Come fall, pumpkins get all the glory. But corn has found a way to steal some of the thunder back. We’re talking about corn mazes. Enter one and you and the kiddos can get lost (in a good way) for hours. Here are our favorite plains of grain near D.C.
Photo: Wayside Farm
Located directly off Route 7, the farm offers hayrides, pig races, slides, and playgrounds. In addition to offering its fair share of entertainment, this working farm grows the prettiest pumpkin varieties in the area on their 8-acre u-pick pumpkin patch. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wayside Farm is an idyllic farm setting for families looking for the ultimate outdoors-y adventure this fall.
The tantalizing tangle of corn at this farm is broken up into two sections: a smaller one for the kids (and, let’s face it—those of us who aren’t directionally gifted) and a larger, more challenging version for all of you Mensa members. Stay for the pumpkin patch, giant slides, crunchy corn crib (think ball pen but with corn kernels!) and hayrides. On weekends, performances on the Silo Stage will be sure to get everyone’s toes a-tappin’. BONUS: The Lil’ Pumpkin Rest Stop provides privacy for the nursing mommies and a place to change junior’s diaper.
Photo: Temple Hall Farm
Temple Hall Farm
Holy hominy! At a massive 24 acres, the supersized maze at Temple Hall Farm outside of Leesburg is a local legend that’s usually packed on the weekend. If you have an ounce of energy left after emerging from the monster maze, take your best shot in the paintball gallery. Or partake in happy-family stuff like horse-drawn carriage rides, pumpkin launching, jumping pillows and pig races.
How much? $8-$14; free for kids under 2
15855 Limestone School Rd. (Leesburg, Va)
Open Fri., 4 pm-10 pm; Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sun., 10 am-5 pm (through Nov. 8)
Liberty Mills Farm
For the most dedicated of puzzle people, the largest corn maze is two hours outside of D. C. in Somerset, Va. How big is it? 25 acres (that’s 18 football fields, by the way). There’s 4 trails to choose from, ranging from 30 min to complete to two hours! After all that walking (and perhaps getting lost), enjoy a relaxing hayride, pumpkin picking, or a game of cornhole.
Corn Maze in the Plains
Chosen as one of the top corn mazes in the D.C. area, Corn Maze in the Plains creates a different awesomely twisty, turn-y corn maze each year. A series of stations built into the maze ask tough questions that if answered correctly provide directions on how to get out. Come early to take a hay ride, swing on a tire, love on cute furry creatures in the petting zoo and more. Stay late to navigate the moonlight maze, which is lit up with a sea of flashlights darting in every direction. Sit by the campfire, sip hot cider and roast a yummy s’more to reward yourself for finding your way out.
How much? $11 general; $9 kids 12 and under; free for kids under 3
4501 Old Tavern Rd. (The Plains, Va)
Open Fri.-Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sun, 10 am-6 pm (through Nov. 7)
At only six acres, this “cozy” corn maze is one of the smallest around, making it a winner for families with little ones barely taller than a stalk of corn. Think of it as “maze lite”—or perfect for city slickers and those prone to meltdowns. There’s also a Straw Bale Maze for those who like to see over the hedge. While you’re visiting, check out the rest of the 55-acre Lothian farm (east of Upper Marlboro), with lots of fall festival activities involving pumpkins, an underground slide, and hayrides. The festival was even on an episode of TLC’s Our Little Family!
Photo: Lawyer’s Farm
Lawyer’s Winterbrook Farm
Choose-your-own-adventure at this family-run farm! Five corn mazes, ranging from less than half a mile to over 2.5 miles, ensures everyone in your troop will have a blast! You could spend hours getting lost, and then–if there is time–check out some of the farm’s other fam-friendly features, including two pumpkin cannons, a hay fort, go-cart speedway, teepee bonfires, outdoor movies, and Transformers made out of old truck parts. After dark, settle around the campfire and enjoy a movie on their outdoor screen.
How much? $10 regular; $7 for kids under 4’ tall; free for kids under 2
13001 Creagerstown Rd. (Thurmont, Md)
Open: Fri., 5 pm-11 pm; Sat., 11 am-11 pm; Sun., 11 am-7 pm (through Nov. 5)
Even though it’s chilly out, get lost in this year’s “Down On the Farm)” themed corn maze! This 7-acre meandering maze starts off with a stop in the Video Room where you’ll be prepped for the mission. Be sure to grab a pair of 3D glasses to see the hidden map on the back of the supplied game sheet! Who will be the first to decode the secret word?! For the littlest of maze runners, checkout the “Jack and the Cornstalk” maze which features storyboards throughout. Afterwards, attend a scarecrow making workshop (additional fee), duck races, painting pumpkins, hay rides, and more. You can even leave your pumpkins at Pumpkin Daycare, outfitted with cribs and name tags. In other words, parental units don’t have to lug around the 25 lb pumpkin that your pumpkin’ had to have.
Photo: Mt. Hood Territory
Here you’ll find 8 acres of twists and turns and even a few bridges to keep you disoriented. Keep an eye out for Curious George (this year’s theme) as you find your way through. And if you and your brood are more daring than the rest, come at night for the moonlight maze, but don’t forget your flashlight! There’s also plenty more to do at Belvedere’s Fall Festival, including hay rides, pedal tractors and pig races.
How much? $10 – $19 (prices vary based on day and time).
1410 Belvedere Dr.
Open: Fri., 5 pm-10 pm; Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sun., 10 am-6 pm (through Oct. 29)
The Cornundrum at Cox Farms isn’t a maze but there’s still lots of mystery to be uncovered inside. With every turn comes surprises like silly mirrors, giant stuffed spiders, and dark caves (ooOOOOOooo). For those of fainter hearts, there’s tons to do—over 6 types of slides, practicing farm chores, and the World Famous Hayride. For the tiny tots, check out the Kiddie Zone with one entry/exit point, bubbles, straw mountain, and small slide. BONUS: Free apples and apple cider all around the farm!
How much? $5-$17; free for kids under 2
15621 Braddock Rd. (Centreville, Va)
Open: Everyday 10 am-6 pm (through Oct. 31)
Do you have a favorite corn maze? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
—Jamy Bond and Ayren Jackson-Cannady