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. "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 $12 per person on weekdays and $18 per person on weekends and holidays. Children younger than 2 are free. Open through Halloween. 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, 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 69 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton; 631-537-6154, fairviewfarmatmecox.com.
For the Instagram addict: A daisy with a cutout in its center for visitors to take their flower-power selfie 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 Super Mario, 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, an electrician from Lake Grove. Says his friend Raquel Levy. "It was kind of hard. Lots of twists and turns." The cost is $10 per person. The farm is located at 270 West Lane, Aquebogue. 631-722-3467, stakeyspumpkinfarm.com.
For those who think there's no place like home: Dorothy, the Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow, Witch and Wizard are cutout, hand-painted wooden characters visitors will encounter at the Harbes Family Farm South U-Pick Wizard of Oz Corn Maze. Admission is $4 per person on weekdays and $4.95 on weekends and holidays; on weekends and holidays a $9.95 combo price includes a hayride. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends, weather permitting. The farm is at 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. 631-482-7641, harbesfarms.com.
Schmitt's Farm in Melville is also offering a "Wizard of Oz"-themed maze with nine stations where people will do rubbings of the characters from the story; Schmitt's supplies the map and black crayons. Entry is $10 per person, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day. The farm is located at 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville; 631-271-3276, scmittsfarm.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. 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. 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 Oct. 30, with the last entrance at 9:30 p.m. It’s bring your own flashlight, and it's weather permitting. Tickets are $15 per person, children 2 and younger are free. There’ll also be musical entertainment. The farm is located at 6242 Middle Country Rd. in Wading River; 631-886-2272, finksfarm.com.
The maze at Harbes in Jamesport transforms from a trivia maze into a spooky maze with live characters on Saturday nights in October and on Sunday Oct. 10, from 7 to 10, with last entry at 9:30 p.m. Bring a flashlight or purchase one at the cafe; refreshments available for purchase. The night maze is $16.95 per person.
For those who want to get spooked: Skip the trip out east and still experience a creepy corn trail 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). Entry is $39.99 for admission, which includes the corn maze and the haunted house. The farm is located at 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville; 631-271-3276, schmittsfarmhaunt.com.