Pumpkin patches and corn mazes—American rituals that we welcome each fall.
There is something in the air that makes humans want to get out before winter sets in. The shift in the sun’s angles and the shorter days trigger our prehistoric brains, sending us to enjoy the sunshine and “gather” provisions for the cold days ahead.
Pumpkin patches and corn mazes: Using farms for entertainment
Corn mazes are pure entertainment for all ages. Starting with planting season, farmers have a template that allows them to grow corn and create a maze that will draw crowds before the crop is harvested. Over the years, companies have popped up that do nothing except design mazes: cartoon characters, movie themes, or the farm’s logo. See some of the best corn mazes of 2016.
The first corn maze happened in 1993, when two young men created one for Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. Dwarfed by today’s expansive mazes, it was constructed on a measly three acres. Today, Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, IL, claims to be the largest, with 28 acres and an intricate maze that requires checkpoints and viewing bridges. The 2017 theme: The Cubs World Series Championship!
Pumpkin patches and corn mazes: Good profit for a small plot of land
Farming is an expensive endeavor, reliant on conditions that can’t be controlled. Adding another stream of income makes sense. By switching a few acres to grow pumpkins and charging eager visitors to choose their perfect autumn decorations or future jack-o-lanterns, everyone wins.
Visitors have a choice between sorting through pumpkins that have already been picked and priced. Or, they can climb onto a tractor-pulled wagon for a bumpy ride to the field where their pumpkin awaits. Either way, it’s better than getting a pumpkin at Wal-Mart or a grocery store.
Pumpkin farmers often have other fall decorations, including gourds, corn stalks, and bunches of Indian corn. They may also grow white, bumpy, or multi-colored pumpkins, as well as the special small ones used for cooking and baking.
Travel Channel lists the Top 10 Pumpkin Patches.
Where to find a pumpkin patch near you? Click here!
Is there anything else to do at pumpkin patches and corn mazes?
You bet! Farms know that guests get hungry and thirsty. depending on its size, there can be anything from a snack bar to a full restaurant. Visitors can count on fall treats such as apple cider, brats, and pumpkin pie. Plan to stop and relax before hauling pumpkins to the car.
Many places also have rides and activities for the entire family, especially for the kids.
If you’re lucky, there is a bakery onsite, making apple cider donuts or a variety of pumpkin and apple treats. Count on a gift shop of some type, too.
It’s pure fun, American-style. Families, couples, and solos can have a great time this fall. The point is to be outdoors and enjoy the beauty of the season.
Not in the mood for a pumpkin patch or corn maze? Consider these: