Thursday, August 18, 2011

Best Family Outing Ever!

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine tried to discourage me from going on one of the BEST outdoor family outings. She said "Don't go to the corn maze. It's hot and dirty." Hot? It's Florida so that is a given. Dirty? That's a bad thing? If you know me, you know my favorite quote and that is..... "If you are dirty, you must have had a good time!" So, thank goodness I didn't listen and the boys and I went out to Long & Scott farm Corn Maze, near Zellwood, for a day of hot fun and DIRT! My boys love, love, love, this place!

What is this corn maze? It's a maze in a corn field. Seriously, it's a corn field that has a path carved out to make a maze and it's located at Long & Scott Farms, a beautiful farm 30 miles northwest of Orlando, a short drive from anywhere in Central Florida. (It took me 30 minutes to get there from Lake Mary. ) The corn maze part of the farm has been expanded this year to four additional weekends so you have even MORE time to get lost in 7 acres of maze. Other activities, down on the farm, are a 60-foot tube slide (pure awesomeness), a living tree maze, catch-and-release fishing, playground, wet maze, sand pit and children’s activities, including the new “jumping pillow,” a sort of bounce house without walls. We haven't experienced the "Corny Jumping Pillow" but all I can say is "yeeehaw"!

Each year, Long & Scott's Corn Maze has a theme and this year it's "renewable energy". Love it! The "big" maze is a live field with a bridge, multiple choices on every pathway and a "Maze Master". The maze provides a safe environment to enjoy an exciting new and outside adventure! You answer questions by finding clues in the corn. You can use Maize-o-Vision, a decoding system, to see the map hidden on your game sheet. There is something new to find and a decision to make around every corner. The maze makes learning fun! Learning and fun? Can I get another "yeeeehaw"?!!!

We went to the corn maze last year , closer to Halloween to get us in "the mood". It was still pretty hot in October. We live in Florida and it's hot, get used to it. The corn maze is open until December 11th so you can wait to a later date if you are worried about being hot. When you arrive at the Long & Scott Farms, you will definitely feel like you are on a farm. There is vast open spaces, crops, old barn and a country store. My boys were so excited that they were trying to jump out of the car before we even stopped. Remember I said that my kids would much prefer running in a field over anything else? So, we get there and buy our *tickets, go through a short "orientation" about how to make it through the maze and then we are off. We chose the smaller maze because we were with a large group of small children and we wanted to play on everything and be able to make it though the maze without running out of time. We will probably attempt to go through the larger maze this year as my kids are getting older. This doesn't mean that small kids, even stroller kids, can't enjoy the Corn Maze. Kids under 3 are free so it bring them with a stroller and plan on going through the maze, make sure they are strollers with the "big" wheels!

The other things we "wanted to play on" included everything from a 60 foot slide, fishing pond, hay ride, sand pit, wet maze (a maze that is equipped with sprinklers, whoot! whoot!), climbing tower and did I mention the 60 foot slide? The kids love the slide. In order to get to the maze at the entrance, you either walk through a tunnel (yay) or slide down the big slide (triple yay!). I bet you can guess what we did. And the slide isn't just for kids so get on it, Mom!!!!! Don't forget to pack a big lunch and plenty of water in your cooler as they have penty of covered picnic tables for you to use. There are no water fountains but they do have food vendors off to the side, make note that they are CASH ONLY for you Moms like me who never seem to carry cash. The Farm does take Master Card, Visa & Discover in the Market and for Maze tickets, though. There IS an ATM on site!

The maze will be open 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays. The last ticket for the maze is sold at 3 pm. Don't be lame and show up at 2:30! The corn maze will be open to groups of 20 or more on a pre-arranged basis on Tuesdays through Fridays. They are closed on Thanksgiving but open the day before and after Thanksgiving for the general public. What a great idea to run off all that food the day after Thanksgiving at the corn maze instead of being stuck in stores shopping!

*Admission is $11 for ages 17 and older, $9 for ages 3-16. Ages 16 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. You can buy combo tickets, which include discounts on hay rides and the "Corny Jumping Pillow" by buying them at the time you get your maze tickets. Also, you can purchase just hayride tickets for $4. Orlando Playground blog followers will be offered a discount shortly so check back and there will be contests and promotions on Long & Scott's website, which I will keep you posted on!

Check out the Long & Scott Corn Maze website if you need more information:

Long and Scott Farms plans to open Scott’s Country Market on Sept. 16, the day before the maze begins operation and offers freshly harvested produce from the farm and local growers, potted plants and sod. They also carry their own line of ams, jellies, relishes and syrups and customized gift boxes and baskets.

So, put on your grungy play clothes, some closed toe shoes and plan your family outing by heading over to Long & Scott Farm's Corn Maze. I promise you, if you don't mind a little dirt and sweat, that it's worth the trip! Best family outing ever.......

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