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Park Commission Events

Maple Sugaring at the Great Swamp
Maple syrup is winter’s sugary treasure, and it’s not just found in Vermont. The sap is flowing, and the sugaring season is underway at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center in Chatham Township. Come experience all the sweet sights and smells at one of the Maple Sugaring Demonstrations held on numerous Saturdays and Sundays in January, February, and March, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Experience the process from start to finish by identifying and tapping maple trees, collecting sap, and seeing syrup made over a wood-fired evaporator. Think you can identify the differences between maple syrups? Taste test of three distinct maple syrups; a store bought syrup made from corn syrup, a farm produced syrup made from sugar maple trees, and the syrup made from the red maple trees at the Great Swamp OEC. Let us know which one you enjoy the most! Admission is $3 per person. For more information, please call the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center at 973.635.6629.

Demonstrations take place on the following dates:
January: 17, 18, 24, 25 & 31
February: 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 & 28
March: 1, 7 & 8
A Winter’s Day on the Farm
Bundle up, and join in the unique cold-weather fun! Experience a day-in-the-life-of early 20th century farm families. At A Winter’s Day on the Farm take a rare glimpse into an estate farm, as it opens its doors to offer traditional, hands-on winter-season activities. The outdoor family adventure takes place on Sunday, February 1 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township.

Climb aboard the open-air, tractor pulled wagon for a memorable ride around the farm, and meet the farm animals. Discover why ice harvesting was important on the farm, and see the special tools used to cut ice. Pitch in and help with another cold-weather job, and tap the maple trees to collect sap. Lend a hand with on-going daily farm chores, such as sawing wood. Visit the Farmhouse and follow the scent of savory seasonal food being prepared in the wood-burning stove. Admission is $8/adult, $7/senior (65+), $6/child 4-16, $4/child 2 & 3, FREE for children under age 2. For more information call 973.326.7645.
Great Dixter with Fergus Garrett
Garden groupies alert: Fergie is coming. No, not that Fergie, Mr. Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at one of England’s most famous and beloved gardens, Great Dixter. Mr. Garrett, a celebrity in the world of horticulture, will present an illustrated talk about the past, present and future of Great Dixter on Sunday, February 14, at 3:30pm, at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township. 

Once the home of legendary horticulturist and garden writer Christopher Lloyd, Great Dixter is now a historic house and garden, as well as a center for horticultural education, and a place of pilgrimage for garden lovers across the globe. Following the talk, light refreshments will be served.  The cost of this talk is $50 per person.  For more information and to register, visit arboretumfriends.org.
Matilda's Tea
Invite your favorite child to accompany you for the grand tradition of afternoon tea. Celebrate this grand tradition and honor Miss Matilda Frelinghuysen, who as a child and resident of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum enjoyed this wonderful experience. The 12th Annual Matilda’s Tea Party will be held on Saturday, February 21, at 1 p.m. When Matilda was a child, Hershey Kisses were created, and keeping the tradition, chocolate is this year’s theme. Tea-takers learn the history of chocolate and make their own chocolate treat to take home. This popular program is intended for children ages six and up and is sold-out each year, so reserve your seat at the table early! To register, visit arboretumfriends.org or call 973.326.7603. In the event of snow, Matilda’s Tea will be held on February 28. 


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