John R. Park Homestead Events
A visit to the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area will take you back in time to the 1850s. The house and farm buildings of John and Amelia Park are restored to bring the nineteenth century to life.
Regular event admission fees: $6/adult, $4/child, $20 family maximum. Special events require pre-registration, admission fees vary.
Upcoming Homestead events
Maple Syrup Festival
Sunday, March 5. 11am to 4pm
Wear your boots to Essex County’s premier Maple Syrup Festival. Make maple taffy in the snow, and see syrup being made the pioneer way. Pure maple products for sale.
$6/adult, $4/child, $20 family maximum.
Maple March Break for Families
Tuesday, March 14 and Friday, March 17. 1:30 pm sharp
Arrive early, dress warmly and wear boots. Families tour the site with a costumed guide and discover the sweet process of maple syrup and sugar making in the pioneer method. Help carry the sap using pails and a wooden yoke. Try your hand at the brace and bit drill. See the trees tapped and the sap evaporating. Learn the history of this sweet springtime treat as you help to make and taste maple sugar.
$6/adult, $4/child, $20 family maximum.
Tuesday, March 14. 7-8:30pm
Join us for an old-fashioned sugaring off party! Help collect sap and boil it down by moonlight. Make taffy on the snow, join in the barn dance, linger for star gazing and legends.
$15/person. Pre-registration required.
Register online at www.maplemoon2017.eventbrite.ca
Maple Dinner Fundraiser
Saturday, March 18. 6:00 pm.
Join us at Oxley Estate Winery for a maple-themed dinner. Proceeds from this event go towards the Essex Region Conservation Foundation for cultural heritage to protect and restore the John R. Park Homestead.
Enjoy delectable courses with a taste of maple at every step. Homestead interpreters will be on hand to teach about maple history in the region. Guests can also enjoy maple taffy with an outdoor demonstration by Oxley’s culinary staff.
To reserve a seat at the event, contact Oxley Estate at 519-738-3264.
Friends of the Homestead Yard Sale
Sunday, May 7. 11am to 4pm. (FREE EVENT)
Help the Homestead by donating quality items in advance or coming out and treasure hunting on the day! Treasures old and new. There is something for everyone at this giant sale.
Lost Arts Festival
Sunday, August 13. Noon to 4pm.
Celebrate summer with the region’s original makers’ faire. See demonstrations of lost arts and visit the voyageur encampment. Stay to enjoy hands-on activities, live music, livestock displays and games for kids.
Harvest & Horses Festival
Sunday, October 1. Noon to 4pm.
Join us as we celebrate the fall harvest season on the farm. Ghost stories in the attic, corn husk crafts, cider and sausage making, seed saving and more. Meet the horses that made harvest possible 200 years ago! Take in the amazing parade of breeds or test your abilities in the blind buggy competition.
Tuesday, October 17. 7pm.
An unforgettable autumn evening. Get hands-on in the harvest as you make your own traditional craft, help to press the fresh apple cider and listen to a scary story by candlelight in the 1842 farm house.
$15/person. Pre-registration required. Register online at www.harvestmoon2017.eventbrite.ca
Deck the Holidays Workshop
Saturday, November 25. 2 to 4pm.
Ring in the holiday season with a hands-on wreath making workshop using natural materials from the forest and farm. Registration includes all materials and expert instruction, a tasty mug of warm cider or cocoa, and a holiday snack from the Homestead’s hearth.
$20/person. Pre-registration required. Register online at www.decktheholidaysworkshop2017.eventbrite.ca
Eve of St. Nicholas
Sunday, December 10. Noon to 4pm.
See the Homestead in its holiday splendour. The pioneer house and farm are decorated with materials gathered from the farm and forest. Warm up with mulled cider and roasted chestnuts. Meet St. Nicholas’ historic counterparts- Ruprecht and Belsnickel. Check the ‘list’ to see if you have been naughty or nice this year. Make a gingerbread cookie and traditional ornament to take home.
Tuesday, December 12. 7pm.
See the 1842 house decorated with natural materials from forest and farm, craft a traditional ornament, bake on the hearth, and ring the sleigh bells. Costumed guides will take visitors through the house and farm after sundown. Various stops along the way offer guests a seasonal participation experience straight from the days of John and Amelia Park.
$15/person. Pre-registration required. Register online at www.candlelightchristmas2017.eventbrite.ca