NYC's Only Corn Maze and More Fall Fun Await at the Queens Farm Museum
There aren't many better ways to get the family excited for the fall in NYC than taking the kids for a tour through a 3-acre corn maze in the middle of Queens and letting their imaginations run wild. The Queens County Farm Museum's Amazing Maize Maze opens for the season Friday, September 17, and it's just one of the quintessential fall activities happening at this New York City institution.
The Amazing Maize Maze is the only corn maze in the city. My family and I have conquered lots of these mazes and can happily say the one at the Queens County Farm Museum is just as much fun as its country counterparts. Read on for our tips to make the most of your visit to the farm and the corn maze. But no, we aren't giving you the route. You'll still need to figure that out yourself!
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The Queens County Farm Museum started the Amazing Maize Maze in 2002. The theme and route change annually—this year's inspiration is Andy Warhol’s iconic cow wallpaper—but the goal is always the same: to find your way out! Don't be put off by the size; 3 acres is manageable, even for young children (just stay more focused with tots and preschoolers), and there are fun interactive elements to keep them engaged along the way.
Before you enter the maze, the staff gives you its "Stalk Talk," a short info session with the rules (no running, no cutting through the stalks) and tips about how to conquer the corn maze, like looking for mailboxes that contain pieces of a map. Then, you grab a flag (every group gets one—it helps the farm keep track of how many folks are in the maze) and you're off. It can take up to two hours to navigate to the exit, though the average time seems to be about an hour. You're welcome to stay inside as long as you'd like, and if you get stuck, you can ask for assistance from the helpful workers sitting up in the tower by talking to them through a long black hose.
You won't be able to see above the stalks, so find your path another way!
Our kids loved traveling through the maze, especially looking for the mailboxes so they could assemble the map on their game board. We found our way out before we got all the map pieces, much to the dismay of the kids, who wanted to collect them all. They were happy to discover that you can grab all of the missing pieces at the exit. The game board has other helpful hints, like info about the color-coded ribbons tied around the stalks and a just-for-fun crossword puzzle that has clues scattered throughout the maze.
If you're looking for a unique and spooky evening, check out the Maze by Moonlight on October 2, 23, and 28 when the maze stays open until 9:30pm, and you find your way through the stalks by starry light and flashlight.
After completing the maze, the kids might enjoy picking a pumpkin from the patch, petting and feeding the farm animals, or going on a hayride.
Season Highlights at the Queens County Farm Museum
- Queens County Fair: Friday, September 10-Sunday, September 12: Fair-goers get a sneak peek at the Amazing Maze Maize, with fair admission including a run through the maze plus traditional fair fun like pie eating and corn husking contests, carnival rides, midway games, and more.
- Pumpkin Patch: Daily, Friday, October 1-Saturday, October 30: Pick out the perfect Halloween pumpkin.
- Illuminate the Farm: Select dates Thursday, November 25-Sunday, January 9, 2022: OK, this falls a little closer to the holidays, but it's worth putting on your radar, as the NYC Winter Lantern Festival brings its larger-than-life creations to the grounds.
Things To Know Before You Go
- Advance tickets are required and can be purchased online.
- The Amazing Maize Maze hours are noon-4:30pm on Fridays; Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, hours are 11am-4:30pm.
- Eat before entering the maze. You're going to be spending an hour or two inside, so you don't want to get hangry. There are food vendors at the farm, but you can also bring your own food and sit at the picnic tables.
- Bring water. I brought water bottles (and there is a water fountain at the entrance), and we were still thirsty the entire time.
- Don't forget the sunscreen. Even in the fall, the sun can get strong on the farm.
- If possible, leave the stroller home. While the lanes in the maze are wide enough to accommodate most strollers, it is natural farmland with divots and grooves, and it's tough to push most carriages through. Pack your carrier instead.
- Let the kids lead the way. It's fun for them (even if it takes a little—OK, maybe a lot—longer).
- Transit directions are available on the farm's website, but it's a haul from Midtown without a car.
Photos courtesy of the Queens County Farm Museum
Originally published in 2018 and updated annually