My kids look forward to many fall activities, not the least of which is visiting the local corn mazes. With cornstalks towering over your head, you can hear the voices of those nearby but you just can’t seem to find them. The popularity of corn mazes has grown and with it the challenge for maze makers to become ever more creative. Here are some local corn mazes in southern Illinois we plan to check out this season.
The Great Godfrey Maze
Back for the third year, The Great Godfrey Corn Maze in Godfrey Illinois is hoping you’ll want to visit a corn wonderland with their Alice in Wonderland themed maze. The maze is situated on about 7 acres in Glazebrook Park. This year they offering combo pricing which also gets you into a zip line attraction, access to the corn cannon which you can use to fire ears of corn at targets, the hayride and the cow train. Tickets for just the maze are $6 for ages 12 and up, $4 for under 12 (5 and under are free). Combo ticket prices are $11 for ages 12 and up and $9 for ages under 12. The maze is open weekends and is open after dark too but visitors are required to have a flashlight before entering.
Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch
This family-run maze and pumpkin patch has been a favorite for years. The 2010 maze features a 4-leaf clover design. There is a play barn, hay rides and if you call ahead, you can find out when the pumpkin show is which features pumpkin juggling. If you go as a group, you can arrange a package with which ever activities you prefer including a carved jack-o-lantern for your group to take home and a fire ready to go for roasting hot dogs – you supply the dogs, they supply the fire and roasting sticks. Entrance to the corn maze is $5 for ages 10 and up, $3 for ages 5 to 9 and free for kids under 5. Groups may be able to get discounts by calling and planning ahead which is recommended as many of the local area schools visit throughout the month. Open daily from October 1st through the 30th from 9 AM to 6 PM. Visit the website for more information.
The Great Pumpkin Patch
The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, IL sits on land that has been in the MacDonald family for more than 150 years. More than 63 acres are given over to the growing of pumpkins, squash and gourds. The central attraction is The Great Maize Maze which surrounds a platform that allows a 360 degree view of the huge pumpkin farm from a unique vantage point. Just as in the past, they have several other mazes available that may be more suited to some visitors. Try the straw bale, sunflower, willow, broom corn and mini-maze for toddlers. These other maze are free of charge while the Great Maize Maze is just $2 for ages 6 and up, free for 5 and under. They are open daily from September 15th through October 31st from 9 AM to 6 PM. See some of the annual sights including the Pumpkin Tree, Noah’s Ark with a pumpkin-y twist and visit the Homestead Bakery. Stop by the restored one-room schoolhouse which serves as a sweet shop.
This 5-acre maze is located in McLeansboro, IL. A straw bale maze is available for younger kids. Other activities to engage in include building your own scarecrow, painting some pumpkins, taking a hay ride or pony ride. There is also a unique soybean maze. Kids will have fun in the log cabin playhouse, teepee and play areas. You can go home with fresh baked goods as well as pumpkins and straw bales. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM until dark and Fridays from 4PM until dark. Groups can make arrangements to come by during the week. Visit the website for more information.
Breezy Hill Farms
Breezy Hill Farms in Benton Illinois is open for fall fun on weekends from September 11th until November 14th. The mazes offered here include a corn maze, a fence maze and a straw maze. A giant slide, corn pit and the barn-o-rama for kids are other attractions worth taking in. There is a petting zoo and a farm store featuring products grown or made on the farm.
A corn maze seems so harmless, doesn’t it? It’s just corn. Once you are inside and you’ve lost your bearings however, the corn takes on a more sinister feel. You’ll find yourself wondering what’s around the next corner. How far until you reach the exit? If you’ve ever watched movies like The Shining, Children of the Corn or Signs, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Are you ready to face the maize?
Source: Personal Visit and Individual Websites