Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gabriels: The Great Adirondack Corn Maze

I am not one that searches out various ways to be frightened. I have to dial down my 10-year-old’s enthusiastic Halloween decorating, not for lack of creativity, but because I don’t want to be terrified entering my own house.

I’ll compromise with a few fake spider webs draped across the porch because we more often than not have the real thing hanging around anyway. As far as activities go, the Great Adirondack Corn Maze in Gabriels manages to thrill all ages and fear levels of my family.

With a 10th anniversary theme, this year’s 10-acre maze has ten mailboxes tucked among the corn stalks, each holding one piece of the puzzle. Tucker Farms has added four acres of complicated paths and dead ends to its traditional six-acre maze. The design is a compilation of different sections of each previous maze design from the past nine years. Some years my family has attempted to collect each puzzle piece and other times we’ve just tried to make it through the maze without getting stuck too long in one corner.

According to Tucker Farmers owner Tom Tucker, a Fright Night was added to the schedule about five years ago because so many people continued to request a scarier option to the Great Adirondack Corn Maze. He says that the October 26th Fright Night from 7-10 pm happens rain, snow or shine.

“Fright Night has all sorts of things like people jumping out and a chainsaw person,” says Tucker. “The corn maze is open that day until 5 pm and then reopens at 7 pm for Fright Night. We do sell glow sticks if people need them. Depending on the weather people are going to have to have flashlights just to see where they are going. There isn’t any music playing but the wind can make it even more eerie.”

The corn maze is open from Thursday to Sunday with extended evening hours for the very brave. Flashlight Nights, offered each Friday and Saturday evening from dusk to 10 pm, is a milder version of Fright Night. There is a bonfire and s’more fixings during the evening events. People bring flashlights and weave their way through the maze. With no planned elements of surprise, Flashlight Nights offer a nice segue into the scarier option.

Admission for children (4-13) is $8, adults (14 and up) $10, children unaccompanied by adults $10 and children (3 and under) are free. Regular hours are 1 pm – dusk from Thursday to Sunday. Save a buck and go to their website and print out the $1 off admission coupon. Another option to the maze is a wagon ride farm tour, which includes beautiful views of the High Peaks and a stop at the Tucker Farm EarthScope Seismic Station.

Photo of the Great Adirondack Corn Maze used with by permission of Diane Chase,

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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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