Nothing says fall like a day on the farm choosing pumpkins and navigating a giant corn maze. Perusing the pumpkin display usually is free, and although many corn mazes cost more than $10 a person, that tab often covers access to a host of family-friendly activities (and toddlers often are free). Cheapism found farms across the country with must-see corn mazes and the requisite pumpkin patch with bright orange orbs to take home and carve. Many farms are open weekends only, so check the schedule before heading out.
Last year, the corn maze was used to announce a new Christmas attraction called Dewberry Farm’s Trail of Lights. This year, the folks at the farm are hailing the resilience of people in the Houston area who suffered through Hurricane Harvey in 2017 with an image of Texas giving Harvey the boot. At the maze, a "corn-cierge" is available at the entrance to help confused maze runners. Admission is $29.95; seniors 55 and older pay $15.
MCCALL'S PUMPKIN PATCH
Moriarty, New Mexico
Visitors can frolic in the pumpkin patch and then wend their way around a 16-acre corn maze. The farm is open Saturdays and Sundays only and offers the best deal on the weekend before Halloween, when tickets go for $13; otherwise expect to pay $15.
THE FARMSTEAD CORN MAZE & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
The site of Idaho's so-called original corn maze, this year's 18-acre version is a tribute to that iconic Idaho export: the potato. Younger kids without the patience for such an expansive challenge can attempt a mini-maze. Admission to all attractions, including the mazes, is $8.49 Monday through Thursday and $12.26 on Friday and Saturday.
THE GREAT PUMPKIN FARM
Clarence, New York
A corn maze with the theme "Farm Scene Investigation" is hard to resist. Admission is $8 on weekends and another $6 for the corn maze. A visit to the pumpkin farm alone is free on weekdays, and discounted tickets are available at Wegmans supermarkets.
Visitors to Mapleside Farms get a taste of Cleveland sports this year with a tribute to the Cleveland Indians that features All Star shortstop Francisco Lindor etched into the 7-acre corn maze. There's also a special theme each weekend, with Oct. 6-7 as “The Great Pumpkin Fest,” Oct. 12-14 as “Superhero Weekend,” Oct. 20-21 as “Wild West Weekend,” and Oct. 27-28 as “Spooky Fest.” The cost is $14 for regular admission and $7 for visitors 55 and older.
UNCLE SHUCK'S CORN MAZE AND PUMPKIN PATCH
Visitors happy to be surrounded by pumpkins and enjoy the autumn scene pay no admission fee. Attempting the corn maze costs $13, something of a deal considering the 12-acre course includes 4 miles of trails. This year's maze has a medical theme, a nod to its sponsor, Northside Hospital.
One of the top 10 corn mazes in the country, according to the Travel Channel, this year's 7-acre maze invites visitors to take a ride on the Crazy Train. Take the kids on a weekday, when entry fees are $10, for the best deal; weekend rates jump to $14.
GREAT VERMONT CORN MAZE
Billed as the largest maze in New England, this one can take hours to solve. The proprietors recommend arriving by 1 p.m. and send out guides mid-afternoon to help lost souls. Fees are $10 for ages 5 to 15 and 60 and up, and $15 for ages 16 to 59.
HAPPY DAY FARM
Manalapan Township, New Jersey
Rise to the challenge of New Jersey's largest corn maze. This year, it tips a hat to an essential part of agriculture: the John Deere tractor company, which is celebrating 100 years of making tractors. The $14 admission fee includes several games involving the maze, such as a texting for hints by answering questions correctly. Price is $11 on Fridays. Non-maze activities include pig racing, pedal carts, and a playground.
This 15-acre corn maze has been cited by media outlets such as Destinations Travel Magazine and USA Today as one of the best to visit, especially with children. This year's design pays homage to Rudyard Kipling’s children’s story “The Elephant’s Child,” about how the elephant got its long nose. Admission to the maze costs $10.90, but the best deal is the $18 do-it-all package, which includes the pumpkin patch, hayrides, and other farm fun.
The corn maze here is one of the rare mazes that's stroller- and wheelchair-friendly. This year, Meuer Farm is celebrating 10 years for fall fun on the farm, and it shows in their corn maze. Check the website before visiting for other discounts tied to theme weekends. The price for the maze alone is $10 for ages 10 and up (to celebrate 10 years) and $5 for ages 3 to 9.
SEVER'S FALL FESTIVAL
Now in its 22nd year, this corn maze challenge invites visitors to participate in a treasure hunt of sorts and enter answer sheets in a prize drawing. This year’s maze has an aquatic theme of “Under the Sea” in which maze visitors hunt for “Scuba Sever.” Staff maintain a presence to help disoriented navigators. Visitors can save $1 off the $15 admission price online.
SCOTT'S MAZE ADVENTURES
Mount Dora, Florida
It's the 16th season for this 7-acre maze. Additional attractions include a mist maze with sprays of water, a tree maze planted in the shape of an ear of corn, and a labyrinth for quiet strolling. The corn maze season runs Oct. 6 to Dec. 9. Admission is $12.
COOL PATCH PUMPKINS
Here's a chance to experience a corn maze featured by Guinness World Records as largest ever — 60 acres. Visitors can choose the intermediate or advanced path. Admission is $15, but kids 5 and under are free.
SKELLY'S FARM MARKET
It's double the fun at this farm, where visitors can test their mettle against two mazes — one covering 6 acres and a more difficult "Impossible Maze" stretching over 9 acres. GPS and interactive games are available to maze-goers with smartphones. Admission costs $7 and includes access to both mazes.
HEAP'S GIANT PUMPKIN FARM
Visitors can frolic in the pumpkin patch, known for producing extra-large pumpkins (hence the farm's name) and pay $4 to take on the family-friendly corn maze. Other activities, including a bean maze and hayride, are modestly priced, as well.
SAM MAZZA'S FARM MARKET
The entire family can enjoy the 3-mile-long maze at Sam Mazza's Farm Market. Two distinct mazes offer varying degrees of difficulty. Adults pay $9 and children 3 to 11 get in for $6. Repeat visitors receive a $1 discount, as do area students with a school ID.
CHERRY CREST ADVENTURE FARM
This 5-acre corn maze offers color-coded cues for easy, intermediate, and difficult paths through the maze, making it suitable for all ages. The best deal is the Twilight Pass for $15 starting at 7 p.m., which covers admission to all activities on the farm.
QUEENS COUNTY FARM MUSEUM
This historical farmland (dating to 1697) is considered New York state's longest continuously farmed site. The grounds host numerous events, including a 3-acre corn maze. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 4 to 11.
RICHARDSON ADVENTURE FARM
Spring Grove, Illinois
This farm in northern Illinois boasts 33 acres of corn hiding five separate mazes. This year’s maze honors the Illinois bicentennial. General admission on Thursdays and Fridays is $17 for ages 13 and up and $14 for ages 4 to 12, and includes activities such as access to a 50-foot-high observation tower. On weekends, the price is $2 more.