Before venturing into Deere Farms’ labyrinthine corn maze, visitors are equipped with a map, a short orientation, and—as a last resort—the farm’s cell-phone number. Groups work together to seek out all the checkpoints scattered across 8 miles of twists and turns. Even with an acute sense of direction, adventurers usually take about 45 minutes to navigate their way to freedom.
The checkpoints are one of many ways that Deere Farms infuses traditional fall activities with creative twists. Shortly after Halloween, the farm hosts an annual pumpkin-smashing festival, inviting visitors to drop overripe pumpkins from a 50-foot platform. And at the concession stand, chefs serve gourmet treats such as apple-cider slushes and pumpkin-caramel cheesecake.
The farm also hosts classic fall adventures on its 170 acres. Visitors can take an idyllic hayride through the woods or hop aboard an antique tractor and ride into the 20-acre pumpkin patch in search of the perfect gourd for carving or stomping into a pie. Before departing, they stop to see the menagerie of farm animals, including ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese, pigs and goats.
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