A corn maze adventure makes for a wonderful autumn day
With a clear blue autumn sky overhead and mild fall temperatures, I took my first steps onto pale yellow cut corn stalks into my first corn maze. The path wound through the thick corn about as wide as my outstretched arms. On each side of me corn stalks rose to about ten feet, crickets and grasshoppers hopped across my path, and a few dozen cornstalks to my right I could hear someone lost.
As a kid, I’ve been lost in the hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace, but that maze is thousands of miles, thousands of dollars, and 40 years away. The corn mazes I visited are found within a moderate drive from Washington D.C. With their surrounding activities, one feels like a kid again and the mazes are a unique setting for a wonderful day outdoors and miles of walking.
Every corn maze designs a different experience. The activities surrounding corn mazes keep kids (and adults) busy with games and lots of education about the outdoors and farming. In most cases, well-stocked farm stands house wooden shelves with homemade preserves and jams, plus fudge, apple butter, and pies beside baled straw.
(434-212-0413) 165 Old Ridge Rd. Lovingston, VA 22949 (2 1/2 hrs from DC)
Admission: Big people — $12, ages 4-12 — $11, 3 and younger are free. Thursday and Friday are discount days for $10 per person, 3 and younger are free.
HOURS: THURSDAYS – FRIDAYS: 1pm – 6pm
SUNDAYS: 10am – 6pm (exception 10/11 open till 10pm) SATURDAYS: 10am – 10pm. (Last ticket sold for NIGHT MAZE @9:15pm)
CLOSED Mondays (except Columbus Day!), Tuesdays, & Wednesdays
Blue Ridge Mountain Maze (434-212-0413) is the best corn maze in the area. It just moved to Charlottesville this year. As mazes go, this one is tough, real tough. Before entering, participants may pick up a flag on a 10-foot pole to wave should they get lost and exasperated. A Corn Cop then will help the lost souls zigzag their way to the exit.
Maze walkers twist and turn, come to dead ends, and make useless circles. Eventually they come across stations in different sections of the maze. There, they do a rubbing of a section of the maze map, answer a question about nature, and continue on their way. Some of the maze walkers find all eight of the stations; others only find a few.
Throw away adult inhibitions
Try to approach the maze as children. Kids make it through the maze about 15 minutes faster than adults, evidently, because adults are sidetracked by trying to keep themselves oriented by the sun or buildings and end up wasting time.
Outside of the maze, kids play on slides, roll each other in large plastic drainage tubes, and take hayrides. Big and little, young and old, visitors love the pumpkin slingshot. Visitors check out piles of giant pumpkins looking for the perfect jack-o-lantern, jellies, jams, apple, and pumpkin butter, salsa and other homemade goodies that pack the barn. The piece de resistance — Pumpkin Pie Fudge. Some former visitors drive hours every year just for the pumpkin pie fudge. After eating a piece as I turned onto the highway, I think I might be driving back to get some more for myself and gifts.
The Blue Ridge Mountain Maze operates every weekend from September 26th through November 8th, plus Columbus Day & Election Days. The new location is a long way from DC, but on a beautiful day, the scenery is gorgeous.
Tel. (540 539-3276) in Berryville, VA, 5273 Harry Byrd Highway (Rte. 7), VA 22611
Admission $12 per person, 2 and younger are free.
Open Sept 26- Nov 1
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, & Mondays from 10 am – 6 pm.
Wayside Farm Fun combines a corn maze with lots of other fun for kids and families. The fam is an easy drive from the DC area. Here are estimated distances:
Leesburg – 20 miles
Winchester – 10 miles
Reston – 32 miles
Washington, D.C.- 60 mile
Besides the Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, the farm features pig races, goat walks, farm slides, a pumpkin playhouse, hayrides, and much more. It really is a good family fun destination. After the activities, head to the General Store for some eats and try the aptly named Feed Trough for some apple cider donuts, kettle corn, pizza, burgers, chicken, and hotdogs.
Picking pumpkins this year requires reservations.
Reservations cost $20 per family and include your first $20 of pumpkins.
The eight-acre pumpkin field has plenty of pumpkins ready for picking. The scene is perfect for family photos.
Tel. (240-398-6430) 389 Gambrills Road, Gambrills, Maryland 21054. At the intersection of MD Route 175 and Gambrills Road (the field across from the post office!).
For Hours Click Here Open until November 4, 2020.
Pricing: September 19-October 15 (off-peak) $12
October 16-October 31 (peak) $14
November 1-November 8 (off-peak) $12
ages 2 & under are always FREE
Pony rides provided by an outside vendor – $6
This Maryland Corn Maze is one of the 25 best corn mazes in the country. Families have been getting lost here for a decade-and-a-half. This farm boasts an 8 ACRE CORN MAZE — with two different phases (a short one and a longer one).
Beyond the maze comes the activities: A new style-open, flat bounce pad, a petting zoo, hayrides, a rodeo roping area, and much more family fun.
These basic COVID protocols are enforced.
More than 600 other corn mazes exist in almost every state in the union. Go to the Corn Maze directory on the web to discover a nearby corn maze. Check ahead. Many mazes are closed because of COVID-19.
Charlie Leocha is the President of Travelers United. He has been working in Washington, DC, for the past 11 years with Congress, the Department of Transportation and industry stakeholders on travel issues. He was the first consumer representative to the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protections appointed by the Secretary of Transportation from 2012 through 2018.