Daytrippin': Kersey Valley Maize Adventure
Want to have a really good time with your kids? Spend an afternoon at Kersey Valley Maize Adventure. I'll be honest, at first I was worried about how to get the kids excited about walking around lost for a couple of hours. But everything I had heard about Kersey Valley suggested that they had really given thought to making sure that kids had a good time, and that's true.
The main attraction is the corn maze. Walking up to it, you will be greeted by staff members who share the bad news: Farmer Joe is missing! The Farm Scene Investigation unit has rounded up seven farm animal suspects, weapons and locations where the crime could have taken place, but they need your help to solve the mystery.
The maze is 3.65 miles of paths leading to signposts with pictures of each crime scene. Each picture shows one of the weapons and a suspect. You punch your card at each scene. Visit all six to solve the mystery. Head out of the maze and share your findings with the staff. If you get it right, you can proudly wear a corn maze police detective badge sticker.
There are a couple of staff members walking through the maze in case you need hints or need to get out quickly. It can take up to two hours to complete.
Things to know before you go:
Bring beverages into the maze. Corn needs sun to grow, so there isn't a lot of shade to be found out there. Feel free to bring water bottles and fill up at the drinking fountain before you go in.The ground gets packed down the more people have gone through the maze, but the terrain is uneven. If you're bringing a stroller, make sure it is sturdy with good wheels. The signs are easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled. We walked one row over from several and never knew they were there. Use your camera phone at the sign posts if needed to refer to them later.There's a snack bar with ice cream, so make sure you have some money or your debit card. Ice cream was the real prize we wanted when we finished, but there are plenty of other tasty options.
Finding the crime-scene locations is what keeps kids - and adults - interested. We had fun making predictions early on and seeing who got lucky. (I missed on all counts.) If you get tired, you can find your way out pretty easily, either by finding a staff member or by following the sound of the music coming from the snack stand. And there are two observation bridges within the maze to help you get your bearings.
When you're done in the maze, you can play on the huge jumping pillow - it's big enough for adults, too! You can also buy a bucket of dirt and pan for gems or fossils at the water trough. Staff members are on hand to help you identify your finds.
This year, Kersey Valley added a zip-line adventure, which opened at the end of September. For more information, visit www.kerseyvalleyzipline.com. It's also home to Spookywoods, ranked one of HauntWorld's top 13 haunted houses in the country. The website suggests no one under 10 should attend (check out their FAQs), but if you're looking for something for your tween/teen to do this month, you can find more information at www.spookywoods.com.
Kim Justen, a freelance writer, lives in Advance and is the mother of two.