The month of March doesn't have too much to recommend itself to me, but living in New England, specifically New Hampshire, where March is Maple Sugar Month makes up for the usually drab, cold month. Living in the country as I do, I am surrounded by sugar houses--turn left out of my driveway and one is located a mere three-fourths of a mile away, turn right and there is another two miles away.
Every March, I hit the old standbys and set out to discover new sugar houses and farms to see what they offer.
Sugar houses, for the uninitiated, are (usually small) buildings where local farms conduct the alchemy of turning sap into syrup. Many of the houses go beyond simply bottling the syrup and use it to create maple-flavored or maple-scented products that are limited only by the imagination--from bath products including body scrubs and lotions to edible concoctions including ice cream, salsas, and salad dressings.
Touring these houses is such a fun family activity; there really is something for everyone to enjoy. For those interested in the history of syrup making, many owners will give an account of the evolution of the industry, complete with a display of antique tools. The woman who runs the sugar house closest to me is a 5th generation syrup maker and still sometimes uses horses and sleigh to harvest the sap.
For others (like me), the samples are the big draw! Almost every sugar house has some product for you to try...some have a whole spread. At one house, the gentleman made me a plate and insisted I try one of each sample! His tactic paid off because I ended up buying tons of his delicious products.
While my affinity for sugar houses may not appear to have much connection to event planning, it actually offers plenty of inspiration for unique event ideas.
Rena Dandurant, owner of Eventi Planning & Coordination.