Maze runner: Adventure awaits in the many suburban corn mazes open this fall
Farms across the region are in the process of crafting creative corn mazes, often paired with games, food and other attractions to celebrate autumn. Check out the cleverly mapped designs perfect for strolling with your family and friends or challenging your navigational skills. Some farms also conjure a haunted maze experience.
Here's a collection of corn mazes to enjoy this season.
Boggio's Orchard and Produce
12087 Illinois Route 71, Granville, (815) 339-2245, boggiosorchardandproduce.com
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
In a tribute to health care workers, this season's corn maze design will depict a nurse -- a pumpkin nurse, said Denise Boggio, noting the maze opens after Labor Day. Find the three hidden stamps in Boggio's 5-acre maze needed to fill out a ticket for a chance to win $100. Before Halloween, the flashlight mazes will open. "They're not too scary," Boggio said. Admission to those costs $10 and includes a hot dog, drink and chips.
Richardson Adventure Farm
909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove, (815) 675-9729, richardsonadventurefarm.com
Hours: 3-9 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday; additional times available for large groups
Admission: Throughout September, and Thursdays and Fridays in October: $18 for ages 13-64, $15 for kids 3-12; Saturdays and Sundays in October: $22 for adults, $18 for kids; free for kids 2 and younger
Billed as the "World's Largest Corn Maze," Richardson Adventure Farm's maze offers adventurers a 9-mile trail winding through 28 acres of corn. It runs Sept. 11 through Nov. 7, and the design this year celebrates what happens at Richardson Farm. The maze is made up of four smaller mazes that each have their own dedicated in and out path. Maze-goers can traverse one maze or all four. Also, the maze will be open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18 and Oct. 22-23.
19412 Shabbona Road, Malta, (815) 825-2158, jonamacorchard.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Aug. 28. The haunted maze, which opens Oct. 1, will be open from dark to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Admission: $6 for access to the whole farm; $15 for the haunted maze; advance tickets recommended.
The family designed this season's corn maze to represent their farm, with the visible title, "Our Happy Place," says Jenna Spychal, one of the third-generation family members and owners. It reflects their goal of "creating a happy place for families to visit every year," she said, noting it will incorporate all of the favorite fall things on their farm. The attraction runs Aug. 28 through Oct. 31. Jonamac Orchard traditionally creates about a 10-acre maze with 3 miles of pathways. Recommended for ages 13 and older, the haunted maze does not allow flashlights, only glow sticks or penlights.
Konow's Corn Maze
16849 S. Cedar Road, Homer Glen, (708) 301-8845, konowscornmaze.com
Hours: 2-8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday
Admission: $12 Monday and Wednesday through Friday; $15 Saturday and Sunday and Columbus Day; free for kids 2 and younger
Konow's offers two mazes: One for serious puzzlers who enjoy finding their way through about 3 miles of twists and turns, and a smaller maze for those who only want to walk a short distance or those with small children. The Fall Fest begins Sept. 18 and runs through Oct. 30.
Johnson's Pumpkin Stand & Corn Maze
1502 W. Motel Road, Sycamore, (815) 895-3752, johnsonspumpkinstand.com
Hours: 5-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Admission: $7, $4 for the small maze only
The pumpkin stand opens Sept. 18, and the corn maze will be ready on Oct. 2, both operating through Oct. 31. A smaller maze will be nestled inside the larger 6-acre maze that this year focuses on the children's storybook "Charlotte's Web." Johnson's Pumpkin Stand & Corn Maze is home to everything for fall decorating, from straw bales and corn shocks to ornamental items, pumpkins and gourds.
Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm
4853 Highway 52, Minooka, (815) 651-7288, heapsgiantpumpkinfarm.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily
Admission: $6 weekdays; $8 weekends; free for kids 2 and younger
Open from Sept. 12 to Oct. 31, Heap's Corn Maze consists of acres of winding and twisting trails. Visitors will receive a map to help find checkpoints throughout the maze. Those who find all the checkpoints and fill out the information on the map can turn it in for a chance to win a giant pumpkin. Heap's regularly hosts a haunted corn maze and a flashlight maze.
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Admission: Online: $19.95 for more than 35 activities, onsite: $24.95; online weekends all-inclusive pass (includes admission, gem mining, paintball and train ride on Saturdays and Sundays and Columbus Day): $31.95
The 10-acre maze features a Super Mario Bros. design from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31. Children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. The farm offers more than 35 attractions for the price of admission, including a smaller 2-acre maze for children with the theme "Spookley and Friends." That maze design includes Spookley the Square Pumpkin and his anti-bullying crusade. Spookley is a square pumpkin who finds life challenging by being different in the children's story, "The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin," by Joe Troiano.
All Seasons Orchard
14510 Illinois Route 176, Woodstock, (815) 338-5637, allseasonsorchard.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Labor Day and Columbus Day
Admission: Prices to be updated in August
Each year, 10 acres at All Seasons is transformed into a corn maze with more than 3 miles of pathways and a lookout bridge. The maze has two paths: a shorter one for youngsters and a more challenging one for the maze enthusiast. The season runs from Aug. 28 to Oct. 31.
Kuipers Family Farm
1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park, (815) 827-5200, kuipersfamilyfarm.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Admission: Ages 3 to 64 weekdays: $19.99 for online tickets, $21.99 at the gate; $22.99 (online) and $24.99 (gate) on weekends and Columbus Day; free for ages 2 and younger; senior and military discounts available
The Kuipers corn maze features 5 acres of twists, turns and games. More than 20 attractions are included in the price of admission, as well as a free pumpkin, all part of the Pumpkin Farm lineup running Sept. 18 to Oct. 31.