Posts Tagged ‘family fun’

Corn mazes are a popular fall activity that is fun for the entire family and a great way for farms to create additional income from tourism. The point is to solve the maze by finding a route from the start to finish. Many have “activities” and “secret” coded clues on dead end routes setup inside the maze. There are usually bridges, overlooking the maze both for viewing and for those folks who are a bit lost and need a little help with directions. Corn mazes range from family-friendly with additional attractions like hay rides, petting zoos, pumpkin patches and play areas for children, to very scary, haunted-house-type corn mazes. The farms decide on themes, the designs start on graph paper and then are plotted over the fields before planting. Farms and orchards grow specialty corn that is taller than most and very dense. These temporary works of corn art are usually huge, up to 45 acres, and are harvested in November.   Here’s a small photo gallery of some unique corn mazes that we’ve seen over the past few years:

A 15-acre cornfield maze with over 4 miles of twists, turns and dead ends featuring a technology-theme with complex additives of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man,” from Treinen Farm near Lodi, Wisconsin.


Covering 12 acres,  David Archuleta’s likeness, along with the phrase “Archuleta 4 President,” was cut into the cornfield at the 2008 Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest located at Thanksgiving Point, Utah after finishing as the runner up in the  7th season of American Idol.

David Archuleta Corn Maze

Brown’s Farm Festival in Oxford, Florida has 10 acres of pure fun!!  They advertise 3 levels of difficulty and encourage you to try all 3.


 2012 corn maze theme at Server’s in Shakopee, Minnesota.


NASA-themed corn maze at Cornbelly’s in Lehi, Utah. NASA explained that the theme highlighted the specific region’s contribution to NASA and featured space-related educational games and activities.


Aerial photo of Alice in Wonderland and Cheshire cat corn maze in Hoosick Falls, NY.


Black Beard’s Revenge at Davis Farm in Sterling, MA.



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Spirit Jugs

spirit jugs

Stationed on a walkway or porch, these homemade lanterns will extend a ghostly greeting and good-bye to all your holiday visitors.

Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
Black permanent marker
Craft knife
String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights
Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don’t dent.
2. Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent’s job).
3. Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.

Tabletop Haunts

tabletop haunt

Filled with restless and hungry spirits, this spooky abode makes a great centerpiece for a Halloween party buffet table.

Pencil and ruler
Square tissue box
2 rectangular tissue boxes (ours were about 5 by 9 inches)
2 (5- by 8 1/2-inch) pieces of thin cardboard
Craft knife
Glue dots or double-sided tape
Black and gray craft paint
Orange tissue paper or paper napkins
4 (3-inch) lengths of white pipe cleaner
4 (1-inch-wide) Styrofoam balls
White facial tissue, cut into 4 (4-inch) squares
Black permanent marker
Time needed: About 2 to 3 Hours

Step 1 - Tabletop Haunt 1. Draw windows, a door, and a front-porch overhang (a 1 1/4-inch strip that folds out from the floor of the second story) on the tissue boxes. Draw 2 roof pieces on the thin cardboard, as shown.
Step 2 - Tabletop Haunt 2. With a craft knife, cut the openings in the boxes, leaving one side of each door attached and saving the window cutouts for shutters (for a swinging shutter, leave one side attached). Then cut out the roof pieces with scissors, fold them in half, and assemble them one on top of the other. Attach the roof to the square tissue box with glue dots or double-sided tape.
3. Paint the boxes and shutters. Once they’re dry, stuff the boxes with orange tissue paper or napkins and then glue or tape them together. Glue the shutters in place.
4. Now conjure up some ghosts. Push one end of a pipe cleaner into each foam ball and glue or tape the white tissue squares to the balls. Pinch the tissue around each ghost’s neck and draw on eyes. Glue or tape the ghosts to the house by their pipe cleaners.

Origami Bats

origami bats

Haunt your halls with a colony of these denizens of the dark. They can just hang around, or they can take wing as a bat mobile — tape several to pieces of monofilament and string them from a small branch.

Black paper (construction or scrapbook paper works best) cut into 8- by 8-inch squares
Glow-in-the-dark paint
Time needed: About 1 Hour

Step 1 - Origami Bats 1. Fold an 8- by 8-inch square of black paper into a triangle.
Step 2 - Origami Bats 2. Fold down the top 2 inches of the triangle.
Step 3 - Origami Bats 3. Fold each side flap in along the inner lines shown here, then back out along the outer lines, to form dimensional wings.
Step 4 - Origami Bats 4. To create ears, use scissors to cut a notch along the top, between the wings.
Step 5 - Origami Bats 5. Flip the bat over and add eyes with glow-in-the-dark paint. To give the body dimension, make a vertical crease down the center.
Amazing Bat Facts

  • Bats account for around a quarter of all mammal species.
  • As mammals, bats nurse their babies.
  • Thailand’s bumblebee bat, weighing less than a penny, is the world’s smallest mammal.
  • Some flying-fox bats of the Tropics have wingspans of up to 6 feet!
  • Hundreds of plant species rely on bats to pollinate them.
  • Like cats, bats spend lots of time grooming their fur.
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