Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of finding their way through winding paths to solve a mystery, claim a prize, or just make it to the other side – a perfect fall activity that gets kids and parents working together. Choose a farm with a corn maze to take your apple picking and pumpkin patch excursions up a level, plan an unforgettable birthday bash for your child, or just have a blast as a family. Here are some of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure—some are opening this weekend. Note: Most mazes are not stroller friendly, so if you’re bringing young children, consider using a backpack carrier.
Smolak Farms—North Andover
Smolak has a corn maze that's just the right size for novice maze explorers. Corn maze-goers also enjoy games like Pumpkin Bowling and Frankenstein Brain Toss. The farm offers a load of other bells and whistles as part of its annual fall festival, which is happening weekends from Labor Day through October. Our fave: The "Not So Scary Monster Safari Hayride," which is happening the last three weekends in October.
Open weekends in September and October
You can zip line over the corn at the Davis Mega Maze.
Davis Mega Maze—Sterling
Navigating the Davis Mega Maze is always an extreme adventure, with challenges like sling shots, obstacle courses, belly bouncers, brain teasers, seek-and-finds, a zip line, and other surprises as you navigate eight acres of twists and turns. This year, there's also a laser maze, glow-in-the-dark mazing, catered BBQ, live music, and even craft beers on taps for grown-ups and more as part of their "Mega Farm Festival," which begins September 22.
2017 theme: Go Pats!; open daily September 22-October 31
Marini Farm Corn Maze—Ipswich
There are 18 stations strategically placed throughout the maze with answers to a game sheet that you will be given before entering; the more answers you have, the closer you are to finishing. Younger children can enjoy a small hay-bale maze in the greenhouse, and older kids will have fun with the flashlight maze (BYO light) on Friday and Saturday nights. There are also some super play areas for before or after mazing, including a pirate ship play structure that's always a hit.
2017 theme: Conquer Everest: Search for the Yeti; open September 9-October 31
Tom Brady is the theme at the Sauchuk Farm Corn Maze.
Sauchuk Farm Corn Maze—Plympton
After playing games as you make your way through Sauchuk Farm's Corn Maze, let the kids ride the cow trains, pilot pedal carts, get aerial on the jumping pillows, shoot corn cannons, race ducks and cover themselves in corn kernels in the corn box. Challenge your family to a game of Pumpkin Tetherball or shoot hoops in the Barnyard Ball Zone, then hop on a haywagon to pick out the perfect pumpkin. There's a kiddie maze for little ones, too.
2017 theme: Tom Brady; open weekends September 16-October 31
Plan to spend a whole day at Connors, which really does it up in the fall. Admission includes the corn maze plus most games, slides, rides (including a zip line) and live shows. The best time to go may be weekends, when additional attractions like pig races, a corn cannon, a pumpkin blaster, and sling shots are in action. Use the farm's handy Attraction Age Gauge on its website to figure out which activities are best for your child's age and which ones cost extra.
2017 theme: Bentley Warren (a local race car driver); open September 9-October 31
There's plenty of fun to be had at C&C Reading Farm.
C&C Reading Farm—West Bridgewater
This 3-acre maze is sized right for families, and the creative, kid-friendly themes are an added draw. There are puzzles, questions, and picture rubbings to make along the journey. Children also enjoy the "grain train" ride to the pumpkin patch, "pumpkin checkers," a big "black python slide," and a haybale bowling alley.
2017 theme: Space Exploration; open daily September 23-October 31
Post originally published September 2011; updated 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Top photo of Smolak Farm's corn maze by Sarah Jordan Photography. All photos courtesy of the farms