Outdoors is where it’s at for fall family fun in 2020. A corn maze gets you outside, moving around and solving problems together. Not only are these some of the best corn mazes near NYC, they’re also on farms where you can do lots of other fall activities like pumpkin picking, apple picking, flower picking and hayrides, as well as more extreme things like firing off an apple canon or riding a monster truck. Many are hosting safe fall festivals as well—mask up and get lost! (Note: virtually all farms are requiring advance, online ticket purchase for activities, so plan ahead.)

Queens County Farm Museum

The corn maze closest to NYC (because it's in NYC) is the Queens County Farm Museum's Amazing Maize Maze. The maze is three acres, and clues lead you to overlook bridge, from which you can see the whole design, inspired by Van Gogh's "Sunflowers." Advance purchase of tickets is required. You can even do the maze at night if you want. 

In September, the museum is holding September Sundays (9/13, 20 & 27), which in addition to admission to the maze, includes hayrides; live music from New Orleans-inspired bluegrass band Mama Juke, (audience crop circles will help with social distancing, but you can bring your own chair, too); Adopt-a-Worm composting program and crafts and tips at the Con Edison Ecology Booth. For food ands drink, head to the Queens Farm’s Beer Garden sponsored by Bridge & Tunnel Brewery with local food vendors. Tickets for September Sundays are $20/adults; $15/kids. Buy them here.

(You can visit the museum and so the maze any time as well, purchasing tickets for the maze as an add-on. Adults are $12, kids 12 and under are $8. Buy tickets in advance here

73-50 Little Neck Pkwy.
Floral Park, NY
718-347-3276
Online: queensfarm.org

photo: Ort Farms

Ort Farms

More than a century old, Ort Farms is saluting health care workers with its corn maze. Measuring eight acres, it will take you about 30 minutes to complete and costs $6. Ort Farms also offers lots more fall fun, including a sunflower trail, pony rides, apple canons, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, pick-your-own veggies and more. 

25 Bartley Rd.
Long Valley, NJ
908-876-3351
Online: ortfarms.com

photo: Alstede Farms

Alstede Farms

A family-owned 600-acre farm, Alstede Farms has not one, not two, but three mazes for fall fun: a corn maze, a sunflower maze and an evergreen maze. Bonus: all are included with pick-your-own admission. The corn maze includes fun facts about the maze's theme (which changes annually), and for thrillseekers, you can tackle it at night with a Harvest Moon Hayride. Advance purchase is required. 

Price:  $19.99/person, which includes pick-your-own apples

1 Alstede Farms Ln.
Chester, NJ
908-879-7189
Online: alstedefarms.com

 

photo: Von Thun Farms

Von Thun Farms

Von Thun Farms' corn maze has a lot going on—in a good way. (Note the farm has two locations.) The design is on point this this year, depicting cute farm animals wearing masks and the message "Stay Safe." Features of the maze include an anti-bullying story about Spookley the square pumpkin in the first phase of the maze, hints to keep you on track, "Farm Scene Investigation" to help find "Farmer Joe", and you can try it at night as well. The maze is part of fall fun at the farm, which includes more than 35 activities for kids, including apple picking, pumpkin blasters, a pumpkin patch and more. The farm opens for weekend autumn fun September 19, and is open Thursdays and Fridays as well in October. The farm's Fall Festival PLUS is October 10 and 11 and 17 and 18.  is Pricing starts at $13.99/person, and kids under 36 inches are free! 

505 Ridge Rd.
Dayton, NJ
732-329-8656
Online: vonthunfarms.com

438 Route 57 West
Washington, NJ 
732-986-6816
Online: vonthunfarms.com

 

Stony Hill Farms

Stony Hill is very serious about mazes. Not only is it home to 10-acre corn maze with a 2020 theme of "A-MAZED By Weather"—it features a smiling sun, a big twister and lots of fun facts about weather—the farm's fun park also has a one-acre maze for little ones, a rope maze and a tile maze. The farm's large maze always features a few bridges for fun elevated views, as well as a "Maze Master" who will come to your aid if you're really stumped. You'll also find pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, lots of Jersey Fresh produce and other attractions here. Farm fun packages start at $14.99, and advanced purchase online is required. Buy tickets here!

15 North Rd.
Chester, NJ
908-879-2908
Online: stonyhillfarms.com

photo: Happy Day Farm

Happy Day Farm

The folks at Happy Day Farm in Manalapan, New Jersey, bust out some cool designs and high tech help for their 10-acre maze. (See designs through the years here.) This year's theme is superheroes, with the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman rendered in corn. If you get stuck, you can text a maze master for hints and help with the maze (you'll have to answer a question correctly, though), and you can also scan posts throughout the maze to receive a picture of where you are in the maze from above. (Whoa.) This farm also features fall festival fun on weekends with tons of activities for kids—pig races, giant slide, hay mountain, pumpkin bowling, etc. Tickets for the maze and more are $16 per person and must be purchased online in advance. Maze open daily from September 12 to October 25. Note: It's cash only here.

106 Iron Ore Rd. 
Manalapan, NJ
732-977-3607
Online: happydayfarmnj.com

photo: Fairview Farm

Fairview Farm

Fairview Farms' maze is a two-mile stroll through 10-foot-high corn, and features a design celebrating the maze's 20th anniversary. Stressed-out players can take a break on one of the maze's two bridges, which provide views of the surrounding farmland, Mecox Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. Looking for some fun novelty? Test your aim with the "corn cannon"; little kids will enjoy making a mess in giant tractor tires filled with corn. (FYI: they sell 20 kinds of homemade pies here!) Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for kids 11 and under, and those under three are free. 

69 Horsemill Ln. 
Bridgehampton, NY
631-537-6154
Online: fairviewfarmatmecox.com

Delaware River Railroad Excursions Corn Maze Train

How's this for blowing your train-crazy kid's mind?: a corn maze you get to via steam train. Yes, it's true. You'll have to drive and hour-and-a-half to get to where you board, but that's small sacrifice for pure joy. (Capacity is reduced to 25 percent and masks are required for COVID-19 safety. See all precautions here.) Thanks to Delaware River Railroad Excursions you can hop The Corn Maze Train to two mazes. For an additional fee, in addition to the mazes, you can tour the Ol Susquehanna Gem Stone Mine and learn how to mine for gems, which you can take home. Tickets for the train plus maze (you must select the maze as an add-on at checkout) are $22 for adults and $16 for kids.

99 Elizabeth St.
Phillipsburg, NJ
Online: nyswths.org

—Mimi O’Connor

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