We had a “bonus” summer weekend last weekend, and now it finally feels like fall. I think it’s safe to say that we can officially switch from “summer” mode to “autumn mode.” That not only means cooler weather and shorter daylight hours, but seasonal events like haunted house outings and hay rides, apple orchard excursions, zombie pub crawls, and—if you plan ahead—a trip to Sever’s Corn Maze and Fall Festival in Shakopee. You don’t have to be a kid or have kids to enjoy Sever’s. Go with your grown family, head there with friends, bring out-of-town visitors, take your date. Just go! They’re only open through the end of the month. Trust me, you will not be bored.
Expect to spend a few hours at Sever’s. It’s so much more than a corn maze (one with a challenge to complete, to make it more like a seek-and-find mission). There’s also a straw bale maze, massive corn pit (10,000 bushels, to be exact), two jumping pillows (basically giant inflatables for both kids and adults), a tractor tire mountain, potato sack slide, camel and pony rides, pig races, exotic animal petting zoo, magic show, and a parakeet landing tent. Pretend you’re at the Minnesota State Fair and nosh on mini donuts, slow-roasted corn, or hot dogs. Warm up with hot cocoa. Listen to live music. Before you leave, select the perfect pumpkin for your Jack-o-lantern this Halloween. (You can even launch a pumpkin, if you’d rather smash them than carve them.)
• Leave the dog at home. No pets are allowed.
• Wear old shoes. They will get dusty.
• Look for coupons on the website.
• Make sure you have a map to navigate the maze. (Yes, you will need it!)
• If you plan on being at the maze later than 7 p.m., bring a flashlight!
• There’s an additional fee for a few of the activities, including the pumpkin blasters ($5 for 7 or 8 mini pumpkins), giant slide ($2/person), hay rides ($1/person), pony and camel rides ($5), and the Sever’s Pumpkin Alley and Zig Zag Squash Supreme ($1-2).
• Sever’s is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 26, as well as Thursday, October 16 (MEA). Hours are 1 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays (the last tickets are sold at 6:30 p.m. to allow enough time to see everything), and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free for kids three and under; ages 4 and over is $13. Sever’s is located next to Canterbury Park in Shakopee, 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee, MN 55379. For more information, call 952-974-5000.