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Friday, September 16, 2011

Tips on Corn Mazes and Kids

you can't see over it!
We've now done corn mazes two years in a row, and we're making it a yearly tradition. The kids are now old enough to last in there for more than 10 minutes. The first year we went without my husband (he was on a business trip), and we wandered around for probably two hours (maybe an hour longer than was really fun for the kids). I was dizzy when we got out. So many twists and turns. I let the kids take turns picking the direction. If it weren’t for the staff positioned at one spot in the maze, we never would have made it out. Even after getting directions out (it was something like – turn right at every turn until after the bridge, then turn left at every turn), it still took us 15 minutes to exit! 
The next year we all went together, and he was armed with the map (which you could only view under one of those red films). He was insistent on trying to figure out the way, until I told him that maybe the kids should get to figure it out and choose which way to go. It was a bit of a parenting style struggle. Ultimately we did let the kids take turns picking a direction (they didn't care about the map, like my obsessed husband), but they definitely accepted his help at several times so they didn't have to be in the maze as long as the previous year. We were there about an hour, which was enough time for them to have fun, but not so much they hated me after. 
Here is a list of Bay Area corn mazes from the Mercury News.

–Before you go in, use the bathroom. This cannot be stated enough.

–Bring food and water. Your kids will need some nourishment (and treats) during their breaks. Bring your own, or buy something on site. Most farms sell food too.
–Wear comfortable shoes – that can get muddy.
–Put on sunscreen
–Wear layers of clothing. No sense in getting lost…and cold (or being too hot because there’s nothing underneath that gorgeous sweater).
–Bring a pair of 3-D glasses with that red film on them. Some corn mazes give you a map that you can decode with the red film (of course they also sell it). Even with the map, you still may not figure out where you are or how to get out.
–Bring a durable stroller or baby carrier for little ones – though some corn mazes have bridges you need to cross
–Make sure your kids see some of the treats being sold at the farm (like doughnuts or pumpkin pie). Make sure they know that if they’re good in the maze, that’s what they get when they exit.
–Take allergy medicine before you go – you don’t need to sneeze your way through!
–Keep track of landmarks,  usually pieces of garbage (the corn all looks the same) to figure out where you are and if you’ve been there before.
–Leave yourself enough time
–Ticket sales often close an hour before the maze closes.
-Have fun!

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