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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Missouri offers a-maze-ing corn

  • Corn mazes are for all ages. Why would someone want to visit a big patch of corn and wander through the middle of its zigzagging paths?
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  • Corn mazes are for all ages. Why would someone want to visit a big patch of corn and wander through the middle of its zigzagging paths?
    Visitors do it for the amazing fun of it. Missouri’s corn grows to more than 8 feet tall in most areas. Today’s planting methods create very thick walls of stalks.
    Farmers use their tractors equipped with GPS to cut a pattern of paths into the field. The design is only visible from the air. On the ground it’s a great maze of trails. Mazes can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to find your way out.
    There are well over 100 mazes in Missouri to visit. And there is more than one way to experience a maze of hay or corn. Daytime is the best time for kids. Nighttime mazes are completed with flashlights. Haunted corn mazes combine the puzzle path with scary experiences.
    The whole idea is a popular way for farms to create tourist attractions by offering a variety of fun autumn things to do on the farm.
    Designs are often original or based on themes or characters. One corn maze in California is 45 acres in total dimensions.
    Most farms offer a variety of things to do while visiting their farms.
    In our area some farms charge an admission and some are free to enter. Since these are all on working farms, most are on weekends only and during certain hours. Most can arrange to host group tours.
    Be sure you know where, when, and what the farm is offering the visitor before making the trip.
    In the Columbia area, the Shryock family has been farming their land since 1889. In 2002, the family’s first corn maze featured a Mizzou Tiger logo.
    This year’s maze is a 15-acre tribute to our troops design. Their maze is open weekends until Nov. 3.
    Ozark Nightmares Haunted House and Corn Maze in Lebanon offers a corn maze, haunted corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, haunted house, gift shop, snacks and a refreshment stand. It is open through October.
    Pete’s Pumpkin Patch in Rolla has a corn pit, live animals, hay tower, hay wagon ride, barrel cars, bounce house, swings, corn maze and Pete's Incredible Super Slide.
    In St. James, Cantrells Country Pumpkin Patch has a pumpkin patch, train rides, corn maze, pig races, tractor-pulled hay rides, bounce house, gift shop, face painting, bouncy castle, pony rides and petting zoo.
    During October, Deep Woods Farm in Crocker offers pumpkins for sale, kiddie (mini) corn maze, child-sized hay bale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, farm market, gift shop, concessions stand, picnic area, face painting, petting zoo, farm animals and school tours.
    Page 2 of 2 - Happy Hollows Pumpkin Patch is also in the Crocker area. It offers pumpkins for sale, train rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, refreshment stand, face painting, petting zoo, farm animals, birthday parties and school tours.
    In Dixon, visit the Meyer Tree and Berry Farm or Uncle Buck's Pumpkin Patch. Visitors can find pumpkins for sale, train rides, straw or hay bale maze, child-sized hay bale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, bounce house, farm market, gift shop, refreshment stand, picnic area, petting zoo, farm animals and school tours.
    The Fieth Family Farm in Bolivar offers a variety of similar things to do on its farm.
    Visitors have these two frequently asked questions. Will someone come and find me if I get lost in the maze? Yes, workers walk through the maze to assist visitors and there are often times trail maps with your ticket.
    And, are there restrooms in the maze? No.
    Fall is a fun and spooky time of the year when the crispness of autumn makes being out of doors more enjoyable and things that go “bump in the night” add to the chill of the air.

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