Touted as “more than a walk thru stalks,” the Corn Maze in the Plains lives up to its expectation. The last time I was here I had a preschooler so we didn’t do the big maze. Now that my child is 9, I knew she could tackle the 5 acre corn maze.
The 2016 theme for the maze is “Who You Gonna Call?” from Ghostbusters. The maze is definitely geared toward older children and takes a max of one hour to complete. Grab a flag pole before you enter the maze. Cheating by walking through the corn stalks is prohibited. If you need help for any reason, raise your flag and a staff member will help you exit the maze. There is an observation deck where staff can find you and a respite if you need a break or just want to inhale the fall air. I was impressed at how level the ground was making it a breeze to walk through the terrain.
There is a glorious pumpkin display set behind the white barn, which makes for a nice photo op. After the maze, it was time to duke it out with a kids versus parents game of tug of war. A lot of sweaty palms and laughs were had. Equally hilarious is seeing children and adults on the fidget ladders. Picture a swing ladder low to the ground that shakes as you try to crawl across it only to flip gently and land in a bed of straw. It’s quite the sight. If you’re looking for something less wobbly, there’s also a spider web, obstacle course and a circular maze of hay bales.
My daughter had the most fun rolling giant tubes and then joining a friend as I rolled them in the tube. There are only three tubes and they were a big hit with everyone present. Pumpkin sling shot is free with admission for up to three tries. You can launch baby pumpkins across a target using a giant sling shot.
Kids can take turns “milking” a cow, board a vintage tractor, climb on tires or ride a tire horse swing, play bean bag toss or a game of corn hole. Several slides constructed from barrels were also popular for children to experience. I really enjoyed the hayride which lasted under 15 minutes. At a slow place, we got to see open fields, rolling hills and an old, stone well that is original to the farm. There are photo cut-outs and a tent with picnic tables and hay bales for when you need a break. The only disappointment I had was that there were so few animals on the farm. There was a cute floppy-eared pig, two goats and a few chickens.
Concessions include local grass-fed beef burgers, hot dogs (really good), BBQ, three types of mac and cheese, coleslaw, chips, vegan and gluten free baked goods and apple pie from Blue Ridge Baking Company and canned drinks. I found the prices ranging from $2 to $10 to be slightly high as most items averaged $7. Take home some of the country with you and stop into Kate’s country store for local goodness like kettle corn, pumpkin pie fudge, apple juice or teas. They carry Golden Apiary honey, which I stock up on during allergy season. While there is no pumpkin patch, there is a decent selection of small pumpkins already marked while bigger pumpkins are priced by the pound. A bonus is the Sunday farmers market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring produce and gift items. As you exit the property you will drive right into the market.
- The only bathrooms are port-a-potties with sanitizer, but I also recommend bringing wipes, especially if you pet the animals or touch hay.
- Admission is comparable to other fall festivals. Adults are $11, children 12 and under are $9 and free for ages 3 and under. Take advantage of discount day Fridays and also on November 7 and 8 when admission is just $8 per person for over age 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Corn Maze in the Plains 2016 season is open weekends (except Sept. 30), Columbus Day and Election Day until Nov. 8. The daytime corn maze is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. while the moonlight maze is held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t forget to dress warm and bring a flashlight for the evening maze.
- Rent a private campfire for your family or group. The cost of $65 includes a two hour rental near the corn maze, firewood, a giant checker board and wooden seating. Bring your own roasting sticks and food or purchase them from the food booth. Every guest needs to pay regular admission to the farm in addition to the campfire fee.
The Corn Maze in the Plains is a nice option for younger children, but there is something for all family members to enjoy.
Photos by Kathleen Molloy.