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If you build it, they will come….to one of the many corn mazes sprouting like pumpkin patches on farms across the USA in the weeks before Halloween. Corn mazes have become an income booster for farmers, many of whom are the second-, third-, or even fourth-generation operating the family farm, who often spend months designing and plowing them. Many also include other activities, such as hayrides and tractor rides, pick-your-own pumpkins and apples, fresh cider and doughnuts, and even amusement rides, mini-trains and petting zoos. Quick word of advice: Before you check out any of these 10 mazes, remember they can be muddy, so gear up in rubber boots or old shoes.
Queens County Farm Museum: Queens, New York
The Queens County Farm Museum is the oldest continuously operated farm in New York City, established in 1697 in what was then known as New Amsterdam. The annual Amazing Maize Maze is a three-acre puzzle of finding clues, solving puzzles, and making your way to Victory Bridge, where the prize in 2021 is a life-size Andy Warhol pop art cow sculpture. There also are several Midnight Maze events on weekends, for adults only, under the stars. The historic farm also offers a year-round farm stand and educational events.
• Fri.-Sun., Sept. 17 to Oct. 30, including some Maze by Moonlight adventures.
• $15 adults, $10 kids aged 4-11
Schnepf Farms: Queen Creek, Arizona
Family-operated Schnepf Farms holds one of the largest fall festivals in the Greater Phoenix area, with a 10-acre corn maze. There’s also a smaller four-acre maze for those who would rather spend more time on amusement rides, which include a roller coaster, carousel, kiddie Ferris wheel and zip lines. Schnepf always uses the likeness of a local celebrity as the theme for the mazes, such as the 2020 maize, which featured 23-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps, now an Arizona resident. This is the largest organic peach grower in the state, and their annual “Pumpkin and Chili Party” events feature peach wood-fired pizza along with chili, burgers and BBQ.
• Thurs.- Sun, Oct. 1-31
• $23.95 per person (children 2 and under are free), or a season pass for $78.85.
Pumpkin Valley Farm: Dayton, Maine
The appropriately-named Pumpkin Valley Farm is now operated by the third generation, and each year the five-acre maze is a different design. Visitors navigate via ten posts scattered through the maze, with questions on each. The correct answer is the clue to which way to go next, similar to popular “escape room” experiences. Admission includes hayrides and a petting zoo of young farm animals. There’s also a pumpkin patch, of course. The farm is 20 miles southwest of Portland and about 90 minutes from Boston.
• Open weekends, Sept. 18 to Oct. 31
• Admission is $12
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm: Lockport, Illinois
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, located about an hour southwest of downtown Chicago, has a different maze theme each season. In 2021, it’s Super Mario Brothers, and it will sprawl over 12 acres, with five miles of paths. Or, take a tractor-pulled ride through the corn. An unusual feature of the farm’s petting zoo is a Baby Chick Nursery with some little chicks just a day old and beyond cute. There’s also a pumpkin patch, too.
• Open weekends, Sept. 18 to Oct. 31
• Admission is $19.95 online, $24.95 on-site and includes paintball and more than 30 other activities.
EZ Orchards: Salem, Oregon
EZ Orchards carves its corn maze into the shape of its home state, which is fitting since Salem is the state capital. HarvestFest guests navigate through features that include a hidden haystack pyramid, try not to get turned around at the teepee or at the Douglas fir tree, and a final slide to the exit. There’s also a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and hayrides, and the market sells farm-grown peaches, pears, and hazlenuts. This is one of the Willamette Valley’s top producers of hard cider and apple wine made from heirloom breeds including French and English bittersweets and American semi-sharps. Bottles are for purchase in the farm store, along with fresh apples.
• Open daily, through October
• Admission is $4 weekdays and $10 on weekends
The Great Vermont Corn Maze: Danville, Vermont
The Great Vermont Corn Maze, near Brattleboro, is the largest corn maze in New England, operated by the local tourism bureau. At a whopping 24 acres, the Big Maze is a three-hour trek without any wrong turns, so bring water and snacks. There’s also a smaller Scenic Maze, which takes just 40 minutes thanks to no-mistake directions along the way, with the same 10-12-foot walls of stalks lining the paths. Both mazes feature dirt paths wide enough for strollers and panoramic views of the Green Mountains, with surprise features like tunnels, dinosaurs and ghouls en route. Included in admission is Pretendin, a play area for kids, and a Hay Castle.
• Open daily through Oct. 11
• Admission is $20 for ages 16-59; $15 for 60+; $10 for ages 5-15; 4 and under are free; tickets are sold online only.
Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm: Snowhomish, Washington
Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm, about 35 miles northeast of Seattle, offers a challenging, 12-acre corn maze open day and night, including finding your way in the dark with nothing but your flashlights and the stars to guide you. This is not a scare maze, but a fun way to experience the countryside at night, on weekends. Because we shouldn’t scare the kids, there’s also two mazes just for them. One is themed around color, the other is a story trail maze. And, of course, there’s a pumpkin patch and a farm stand selling corn, including yellow, white, and bi-color varieties.
• Open daily Sept. 18-Oct. 31
• Admission is $15 weekdays and $20 on weekends; the Night Maze is $17.95.
Sioux Falls Jellystone Park: Brandon, South Dakota
This is the only corn maze on an RV and camping site, run by the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort otherwise known as the Sioux Falls Jellystone Park, just outside Sioux Falls. The seven-acre corn maze has been in operation for over 20 years, including late night “date night” explorations. The maze is open to anybody, whether or not you’re camping at Jellystone Park. There also are special events throughout the corn maze season, with proceeds going to various local community groups, including local Sioux and other tribal organizations.
• Open weekends through Oct. 31
• Admission is $6 for children under 12 and $10 for anyone over 12; pets are welcome so long as they are on a leash.
Find a great Sioux Falls hotel here.
Chaney’s Dairy Barn: Bowling Green, Kentucky
This city is better known as the home of National Corvette Museum than as a mecca for corn maze fans. That said, Chaney’s Dairy Barn has been driving visitors to a six-acre maze for more than a decade. It’s located right behind the barn, and you can also visit the cows, whose diet includes the corn in the maze.There’s also fresh homemade ice cream from the milk from the cows who eat the corn in the maze. It’s a full circle! Plus, hay wagon rides, and a playground with swings and slides.
• Open daily through the end of October
• The corn maze is $8 and self-guided farm tours are $4.
Northhill Orchard: Winfield, Pennsylvania
The maze at Northhill Orchard is relatively small, at 1.5 acres, but an added attraction is a huge sunflower field and a zinnia field where you can explore and cut your own fresh flowers. It’s part of the farm’s 110 total acres that also include a pick-your-own fruit, a pumpkin patch, an apple slingshot, and hayrides on weekends. The family-operated farm is about 3 hours west of NYC or northwest from Philadelphia.
• Open Mon.-Sat. through the end of October
• $5 for the corn maze for ages 8+, $5 for the sunflower and zinnia fields.
Find a great Winfield area hotel here.
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