It almost seems there are as many corn mazes on Long Island this time of year as there are, well, kernels on an ear of corn. Which one to visit? We did the legwork for you — quite literally — walking our way through the cornstalks to see what's out there. Here are some suggestions, based on kids' ages, family interests, level of courage and more:
For those afraid to get lost in the corn rows: While Hank’s Pumpkintown in Water Mill has three mazes of varying difficulty to choose from, the Spookley’s Kids Maze is a left-turn-only maze, meaning you won’t get lost if you keep turning left. An uplifting storybook about being different called "Spookley the Square Pumpkin" marks the trail at 12 locations, so parents can read the tale to their children as they proceed along the way. "One day in the pumpkin patch, the strangest little pumpkin hatched. Spookley wasn’t like his friends — where they had curves, he had ends," the story begins. The trail takes about 20 minutes, and it is wide and firm enough for a stroller.
"We didn’t quite read every word of the story, but we got the gist of it," says Jan Evans, who walked the maze with her grandson, Zayn, 1. "He loved it," says Zayn’s mom Liz Halazun, a psychiatrist from Southampton.
The mazes are included with the cost of entering the festival area, which is $10 per person on weekdays and $16 per person on weekends and holidays. Children 2 and under are free. 240 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill; 631-726-4667, hankspumpkintown.com.
For those who want to go big or go home: "This is a very big one. It’s definitely not for the children to go in alone," says Amanda Greenbaum, 28, a swim teacher from Sag Harbor, of the eight-acre maze at Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton. "They give you questions; you have to answer them. It tells you which way to go. You can do it a bunch of times and have a different experience every time."
The questions are multiple choice and include such queries as "How many kernels of corn are in a bushel?" or "Which of the following items are made with corn?" Bridges along the route allow for farmland views. "I’ve done it before, many times. It’s a lot of fun with the kids. They’re the ones who always find the way out," says Mai Zarrouk of Southampton, who is retired. Promises co-owner Harry Ludlow: "No one has been left in there." Cost is $12 per adult, $10 ages 11 and younger and free for 3 and younger. The farm is at 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton; 631-537-6154, fairviewfarmatmecox.com.
For the Instagram addict: A cutout of Super Mario greets visitors who enter the maze at Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm in Aquebogue. As people wind through the maze, they come upon alcoves with friendly cartoon characters including Daffy Duck, the Tasmanian Devil, Garfield the Cat and more, perfect for taking comical corn maze selfies.
"There were cute characters at the dead ends," says Kevin Granholm, 21, an electrician from Lake Grove. Says his friend Raquel Levy, 21, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, "It was kind of hard. Lots of twists and turns." The cost is $7 per person. The farm is located at 270 West Lane, Aquebogue. 631-722-3467, stakeyspumpkinfarm.com.
For the trivia buff: At Harbes Farm in Jamesport, try the touchless Robin Hood Trivia Challenge Maze with a couple of live actors playing Robin Hood's merry men and women. Guests wind their way through the paths and answer trivia questions on signs regarding the story of Robin Hood. The cost is $9 per person or $12 with hayride combo. Open 9 a.m., with last entry at 5:20 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. 1223 Main Rd. (Route 25), Jamesport; 631-494-4796, harbesjamesport.com.
For the ones who want to do it in the dark: "I wonder if you could Google how to get out of here," joked one mom as her family of four twisted and turned through the enormous maze in the daylight recently. For one night only, Fink’s makes finding the way out even tougher — by letting people go through while it’s dark. Fink’s Country Farm opens its Spookie Flashlight Maze from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Halloween night, with the last entrance at 9:30 p.m. It’s bring your own flashlight. Tickets are $13 per person, children 2 and younger are free. There’ll also be musical entertainment on Oct. 31. The farm is located at 6242 Middle Country Rd. in Wading River; 631-886-2272, finksfarm.com.
For those who want to get spooked: Skip the trip out east and still experience a creepy corn maze at Schmitt's Farm in Melville. The haunt isn't for those who are easily scared. You'll twist and turn your way through a maze full of character actors that'll jump out to make you scream. But don't worry — they'll keep their distance. Due to COVID-19 precautions, characters won't touch you (and you're asked not to touch them). Ticketing is timed and must be reserved in advance. Tickets are $37.99 for combo entry which includes the corn maze and the haunted house. The farm is located at 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville; 631-271-3276, schmittsfarmhaunt.com.