The unique rustle of cornstalks in an early autumn breeze.
We wait all year for the annual tradition of corn mazes and every year, CT Grown farms deliver the best experiences for families from throughout New England.
This year, more than ever, our farmers are ready to welcome familiar faces and first-time visitors to mazes that are as unique as the farms hosting them. From trending cartoon characters to iconic symbols of agriculture, there are many options for getting lost for an afternoon far from the distractions of technology.
For many farms, the corn mazes are just the beginning of the fall fun. Find your way to the nearest exit by following the smell of popping kettle corn, freshly baked cider donuts or the sound of wine bottles uncorking.
“We know that families are seeking to spend the greater part of their day when they come to our corn maze,” shares John Lyman of Lyman Orchards in Middletown. “Whether we are discovered for the first time, or the location of choice for generations, every year we seek to add to our offerings so every guest feels like it’s their first visit.”
Just how do Connecticut farmers create these complex mazes in the first place?
Well they plan far, far ahead. Once an idea or theme is resolved, the design is then sketched out using a computer program, or on graph paper. By setting up a grid system or using GPS, the maze paths are then outlined and marked in the field.
Corn mazes begin to take shape in mid-summer, when corn sprouts are just starting to grow. The paths are mowed and then raked, weeded, and covered with straw or other bedding to ensure the maze retains the desired shape.
The process takes so much effort that there are companies that specialize in corn mazes — working with farmers to design, build and help promote the finished product.
Speaking of products, nothing goes to waste at your favorite corn maze. When the season concludes, the corn is picked, ground up, and turned into livestock feed. Stalks are plowed under to fertilize the soil and support next year’s maze.
What should you know about visiting a CT Grown Corn Maze?
There is often a modest entrance fee to enter a corn maze — covering the year-long costs of growing and creating the fun.
Before you go, it’s a good idea to check the farm website or social media for information on hours, weather conditions, and advice on how old children should be to attempt the maze. Most farms offer refreshments, so the only thing you’ll need to bring with you are comfortable shoes and maybe sunscreen for a bright day.
For some great resources about the best corn maze options in Connecticut, visit the official website for Connecticut Tourism: ctvisit.com and search “corn mazes.” There you will find all you need to get lost.
CT Grown corn mazes — it’s a way of life.
Connecticut Agricultural Fairs — Where to Find the Fun
The transition from summer to autumn brings cooling temperatures, changing foliage, first days of school – and fairs!
Agricultural fairs — put on by dedicated agricultural societies, 4-H clubs, grange halls, and other organizations — are out in full force in Connecticut from mid-summer through October. These events have long been a Connecticut tradition; the Brooklyn Fair, first held in 1809 to promote “agriculture and local manufactures,” even boasts the honor of being the oldest agricultural fair in the United States!
While each fair has its unique charms, certain attractions can be found at almost every event. Stroll through the barns for an up-close look at horses, cows, sheep, and other animals. Enjoy delicious prepared food by various vendors and granges while perusing the exhibit halls and craft vendors. And, of course, you’ll always have the opportunity to climb aboard dizzying rides and win a giant stuffed animal at a game booth.
Fairs not only offer a chance for a fun day out, but also give you a chance to learn more about the state’s farms and agricultural producers. Visit our event calendar to find an upcoming fair near you!