Corn mazes (or maize mazes) are one of fall’s most ridiculous and ridiculously enjoyable traditions. For whatever reason, there is no greater way to celebrate beautiful foliage, a nice crisp cold snap and the coming of the holidays than getting hopelessly lost in narrow pathways farmers have carved out in their otherwise useful and nutritious crops.
Most corn maze masterminds pride themselves on the amount of acres their mazes span. The largest maze in the USA, Cool Patch Pumpkins, measures out at 53 acres. It even has Starbucks sponsored stations inside of it, so you can drink a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latté whilst trying to convince your crying children (and yourself) that you will someday find a way out. Impressive, but not for us.
Size isn’t everything, and bigger doesn’t always mean better. That’s why we’ve ranked our Top 5 Corn Mazes based on their booziness, creativity and general awesomeness. You may not find acres and acres of winding, aerial-photograph-worthy mazes here, it’s true. But you will find plenty of wine, craft beer, zombies and giant car-crushing machines, because let’s be honest, that’s what we all want in our lives, and especially in our corn mazes:
1) The Maize Valley Winery Corn Maze- Hartville, Ohio
This corn maze out in the middle of Ohio may not be the biggest or most spiffed out, but it’s got some seriously amazing things going for it. Namely, this corn maze is literally located at a winery. Oh, and it’s a craft beer brewery as well.
Before you tell yourself it couldn’t get any better, you should know that they also have a MEGASAURUS! What’s a Megasaurus, you say? It just so happens to be a huge metal dinosaur that literally picks up cars, rips them apart with its claws and jaws and then breathes fire all over them.
Beer. Wine. Corn maze. Megasaurus. We’ve never wanted to travel to rural Ohio until now.
2) Bella Organic Haunted Corn Maze- Portland, OR
This farm outside of Portland has earned our admiration with their latest corn maze. That’s because it’s dedicated to HUB, a local craft brewery… as in, the maze was literally constructed to resemble their Abominable Winter Ale’s label. It should come as no surprise that HUB’s Winter Ale and their new beer The Gourd, The Bad and the Ugly are readily available at the maze. When organic farms and small craft breweries join forces, the results are almost always fantastic, this is no exception.
To boot, this maze only opens after dark, at which point it becomes haunted. There are zombies, bloody pig-men and all sorts of things that would be sure to terrify after a couple of Abominable ales. If walking through a haunted, beer-shaped maze, getting the sh*t scared out of you and then running back to the bar isn’t an American pastime, it is now.
3) Buckelew Farm Corn Maze- Tucson, AZ
We didn’t know there were cornfields in Tucson. Turns out, there are, and that’s not all they’ve got. The first stop on this haunted corn maze would be the on-site beer garden. After that, one must make the near impossible choice between several available activities.
There’s the ZomBQ Smokeout, which is the “first ever horror-themed barbecue contest.” Local pit masters will ply their juicy wares in an attempt to answer the question “What happens when you mix scary monsters with smoked meat?” This must be one of life’s most important questions.
There is of course, a haunted corn maze. But the pièce de resistance simply must be Zombie Paintball, which sounds like exactly what it is. The chance to mow down a bunch of zombies (poor dudes in make up) with a paintball gun on an obstacle course. Spooky? Not really. Fun? Oh, oh yes.
This fall, do yourself a favor. Devote a day or two to corn, beer, wine, zombies, megasauruses, BBQ and shooting things– anything else would be downright un-American.