Corn mazes provide fall family fun

An aerial view of the pirate-themed maze at Beachmont Christian Ministries in Kingsville. Photo courtesy of Beachmont Christian Ministries.

As the calendar turns to fall, weekend plans may include seasonal activities such as enjoying pumpkin flavored beverages, apple picking, or, even exploring a corn maze.

Several corn mazes are located throughout Maryland, and some are a short drive away from the Aberdeen Proving Ground community.

Brad’s Produce in Churchville has operated a corn maze on its premises since 2001, said Karin Milton, who owns the farm with her husband, Brad.

They initially built the maze as a way to extend the summer produce season, Milton said. About 5,000 people come to the attraction each year.

“It’s a fun time of year on the farm,” Milton said. “The weather’s great. Everyone likes to be outside enjoying the weather. Going through the maze is great way to do so.”

This year’s football themed maze was inspired by Milton’s 13-year-old son, Parker, who recently started playing football. The farm works with Pennsylvania-based Maize Quest to design the maze in the winter and cut the corn to about two feet high in August.

Those who go through the maze are given a game sheet, where they can find stations with trivia questions about football. This gives them another objective — to find all the stations.

“It’s more than walking through and finding your way out,” Milton added.

The corn maze is a time-honored, family-friendly tradition in Maryland, said Deanna Arisman, director of operations and administration at Beachmont Christian Ministries in Kingsville, which has operated a corn maze on its campus since 2011.

The maze at Beachmont has become a popular attraction, Arisman said. In its first year, the maze attracted about 6,000 people. Last year, its superhero-themed maze had about 14,000 visitors.

“We think it’s a good fall activity to get people outside, off their electronics, and get out with family and friends; enjoy going outside and doing something different,” she said.

Planning for each year’s maze starts in November, when the previous maze closes down, Arisman said. This year’s pirate-themed maze, on six acres, has more than two miles of paths.

In Carroll County, the Carroll County Agriculture Center will host a corn maze with a “locally grown” theme, said Alexis Dickson, an event planner for the nonprofit organization. The corn for the maze is being planted by a local company, she said, adding that a smaller hay maze will be available for those who find the larger maze too daunting.

“It’s a great activity to go with either friends or family,” she said.

IF YOU GO

Brad’s Produce corn maze

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each Sunday in September; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31

Where: 550 Asbury Road, Churchville, Md. 21028

Cost: $7 for ages 4 and older, free for ages 3 and younger

Call: 410-734-4769

Web: bradsproduce.com/corn-maze

Carroll County Agriculture Center corn maze

When: 7-10 p.m. Friday, 12-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Where: 700 Agriculture Drive, Westminster, Md. 21157

Cost: $8 for adults, $5 for children, free for children under 3

Call: 410-848-6704

Web: carrollcountyagcenter.com

Beachmont Christian Ministries corn maze

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday through Nov. 4

Where: 6433 Mt. Vista Road, Kingsville, Md. 21087

Cost: $11 for ages 3 and over, free for children 2 and under. Military and senior discounts available upon presenting identification.

Call: 410-592-3648

Web: beachmont.org/corn-maze