Amaizing Cornfusion: A Guide to America’s Corn Mazes

One of the greatest and much-anticipated Fall traditions is losing yourself in a corn maze. An activity filled with farm fun for all ages, not much beats watching the smiles emerge. It’s clean, it’s wholesome, and it’s a break from the electronic world. Create lifelong memories as you sort your way through row upon row of tall corn, warm your hands by a bonfire, sip some local apple cider and relax on a hay bale while the kids play. Our country has some of the finest corn mazes ever made, and we want to introduce you to them, along with tips on how to enjoy them to the fullest. Ever wondered how the maze got started? We’ll give you the history. There are benefits to corn amazing, and we’ll tell you what they are, along with additional attractions, maze design trivia, what to expect when in the corn, items to take with you, what you should know before you go, and multiple links to mazes all over America. Ready, set, get lost!

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History

Dating back 4000 years or more, these intricate labyrinths have a goal that’s always the same: To eventually find your way out, or get good and lost trying. In years to come, mazes popped up in art, design, and religious dwellings. Bordering the Baltic Sea are hundreds of labyrinths made of stone, and later European palace gardeners merrily watched as kings and princes made their way through their puzzling puzzles of masterfully designed hedges. Popularity grew in the nineteenth century, with mazes appearing in public places like parks. By the 1970’s, entering a twisty maze was all the recreational rage for just about any age. The clever turning of average corn fields into confusing corn mazes has become one of the hottest American tourist agri-tainment attractions during the Autumn months. When the ever-wholesome corn stalk meets up with the mysterious, people love the cornfusion and fun they find down on the farm.

The Benefits of Mazing:

  • Several plusses to mastering the corn maze are produced through problem-solving, sense of direction, common sense, and teamwork testing. Those who conquer a mind-bending maze (where each row begins to look exactly like the last, many of which are new each time depending on the entrance), experience a sense of amaizing brain-building accomplishment.
  • Directionally challenged? There’s no better place to practice till perfection, either during frightful nights or dazzling Fall daylight. If you get too lost, there are generally staff that come through the maze at intervals to render assistance. Some mazes even offer corn texting, providing texts that respond with directions.
  • Decision-making experience: Left? Right? It’s up to you!
  • Team-building? No better way to pull families, sports teams, or work associates together than to mix them up and get them lost. This will cause them to work as a group in order to find their way out of the cornfield.
  • Educational: Some mazes offer clues along their pathways, in the form of questions, or ways to decode passwords to assist along the path, turning a visit to the maze into a learning quest. Spending time on a farm is also a hands-on lesson in American agriculture.
  • Good for the Soul: It’s ancient belief that a labyrinth or maze calmed the soul during life’s transitions, with the idea that once a person found the center, they could make their way back to their origin.

But Wait, That’s Not All!

Although the maze is always the main attraction, many of America’s mazes also feature: scenic hay rides, local farmer’s markets, petting zoos, live outdoor music, hay bale jumping, picking and/or carving fresh pumpkins, movies under the stars, barrel trains, corn pits (like a sandbox, but with corn), giant inflatables, pumpkin smashing, tee pees, pedal carts, scarecrow contests, concessions, singing chickens, enormous hay chutes, playgrounds, bouncy pillows, square dancing, skits and comedy acts, horseback riding, puppet shows, farm tours, all-you-can-eat breakfasts, you-pick fruits and vegetables, giant spider rope spider webs to play on, zip lines, pig and duck races, giant tire mountain, corn and pumpkin cannons, private facilities for weddings, parties or corporate events, apple cider and donuts, rustic smoked barbeque, giant rocking chair, goat mountain, giant slide, haunted barn, baby chick nursery, inflatable military obstacle course, hill and roller slides, horseshoes, pumpkin tetherball, hay bale maze, cut flowers, gift shops.

Dozens of Amaizing Designs

Movie characters, mazes that tell stories or present themes, crop circles, giant gorillas, 100th year commemoration of the Girl Scout organization, Boy Scout logos, business logos and advertisements, messages, portraits, public and historical figures, team logos, sports themes, tributes, political candidates, PacMan, states, animals, race cars. You name it, there’s a maze designer that can create it.

What to Expect When In the Corn

Many mazes have paths that either lead to where you started, or towards their center. Plan to be at the maze for a two-hour minimum. In states with all four seasons, inclement weather is possible. There may be restrictions on outside food and drink, and the potential for limited public restrooms. The presence of dirt, gravel, mud and puddles. Look forward to family time that won’t soon be forgotten, the beginning of a yearly tradition, and some great photographic opportunities.

Ideas for Items to Take With You

  • Camera
  • Jacket
  • Closed-toed shoes (If wet weather, wear old shoes or boots.)
  • Hats
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Long sleeved-shirts and pants are a good idea, if skin is sensitive to corn husks
  • A light stroller or child-carrying backpack if you will be bringing the little ones
  • Camp chair (if allowed)

What You Should Know Before You Go

Safety first. Be ready for obstacles and uneven surfaces such as wood chips, gravel, dirt or mud.

Inclement weather happens! Dress appropriately. Layers of clothing are the best bet.

If participating in a haunted maze, make sure it’s age-appropriate for accompanying children.

If a portable bathroom and wash stations are preferred, study the desired maze’s website, or call the maze to determine if these are available.

If there are any special needs, call ahead and let maze staff know so that they can accommodate those needs.

Outside food or drink: Some farms do not allow this, with the possible exception of school children bringing lunches during weekday field trips, or birthday cakes for scheduled parties. Call ahead to find out what the maze you’ll be visiting will allow.

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