Monday, March 5, 2012

Backyard Bucket List: Corn Mazing in Rural Alberta


I have been reading and re-reading my bucket list lately - usually with big, forlorn sighs because there's so much I want to do, and so little money to do it with! Today I realized that virtually everything on my list has to be done... away. Yes, it is a "travel" bucket list, but it is also, in essence, an adventure bucket list. And as I've been adding to this blog over time, there have been several entries where I didn't cross an item off the proverbial list, but I felt as if I'd had such a great time with the experience that it deserved to be chronicled here.

I also realized that I'd been overlooking some of my best adventures, simply because I hadn't traveled (like, on an airplane) to achieve them. But for people who are not from around my neck of the woods, maybe they'd like to hear about these adventures and decide to travel to come see me!

For example...

A panoramic view of our local corn maze in central Alberta.

In Alberta, corn mazes seem to be a dime a dozen. Most small towns boast their own maze, and all the trappings that go with them. My town near Red Deer, Alberta is no different. We have a corn maze with corn carts, potato shooters, a goat walk, a giant bouncy air trampoline, mini-golf and go-carts. The farm takes pride in its petting zoo with sheep, goats, pigs, and a cranky turkey who squawks at people who get too close. I realize this is probably very common in rural communities.

The rickety goat walk at the corn maze in Lacombe.

But for my readers who live in urban centers, or in countries where corn mazes might seem exotic and bizarre, here's what you can expect and maybe add to your own travel bucket lists!

A) Don't go to the corn maze if you don't have a lot of time to waste. Typically, you will get lost in the maze and end up going in circles for the better part of an hour until a random seven-year-old shows you the way through. Or at least, you will if you're with me. I've tried using the little quiz maps that go with the mazes, but since half the time I have trouble discerning my left and right directions, I end up getting lost regardless. Hint: follow the small children that are running without maps - this means that they have probably been through the maze about 18 times and know it off by heart.

Lost in the corn maze - we hit a dead end!!

B) You can stand on the high viewing platforms all you want to try and see the way out, but it will only make you feel more lost. Especially when you DO see the exit, but immediately forget the directions the moment you climb down from the viewing platform. Do what I do... stand on the viewing platform, and call for help. Someone in a corn cart might rescue you! If not, go back to my hint in section A.

My lovely mother-in-law demonstrates how tall corn grows in the corn maze.

C) Take lots of money. I love our local corn maze, but it can get a bit expensive. There is the admission fee, snacks and drinks, money to buy chow for the goats to feed them on the goat walk, money to ride the corn cart, and money to shoot the potato gun (I love that one! At our corn maze, they have it set up to destroy an old school bus!) At the end of the summer, you should also take money to buy the great pumpkins and squashes that they have for sale to prep for Thanksgiving and Halloween!

The Lacombe Corn Maze does offer admission to the giant pillow trampoline, mini-golf, petting zoo, and playground activities within the price of the maze admission, so if you are looking to cut down the costs, have your kids (or you, whatever, I'm not judging) just play with the free stuff.  They also would like to point out that they allow guests to bring in their own food, so there is no obligation to buy food from the snack stand. 

My husband and I caught being bad at the corn maze!

D) You don't need kids. I have gone to the maze with and without kids. Both experiences offer different adventures. Getting lost in the corn maze with a bunch of adults is extremely hilarious and humbling. Getting lost with kids means it isn't so creepy when you approach that seven-year-old to ask for help getting out.

So if you live in an area where there is a corn maze and you haven't visited - GO! It is a ton of fun. And if you don't live near a field of any sort, let alone a corn maze, come to rural Alberta and enjoy yourself. This is the one time it is acceptable for me to tell you - go get lost!

4 comments:

  1. I think approaching 7yr old kids to rescue you from the maze is about as logical as asking that same 7yr old to come work the new high-tech dvd player or tv with the same number of remotes as I have fingers.
    I personally, give the corn maze(s) of the plains two thumbs up.
    Even if it makes me realize yet again why I almost failed my Navigations Course with the Search and Rescue team.

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  2. Those 7-year-olds sure know their stuff!

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  3. Every year there is a corn maze in my town, and still, I have never been. Going to add it to my bucket list for this year!

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  4. Highly recommended Annette! You'll have a blast! ;)

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