April begins sweetly around Baraboo, Wis., as nature’s elixir flows through the maple trees dotting the Baraboo Hills. While locals gather the sap, you can watch and learn how it’s boiled into luscious syrup at the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center’s Maple Syrup Festival on April 5 from 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., in nearby Poynette, Wis.
You’ll find guided tours of the sugar bush, tapping and syrup making demonstrations, and interpretive discussions about how Native Americans and pioneers made maple sugar and syrup compared to today’s methods. Also, watch homemade ice cream being churned with an antique engine, the perfect medium over which to drizzle the amber syrup. Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride and live country music. The museums and native animal exhibit will also be open.
The Friends of MacKenzie group will sell refreshments, maple products and souvenirs. Admission is free though donations are appreciated.
Getting There, Watch For Spring Migrants
The MacKenzie Environmental Education Center is east of the Inn at Wawanissee Point, about a 35-minute scenic drive along Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River, an opportunity to spot birds returning in the spring migration. By the first weekend of April we should see waterfowl, sandhill cranes, red-winged black birds, turkey vultures, robins and Eastern Phoebes, among other early arrivers.
The Center’s 500 acres include an arboretum with more than 100 tree species, a nature study pond, interpretive trails through forest and prairie, an observation tower, conservation and logging museums, and infrastructure that enable it to teach more than 15,000 children a year about the state’s natural resources. Adjacent the Center is the State Game Farm where ring-necked pheasants are raised for the state’s restocking program. Both facilities are owned and operated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Learn more about the Maple Syrup Festival and the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center here.
Choose from three musical performances in the evenings; details are below.
Click here to book your favorite guest room for a spring retreat of birding, hiking and other sweet treats.
Or call us at 608-355-9899.
Sweet Outings In The Area
April 4: Drumming With Bill Kehl at The Village Booksmith, historic downtown Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. Welcome the season by participating in a community drum circle. Bring a drum and a friend. Extra drums will also be available. Admission is free. An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
April 4: Styx at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, 8:00 p.m.
April 5: Spring String Gathering at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. The Lively Arts Series concludes featuring Art Stevenson & High Water, Wisconsin’s best-known bluegrass show and favored throughout the Midwest since 1993. It released its seventh album, Twilight, in August 2013. Special guest is White Mule. More details and tickets, $17.00, at www.alringling.com or by calling 608-356-8864.
April 6: Tour Downtown Baraboo’s Historic Churches, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Tour five churches learning about the architecture, artwork, stained glass and more. Watch Parable at the Circus World Museum at 1:00 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., a circus-inspired Lenten film made at Circus World and shown at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Call Manny Bolz at 608-393-2074 with questions.
Find more spring adventures around Baraboo at the Baraboo Area Chamber Of Commerce’s Web site www.baraboo.com.