipes, visit the Maine Maple Syrup Producer Association.