Fall activities are numerous this time of year. The corn maze at Heidi’s Farmstand should be on your list of destinations in October. The farm has been operational since 1949. Family run, Heidi’s Farmstand opened in 2006. Currently three cousins are the third generation at the reigns on the farm. A corn maze has been an offering each year since the stand opened. A shorter maze, offered for kids and those who do not have time for the advanced course, has been an option since 2009.
The maze is open during Heidi’s normal hours Monday – Thursday 6:30am – 6pm. Friday and Saturday nights during the month of October the maze is open until 10pm. For an extra challenge try your luck in the dark with entrance granted until 9pm. Can you find your way in the dark with a flashlight?
It takes months of planning before a maze is ready for visitors. The location changes every couple of years due to crop rotation. Aaron Kaeb, one of the three cousins says, “We have had the Little Engine That Could as an idea for several years, however we had to wait for a year when the maze rotated to hills north of the Farmstand so we had a long narrow field. We also thought it would be a fun theme to go with the hills at this location.” The theme is also one which kids and adults can enjoy.
Coming up with a theme each year is the easy part. The aerial view of the maze is drawn via GPS on a computer and sent to a cell phone. The operator of a zero turn lawn mower then follows the lines to create the various paths. The first cut of the corn is done the beginning of July. Two to four additional passes through with a mower are completed until the corn no longer grows.
I Think I Can, I Think I Can
For younger patrons the caboose is a shorter, easier puzzle to solve. Those entering the maze are asked to help solve a mystery. Someone has been eating the farmer’s pies. Throughout the maze there are six footprints to be found. Upon completion of the maze you’re able to match tracks to the guilty animals. Kids who identify all six naughty animals receive a reward for their efforts. This maze takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
Those looking for a bigger challenge can take on the rest of the train cars. There are five train cars hidden throughout the maze. If all of them are found an 8oz cider slushie is the reward. An upgrade to a 12oz drink is given out if three pieces of cargo are also located.
Be prepared to spend two to three hours in the larger maze, especially if you’ve got your eye on the larger prize. Twists, turns, and looping dead ends make it easy to lose your way. But it’s rare for someone to get actually get lost to the point of needing a rescue. “Our phone number is written on each punch card. If a person calls it is pretty easy to direct them out.” Kaeb reassures.
Toot your own horn when you’ve completed the maze. If you’ve earned a slushie, and even if you have not, pick up a donut, muffin, or cookie and relax. Hay rides and the pumpkin patch can be explored on weekends. A corn box and slide are open during all business hours. The bakery is full and farmstand produce are also available. Heidi’s has become a local destination throughout the year.