This was originally written during March 2016 spring break, but I’ve updated the info and links for 2018 🙂
With a week of spring break looming on the horizon, I’d made this elaborate list of indoor and outdoor activities that I could do with both the 3 & 7 year old.
“I just want to play in the living room” said the older one.
“WHAT?!? But I have a detailed spreadsheet of educational fun outings!”
So with a
bribe promise of maple taffy, we settled on something close by, outdoors, and (since it involved food) something they would both like.
We’ve been to Cap-Saint-Jacques previously in both the summer and for sledding (you can read those reviews HERE and HERE) and I was pretty excited to try out their sugar shack.
2018 dates and times below. I find it a bit confusing because there are dates if you want to take the wagon from the farm (March 4 – April 12 on weekends), and different dates if you want to ski-in (January 6 – April 15 on weekends). It is also open for the whole week of Spring Break (March 5 – 11). If you’re unsure, make sure to call them (514 280-6743):
IF YOU WANT TO GO ON THE WAGON RIDE:
“Du 4 mars au 12 avril 2018, le samedi et dimanche, de 10 h à 16 h
La semaine de relâche, soit du 5 au 11 mars, plusieurs activités animées sont prévues
* Les heures d’ouverture peuvent varier en fonction de l’achalandage
D-Trois-Pierres exploite une érablière d’environ 1 800 entailles et produit un excellent sirop d’érable, certifié biologique par Écocert Canada. Le sirop est en vente au magasin général.
Balade en carriole et tire sur la neige ($)
Durant le temps des sucre, soit du 4 mars au 12 avril, les fins de semaine, une carriole vous amène jusqu’à la cabane à sucre où vous pourrez déguster de la tire sur la neige.
Forfait tout inclus
15 $ par personne : comprend une balade en carriole, crêpe avec sirop d’érable, soupe maison, breuvage et tire sur la neige.
À la carte
Prix pour la balade et la tire : 6 $ / 3-11 ans et 7 $ / 12 ans et plus
Balade en carriole (seulement) : 3 $ / 3-11 ans et 4 $ / 12 ans et plus
Tire sur la neige (seulement) : 3 $ / personne
Billets en vente au magasin général ou au relais de ski de fond.
**En semaine, sur réservation seulement, pour les groupes de 20 personnes et plus.
IF YOU WANT TO SKI IN:
Relais de ski de fond à la cabane à sucre*($)
Du 6 janvier au 15 avril 2018
Fin de semaine seulement, samedi et dimanche, de 10 h à 16 h.
Relais de ski de fond à la cabane à sucre pour repas légers et collations : soupes, crêpes, breuvages et collations
Partenaire : D-Trois-Pierres
Renseignement : 514 280-6743 – www.d3pierres.com
D-Trois-Pierres se réserve le droit de modifier ou d’annuler les services et les activités selon l’achalandage et les conditions climatiques.”
You can add to the experience by visiting the farm, doing some sledding, renting cross-country skis and snowshoes, or taking a walk through the woods. You can read all about the ecological farm and sugar shack on the D-Trois-Pierres Farm’s website.
If you’re going directly to the farm/sugar shack, enter the nature park through the main gates at 20099 Boulevard Gouin West, then follow the road until you reach the farm. We parked at the large lot near the red brick general store ($7 for two hours or $9 for the day), visited the animals outside in the fields, peered into the chicken house, and then dashed inside the warm barn to thaw our fingers. Even though their grandparents have a farm and they have their very own pony, both boys are always excited to see “exotic” animals like sheep and cows. My little guy ogled the tractors and then we went behind the barn to see the view of the river and Oka/Deux Montagnes.
There are bathrooms and vending machines in the building beside the general store (open until 5pm) and the store has juice, water, hot chocolate, tea and coffee (all $2 each) as well as maple syrup, maple candy, pesto, various cooking oils, flour etc for sale.
We paid for our tickets at the store and then waited for the tractor and wagon. With only one going back and forth you could have a wait of about 1/2 hour if you just miss it.
For $15 we got the wagon ride, crêpes with maple syrup, home made pea soup, a drink (hot chocolate, tea or coffee) and tire sur la neige.
You can also purchase just tire (taffy) for $3 a stick and/or JUST a tractor ride for $3 (2-11 years old) or $4 (for 12 and older)
If you get to the sugar shack and decide “Damn, I should have paid for more pancakes!” you can also purchase and pay for items à la carte once you’re there, but ONLY in cash.
The tractor ride takes a good 10 minutes and was slow because of all the hard ice. We had my baby nephew with us but opted to leave the stroller in the store (the lady there is super accommodating) instead of trying to wrangle it onto the wagon. You can also walk to the sugar shack but it’s 20-30 minutes long and NOT stroller-friendly. Also, it was freezing out. You cannot drive directly there.
The sugar shack itself IS an actual shack! In a super cute, adorable way. It’s teeny-teeny tiny and has 5 small tables and benches crammed inside. Heated with a large wood stove, it’s warm and cozy, but you’re not going to be doing any after lunch dancing in the aisles.
It was pretty hectic inside as a group of about twenty people had shown up before their actual reservation and there was no soup or food ready for them. Handing in our food tickets we had a good 25 minute wait until we were served and also had to keep reminding them what we were missing. The (one) large crêpe was good, and the pea soup with chunks of ham and carrot was delicious. Besides the maple syrup taffy on snow and a drink, that’s all the food you’re getting for the $15, so if you’re looking for a mega eat-until-you-burst meal, this isn’t the place to go. Rather, it’s a nice spot for a wagon ride, walk around the forest to look at the sap buckets and a snack. An expensive snack.
There are picnic tables outside as well as an outdoor (verrrrrrry chilly) bathroom (there are none inside), places to leave your skis if you’ve skied there, and the spot for tire sur la neige.
There are no high chairs or boosters, and NO place inside to park a stroller.
Note that we’d previously come on Sunday afternoon around 2:30 hoping to visit the sugar shack, but the wagon had already stopped running so we had no way to get there. So it’s best to arrive earlier in the day, or at least not so close to closing time!
We love the sugar shack at Cap St. Jacques. The pea soup is good. On a nice day it’s not a long walk from the main entrance, I think it’s much closer than walking from the farm. We have rented cross country skis and skied the loop around by the farm and the shorter one to the sugar shack too. The equipment they have is good and easy to use for the kids. Not very nice on such a cold day though. Wish March break was next week when it’s supposed to be warm!
I’d love a post on the all educational outings you planned for the March Break. I’m home with my toddler and wanting to make time off meaningful and exciting for him.