Maryland actually has a robust maple-syrup industry, though it’s mostly centered in Western Maryland. Still, several Baltimore-area organizations are hosting events this month to celebrate the sugaring season. Check websites for times, prices, and registration requirements.
Oregon Ridge has maple-sugaring demonstrations and tastings February 16-17 and 23-24, plus a Full Sap Moon Night Hike on February 22. All this leads up to its annual Pancake Breakfasts the first weekend in March. oregonridge.org.
Irvine Nature Center offers naturalist-led hikes for all ages February 9-10 and 16-17. After a pancake breakfast, head to the woods to learn how to identify and tap maple trees, then collect and convert the sap into syrup. explorenature.org.
Marshy Point Nature Center gets in on the sticky fun with a hands-on program February 16-17. marshypoint.org.
Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton offers two days worth of nature walks, sap harvesting, and maple-syrup making during Maple Magic February 16-17. ladewgardens.com.
If all that seems like a bit too much work, head to IHOP on February 5 for National Pancake Day. For just a small donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, diners can enjoy a free stack of the chain’s signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The company is hoping to raise $3 million for charity at its more than 1,500 national locations.
Pancake Day originated with the English, who prepared for fasting during Lent by using up supplies of milk, butter, and eggs.