It’s easy to get lost in the joys of autumn, from crisp air andcolorful foliage to football mania and harvest fests. But whatabout literally getting lost in a labyrinth of towering cornstalks?
Corn mazes have become an increasingly common and mega-popularpart of pumpkin patches and fall festivals and, for some farms,mowing down stalks is elevated to an art form.
Corn mazes can also make a great excursion for families. Whilesome labyrinths take just 45 minutes to navigate, others can takehours—so pack a bottle or two of water, some snacks, and perhapsyour cell phone. Here is where to find the biggest and mostinteresting mazes this fall:
Connors Farm: Danvers, MA
Twenty miles north of Boston,this maze has gotten raves for being super-creepy in the past: 2011’ls design featured the “witches” of Salem, and led one extra-lostfamily to eventually call 911. This year’s maze theme is Welcome tothe Jungle, with the faces of a giant, lion, monkey and more in thefield. Other activities include pig and duck races, bounce housesand pedal carts. On select evenings, you can also do the maze byflashlight. Open daily though Oct. 31. Admission: $12.95 for ages 3to 64; $9.95 for seniors; free for ages 2 and under.
Cool Patch Pumpkins: Dixon, CA
About 65 miles north of SanFrancisco, this elaborate maze—now at 53 acres—is the GuinnessWorld Record holder for size. A few landmarks—like a giant bin witha Starbucks logo on it—offer some guidance along the way. Otheractivities include a scarecrow-making contest, a kiddie straw maze,big tricycles to ride through the pumpkin patch, as well as apumpkin-smashing extravaganza. Open Sept. 15- Nov. 5. Admission:$10 for ages 5 and up; free for ages 4 and under.
Happy Day Farm: Manalapan, NJ
Midway between Philadelphiaand New York City, this 10-acre field harvests a lot of Jerseypride. Last year, the maze featured the faces of state heroes suchas Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Joe Pesci, and this year,the corn features a seal for the upcoming, New-Jersey-hostedSuperBowl. Little-kid activities include a hay maze, a hay mountainand playground. Open Sept. 21-Oct. 27. Admission: $13 per personfor ages 3 and up; free for ages 2 and under.
Richardson Adventure Farm: Spring Grove, IL
This year, the 33-acre maze located about midway between Chicagoand Milwaukee looks like a giant Beatles poster, in honor of the50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s first album. There are also 24hidden checkpoints, a farm-scene-investigation game, a 50-foot tubeslide and even a zip line. Open Wed.-Sun., through Oct. 27.Admission: $11.50 for ages 13 and up; $8.50 for ages 4 to 12 ; freefor kids 3 and under.
The Great Vermont Corn Maze: North Danville,VT
As a playful tip to mysterious crop circles, this Vermont familyfarm, about 45 miles east of Stowe,has carved aliens and space ships into their field this year. Thefarm also a petting zoo, 100 feet of underground tunnels andhaunted wagon rides. Open daily though Oct. 20. Admission: $5 perperson.
Treinen Farm: Lodi, WI
This 15-acre corn maze is the biggest in Wisconsinand embraces the old-school sea monster, the Kraken, for its themethis year. Along the way, you’re challenged (with the promise ofprizes) to find seven mailboxes and eight secret locations. Thefarm also has hay rides, farm animals, and a one-night spookfest onOct. 26 called Zompocalpyse. Open weekends only through Sept. 22and then Fri.-Sun., Sept. 28-Oct. 27. Admission: $8.50 for ages 12and up; $6.50 for ages 6-11; free for ages 5 and under.
Queens County Farm Museum: Floral Park, NY
At just three acres, this Long Island maze (about 45 minutesfrom Manhattan)may be more compact than many, but it has packed a lot of twistsand turns into its circus theme this year. Special weekendactivities include an apple-cider-and-donuts fall festival, a kids’costume festival and a late-afternoon haunted house. Open weekendsSept. 21-Oct. 27 plus Mon., Oct. 14 (Columbus Day). Admission: $9for ages 12 and up; $5 for ages 4-11; free for ages 3 andunder.
KatrinaBrown Hunt contributed this to MiniTime.com.
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