Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Adirondack Family Activities: The Corn Maze

This year we will be hunting space aliens in Gabriels. Yes, crop circles have been found in the Adirondacks, though this time they can be proven the direct result of human effort, not the paranormal. For the fourth year in a row the design for the maze at Tucker Farms is from the artistic work of Scott Rohe. He didn’t even have to perpetuate any crop circle myth by going out in the dead of night to complete the large-scale land art. He just came up with the design so the Tuckers could plant the corn in a grid-like pattern.

That doesn’t mean you don’t get to search for aliens. Wandering through the maze will take you through three space ships and a television satellite truck beaming down an image of an alien journalist. Yes, it is that complicated. Now just try to find your way out of it.

You can either just try to blaze your way through or play the game. Each person is given a blank game piece and waved off to the entrance. We look for six mailboxes, each holding a partial piece of the maze. We round a corner and discover the first box and tape the piece to our game board. The corn stalks are well over my head. At one point the only indication that we are going in circles is the same rock we keep encountering.

My daughter is now old enough to not break the “short cut” rule, breaking through the stalks and creating a corn maze version of a herd path. In years past she could slip through the stalks and disappear and all I would hear was laughter while I madly spun trying to figure out a way to get to her with creating my own crop formation. After a particularly dodgy search and rescue (lasting minutes but felt like hours), I now require everyone to dress in bright colors.

Snacks and hot chocolate may be purchased at the entrance. Also ask for times for the tour of the 300-acre farm. At a mere $5, the cost works out to 2 cents per acre.

Past experience dictates I give my son his own money for hot chocolate or prepay with the entry tickets. He will find his way out well before I ever do. He has even come back a few times to help me along as I search for each mailbox, patiently piecing the pieces together to complete the puzzle.

Flashlight nights are every Friday and Saturday culminating with a bonfire and smores. This Sunday, October 4 will be a full moon making for a mazeful of fun. Other special events will be a Rock 105 FM Family Fun Day (to be announced) and Fright Night, the Saturday before Halloween.

Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-12, anyone under four years of age is free. The Tucker website has a $1 off admission coupon (can not be applied to other discounts or group rates.) Call 518-637-1230 for hours of operation and more information. Tucker Farms, family owned and operated, is located on Hobart Road in Gabriels.

Photo used with permission
photo credit: Thomas D. Tucker
An aerial view of the 2009 Great Adirondack Corn Maze

 


Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.




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