Our last trip to the pumpkin farm also included a corn maze. The farm we go to is near my parent's house and we've been going every October since I was in middle school. When I moved down to Southern California for school I remember being so disappointed that there were no good corn mazes down there. Joe and I tried going to one back before Ez was born and it was so poorly done that it was just like walking through a muddy corn field with no discernible paths to follow. We got completely lost and wound up making our own paths, which wasn't fun at all.
When we moved back up here just in time for fall last year I made it a priority to go back and visit that corn maze. And guess what? It was even better than I remembered. It's grown into a whole harvest festival type thing and they add new stuff to do each year. There's zip lining, bungee jumping, and an obstacle course for the thrill-seeking types. There's little kiddie carnival rides, including a roller coaster, a haunted house, train ride, giant play structures, a huge game of checkers, pony rides, food booths....the list of things to do there goes on and on. To be honest we didn't take advantage of 80% of the stuff they had to offer and we were still there for several hours and had so much fun.
My main purpose of going there is the corn maze. I have so many good memories of wandering around lost in their really intricate and complicated mazes that I want to share that with Ez, Declan, and Joe. We made sure to pick a day that Gangy and Grampa could join us as well. But before we could get started on the maze there were a few enticing playgrounds that Ez and Declan couldn't resist, starting with the giant pyramid of tires just begging to be climbed, a wooden train and monster truck, and a huge checkers board where the pieces were made of little tires. The checker board was probably my favorite, and surprisingly enough it was Ez and Declan's too. But not to play checkers. They loved making us stack the tires as tall as possible so they could push the whole tire tower over, screaming and jumping and laughing the whole time. That alone could have been hours of entertainment, but I dragged everyone off to the corn maze.
Someone who works at the farm handed us a map when we entered the maze but was so complicated looking that it was basically useless. And anyway, who needs a map when you have an Ez? We let him lead the way and he was a very sure and decisive leader, grabbing Grampa's hand and running off ahead, shouting back to us "This way!" before he'd disappear around a wall of corn. Declan was much less enthusiastic about the whole thing and clung to me or Joe at first, but he was a trooper and just kept marching along with a serious little look on his face.
We wandered and wandered, following Ez's directions, for almost an hour and a half, or about 3.5 miles. Thankfully the weather was absolutely perfect for being lost in a giant field of corn, mid 70s and not too hot at all. They have three mazes and each maze has a platform that you can climb up to survey where you are and which path to follow. We made it to two of the platforms. In other words, we covered a lot of ground. I was so proud of Ez for walking the whole way, and Declan for walking about half the way. They had a great time running wild and getting nice and dirty. At one point they both stopped to give themselves a dirt bath. It's like they each realized at the same moment that they were completely wasting this opportunity to get dirty and just started grabbing fistfuls of dirt and throwing it up in the air. Joe was brave enough to get some close up pictures while the rest of us took cover. Boys...
In the end we only had to cheat a teensy, tiny little bit. We knew we were one row over from the exit so we just snuck through the corn. The people working at the entrance commented on how we finally made it out and how long we were in there. I guess that's to be expected when following a three year old's directions. After some refreshments we boarded the train which took us around the perimeter of the farm and through a little old West town set up with real actors portraying a shootout. You can see Ez staring in shock at the bandit who was just shot to death right before his eyes. Not exactly something any of us were expecting to see on the train ride. Despite the random shootout it was a perfect fall outing and I'm so glad we went early in the day and beat the crowds and the heat.
One more item off our list!