There are some tried and true signs that fall is on the horizon. Pumpkin lattes. Summit Oktoberfest. Cool mornings. The first leaves falling. Apple picking. Corn mazes. While we like to get out of the house on any nice day of the year, there’s something about fall weekends, when you can wear jeans, boots and layers (to take off when the September sun gets a little too warm) and just enjoy the crisp outdoor weather. An easy way to do that in Minnesota is to find the nearest corn maze and just get lost. No matter where you are, you don’t have to look far; corn fields runneth over in Minnesota and those cut into mazes are just as plentiful.
Sever’s Corn Maze
Sever’s Corn Maze, Shakopee: Probably one of the most well known mazes around, and my family’s personal favorite, Sever’s is located just outside the Twin Cities. Sever cuts his maze in a different shape each year (oftentimes based on current events, like elections) and this year he’s paying homage to his home state. Follow the clues to help you get through the maze (really, if you just pay attention, you can’t get lost), sling pumpkins, visit the petting zoo, cruise down the giant slide, and just have some good old fashioned fun.
Tweite’s Family Farm, Byron: Just west of Rochester, this 25-year event offers a 12-acre corn maze, wagon rides, a theme park, enchanted forest, goofy golf, and a pumpkin patch.
Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Maze, Brooklyn Park: The largest corn maze in the state is located smack dab in the middle of the Twin Cities. Not only can you scope out the maze (also Minnesota themed this year), you can ride ponies (or helicopters!), buy pumpkins, take a hayride, and catch some live music. A portion of each ticket goes to charity (the family has raised nearly $75,000 in its first three years).
Shafer Corn Maze, Shafer: Located north of the Twin Cities, the Paul Bunyan-themed maze is actually a compilation of three different mazes for all challenge levels. One maze is 3 miles long, another is 1 mile long, and third is perfect for the littler kids at .2 miles long. (Come back in October for haunted fun on weekend nights.)
101 Market Harvest Corn Maze, Otsego: This maze theme celebrates hunting and fishing in Minnesota. You can also jump in the corn pit, race pedal carts, bounce on a giant pillow, and sling potatoes.
Afton Apple Orchard, Hastings: Not only can you pick strawberries, raspberries, apples, and pumpkins, but you can travel the 15-acre corn maze (broken into three phases for different levels). Open until 10 p.m., it’s one of the few mazes you can try by moonlight every weekend.
Hours and admission prices for each maze vary. Check individual sites for more information.