There’s no doubt that Indiana’s autumns can be among the most beautiful in the country, with vibrant fall foliage sometimes visible for miles. Each of us has our own autumn traditions, from making s’mores over backyard firepits to carving pumpkins to hitting the road in search of prime spots to enjoy nature’s explosion of color.
A must-do activity this season is a visit to one of our state’ s numerous pumpkin patches or corn mazes. These agritourism attractions, which feature family-friendly activities for all ages, allow guests to enjoy the great outdoors, take part in some fun and games, and grab some seasonal décor to spruce up their homes for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Twelve acres of corn are carved into an amazing maze at AMAZING FALL FUN in Waterloo. The pumpkin patch offers more than 40 different varieties of pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. These autumn staples can be handpicked or, for those who like to grab and go, there is a selection of pre-picked items. Besides hayrides, the straw mountain, duck races, and the corn box, this northeast Indiana attraction features interactive attractions like the Barrel Roll, in which participants race in cylinders (à la a hamster wheel), Farmer Foosball (life size foosball — you’re actually part of the game!) or Pumpkin Checkers or Tic Tac Toe (a giant board game with pumpkins as the game pieces).
Amazing Fall Fun is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct. 28.
The Trowbridge family of Kendallville owns and operates THE AMAZING MAZE AND PUMPKIN PATCH which includes a four-acre family maze, a haunted maze (which begins at dark), wagon rides through the woods, a straw mountain, tube slides, yard games, a fire pit, concession area, farm animals, bounce house and more. Fresh cut Christmas trees and vegetable and bedding plants are also available on the farm. The 146-acre farm on which The Amazing Maze is located has been in the Trowbridge family for over 100 years. The farm started out as a dairy farm and now Tom and Cindy Trowbridge, their three daughters, their husbands and their children are running a thriving agribusiness.
The Amazing Maze is open Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 2.
ARMAND’S HARPER VALLEY FARMS features a unique maze experience — a sunflower maze as opposed to the corn stalk version. The pumpkin patch encompasses eight acres, and garden mums, gourds and fall décor items are for sale at the Westport working farm along with produce and fresh meat. Visitors can choose to spend the night at Harper Valley Farms and experience the joys of being out in the country. Grandma Pearcy’s Hilltop Rental Home has enough room to sleep up to seven people. The fixin’s for an egg and sausage breakfast — all ready and waiting in the home’s refrigerator — are included with the stay.
Harper Valley Farms will be selling pumpkins until Oct. 31.
CORNUCOPIA FARM in Scottsburg is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a “Golden Pumpkin” scavenger hunt. Each weekend, a golden pumpkin will be hidden somewhere in the farm’s corn maze. If you find the pumpkin you’ll receive a gift certificate to be used in the farm’s Cornucopia Farm Market. Among the unique attractions at Cornucopia Farm is an observation bee hive. City slickers who’ve never milked a cow before can do so at Cornucopia. Little ones who may be frightened by the tall stalks in a corn maze can visit the farm’s soybean maze — all the fun without feeling dazed by the maize. Among other things to see and do: a pumpkin patch, tunnel slide, hay ride, petting zoo, duck races and the super straw house. The onsite Cornucopia Café serves sandwiches, nachos and seasonal sweets including pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls and apple cinnamon doughnuts.
The farm is open until Nov. 3.
DULL’S FARM in Thorntown pays tribute to everyday heroes in its cornmaze this year. The Boone County attraction honors first responders, law enforcement personnel and firefighters in its eight-acre maze that also specifically pays tribute to Jacob Pickett, a Boone County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot in a police chase in March. Dull’s Farm also honors first responders by inviting them to visit its Pumpkin Harvest for free this year. Dull’s has a pumpkin patch and an array of fall activities including a straw maze, left turn and right turn only mazes, slingshots, stilts, hillbilly treadmill, wagon rides and pony rides. The historic Stone Cabin Inn Bed and Breakfast, featuring a unique waterfall-like shower, is right on the property for those wanting to extend their autumn getaway at this 50-acre farm. Dull’s also sells a half-dozen popular varieties of choose-and-cut Christmas trees.
Dull’s Farm is open Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28.
EXPLORATION ACRES in Lafayette, voted the Best Corn Maze by Electric Consumer readers in the 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, is home to the largest corn maze in northwest Indiana. The attraction encompasses 20 acres with 10 miles of paths. The theme of this year’s maze is the Indiana-based sci-fi hit series, “Stranger Things” with a design featuring key characters from the Netflix show. Rewards from 28 advertisers are hidden in the maze. As you find each reward, punch your maze map to claim the rewards. The farm’s 11- acre pumpkin patch includes 38 varieties of pumpkins and gourds weighing from 1 to 200 pounds. Exploration Acres’ array of family-friendly activities includes laser tag and corn cannons. There’s a country store onsite as well as food truck and food booth dining options.
Exploration Acres is open Thursdays through Sundays until Oct. 28.
FARMLIFE (Lanesville Indiana Family Entertainment) is Southern Indiana’s largest corn maze and pumpkin patch attraction. Guests can explore 20 acres of pumpkin patches and 13 acres of corn mazes along four miles of paths. There are horse and pony rides, pig races, a giant tire mountain, a bungee trampoline, a tug of war, animal farm tours, and gem and fossil mining, among other attractions. FARMLIFE is famous for its apple cider slushies, pumpkin caramel cheesecake and 12 oz. smoked butterflied pork chops. Fall décor is for sale as well as pumpkin decorating and carving kits.
Visit FARMLIFE on weekends until Oct. 28. Friday Flash Light Mazes are by appointment only.
LARK RANCH provides double the autumn fun! There are two locations of this popular family attraction — Loogootee and Greenfield. Activities are similar whichever site you visit. Besides the pumpkin patch and corn maze, you can enjoy the train ride, slide mountain, various rides, a rock wall, a mechanical bull, life size birdhouses and go karts. There are farm animals and hayrides, and, for those who want to report on their down-on-the-farm experience on Instagram, there’s a selfie booth and giant rocking chairs, the perfect place for a photo op. Both locations also offer gem mining and pony rides.
Lark Ranch is open Fridays through Sundays until Oct. 28.
At the PRIEBE PUMPKIN PATCH in Crawfordsville, you’ll find pumpkin varieties developed and patented by co-owner LaDawn Priebe’s grandfather, John Howden. Howden sent LaDawn and her husband, John, seeds for the Howden and Howden Biggie pumpkins in 1997. The Priebes planted them and later invited their daughter’s preschool class for a hayride around their property. The idea of a pumpkin patch took root from there. Besides pumpkins, the Priebes sell mums and fall décor items. Explore the corn maze and nature trail, and enjoy s’mores over a crackling fire.
Visit the farm throughout the week until Oct. 29.
THE SHIREMAN HOMESTEAD’s maze is not for the faint of heart. Dubbed “The Haunting,” it takes victims — er guests — through twisted mazes and graveyards, over bridges and into a mine. After surviving an encounter with a Headless Horseman, guests will board a tractor for their ride back. Indiana Haunted Houses voted “The Haunting” the best overall “haunt” for 2015 and 2016. For youngsters, Shireman Homestead puts on a toned down version of the spooky maze.
“The Haunting” takes place every Friday and Saturday until the end of October.
STEELE FARMS in Decatur offers a fun farm experience for all ages. There’s the pumpkin patch (which has been featured on “The Blog for Lifestyle and Travel” in a list of 30 perfect Indiana pumpkin patches) and corn maze for sure but there’s also a Play Zone for the little ones. The Play Zone features a corn crib, straw mountain, spider web, play set, duck races and more. Tour the property via a barrel train or wagon and see farm animals up close. Shop for fall décor like multi-colored mums, Indian corn, decorative pumpkins and gourds and corn shocks. Fresh, homegrown pork and beef is available for purchase.
Visitors who work up an appetite exploring Steele Farms’ attractions can enjoy hot dogs and Coney dogs as well as snacks like pretzels, fresh baked cookies, nachos and apples with caramel dip.
Steele Farms is open weekends from Sept. 29 – Oct. 28.