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Children of the Corn

Wind your way through elaborate cornfield mazes across the United States and even the world for an exciting, and often corny, outdoor adventure.

 

Summer’s a distant memory now that a chill has returned to the air and it’s harvest time again. Autumn heralds cornfield mazes, eagerly awaited by fans wanting to find their way through stalks of intricately designed labyrinths.

Mazes in North America

Usually corny in the extreme, most mazes are designed with pun-filled themes, such as the Davis’ Mega Maze in Sterling, Mass., which this year chose the Olympics as its theme. The maze is in the shape of the Olympic torch. Visitors are invited to “Go for the Gold” and find their way through an eight-acre cornfield planted with an estimated four million plants. There are 12 bridges, an “Olympic Training Area,” slides and games scattered throughout as well.
www.davisfarmland.com. Admission: $16.95 for adults ages 13 to 59; $12.95 for kids 5 to 12 and seniors over 60; free for kids under 5.

At Long Acre Farms in Macedon, N.Y., the theme is “Fit to Be A-Mazed,” which promotes healthy lifestyle choices. (I warned you about the puns.) The five-acre maze is in the shape of a bicyclist, a runner and an arm lifting weights.
www.longacrefarms.com.Fall prices (Sept. 27 to Oct. 28): $10 ages 5 and up; $6.50 ages 2 to 4.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Ronks, Penn., features a five-acre “America Grows Green” maze that promotes green energy. In the maze, there are “kernels of knowledge” (groan) for you to discover, which offer clues on how to get out of the maze.
www.cherrycrestadventurefarm.com. Admission (July 5-Nov. 8): $13.95 ages 12 and over; $11.95 ages 3 to 11; free for children under 2.

Rustic Acres in Mason, Okla. offers a three-acre tractor maze, where you can win prizes by locating 10 checkpoints and completing a game card.
www.rusticacres.net. Admission (Sept. 6 to Nov. 2): $7 for ages 12 and up; $6 for ages 4 to 11; free for children 3 and under. Bring a canned good and receive $1 off admission.

The impressive 28-acre “Race to D.C.” maze at the Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, Ill., features twists and turns in the shape of a donkey, an elephant, a flag and the White House. There’s also a five-acre castle maze on the property. The farm claims it has the largest maze in the world.
www.richardsonfarm.com. Admission (Aug. 2 to Oct. 31): $9.50 for adults 19-64; $8.50 for students 13 to 18; $7.00 for seniors and kids 5 to 12; free for children under 5.

A 10-acre maze shaped like a race car is what the Edmonton Corn Maze in Alberta, Canada opted for to honor an Indy Racing League visit to the city. The maze has 85 decision points along nearly 2.5 miles of paths.
www.edmontoncornmaze.ca. Admission (July 28 to Oct. 18): $9 for adults; $7 for kids 5-11; free for children under 5. Halloween event “Farm of Fear,” runs at the end of October; admission is $10 per person.

Mazes in Europe

In Cornwall, England, Smeaton Farm has the “Maize Raiders” theme, riffing off the latest Indiana Jones movie. Scattered throughout are clues to help you find “Dr. Wherezigon,” who was searching for the “Crystal Cob.”
www.amazingcornishmaizemaze.co.uk. Admission (July 19-Sept. 7): £5.50 ($10.50 USD) for adults; £4 ($7.65 USD) for kids 3-16; free for children under 3.

At the Ferny Hill Farm in Herts, England, try to find your way through a six-acre pirate ship maze. For added fun, you’re given a game board which includes a map and a crossword about the maze. The answers are found somewhere in the maze.
www.fernyhillfarm.com. Admission (July 17 to Sept. 16): £5 ($9.55 USD) for adults 14 and over; £4 ($7.65 USD) for kids 5 to 13; free for children under 5. 

How to Find More Mazes

I’ve barely scratched the surface of cornfield mazes. There are hundreds around the world, though it does seem that the United States might lead the pack. Two of the best-known maze makers are Don Franz of the American Maze Company (www.americanmaze.com) and Adrian Fisher of MaizeMaze (www.maizemaze.com). The Maize Company (www.cornfieldmaze.com) is another source. Each Web site lists all of their 2008 mazes.


Destinations: Massachusetts, New York

Themes: Amusement Parks, Family Travel, Outdoor Adventures

Activities: Parks and Playgrounds


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