Head outdoors for the original escape room, the corn maze! Twists and turns might stump your crew, but half the fun is finding the exit as a team. If you’re a family of sleuths, try to find your way out of one of these labyrinths in the dark (hint: follow the voices). Ready to solve a field of corn? Grab a map and head to one of these giant grain puzzles near DC.
photo: Wickham Farm via Yelp
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.
Where: 5273 Harry Byrd Hwy., Berryville, VA
Cost: $12/person 3 & up
Open: Sat.-Sun. and Columbus Day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (through Nov. 3)
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: Meghan Yudes Meyers
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.
Where: 15855 Limestone School Rd., Leesburg, VA
Cost: $8-$15; free for kids under 2
Open: Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Select Mon. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (through Nov. 5)
Liberty Mills Farm
For the most dedicated of puzzle people, the largest corn maze is two hours outside of DC 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 a 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.
Where: 9166 Liberty Mills Rd., Somerset, VA
Cost: $10-$14; free for kids under 4
Open: check website for dates and times
photo: Parker S. via Yelp
Corn Maze in the Plains
Chosen as one of the top corn mazes in the DC 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.
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”—perfect for 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.
photo: Winterbrook Farms
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 and more. After dark, settle around the campfire and enjoy a movie on their outdoor screen.
Where: 13001 Creagerstown Rd., Thurmont, MD
Cost: $10; free for kids under 2
Open: Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Get lost in this 7-acre “Angry Birds” themed corn maze. For the littlest of maze runners, checkout the smaller “Spookley The Square Pumpkin” maze. 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.
Where: 1720 Crain Hwy. North, Upper Marlboro, MD
Cost: $12; free for kids under 2
Open: check website for dates and times
photo: Mt. Hood Territory
Here you’ll find 8 acres of twists and turns and even a few bridges to keep you disoriented. This year’s maze celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. What better way to celebrate the moon then with a daring moonlight exploration. 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.
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!
Where: 15621 Braddock Rd., Centreville, VA
Cost: $6-$18; free for kids under 2
Open: Everyday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (through Nov. 5)
—Meghan Yudes Meyers with Jamy Bond and Ayren Jackson-Cannady