Autumn is the only season where pumpkins are judged by their personality as well as their performance in the swimsuit competition. Get to know fall's finest with today's Groupon: for $11, you get up to three general admissions to Oakes Farm in Corryton (up to a $32.79 total value). Redeemed before October 15, the Groupon includes admission for three; after October 15, two admissions are included.
Two corn mazes, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, and an abundance of family-friendly activities fill the autumn air with contented sighs at Oakes Farm. The 2011 corn maze, designed to celebrate Trevor Bayne's victory at the Daytona 500 and the invention of corn husks, leads trail-travelers on two separate paths, one just under a mile and a half, the other an even three. In one, maze-goers seek out 12 separate posts before making their meandering way back to the entrance, and inside the second maze, entitled Farm Scene Investigation, pintsize sleuths work to solve a mystery. Nightly maze-wanderings add an eerie air; those braving the dark are encouraged to bring a flashlight or glow-in-the-dark wig.
Bump and bounce in a covered wagon during the hayride, which winds through fields and woods to the farm's pumpkin patch, filled with orange orbs waiting to be picked or transformed into a stagecoach ($5 each). The farm's Back 40 entertainment center, open until 7 p.m., invites little visitors to glide down a giant slide called the Mine Shaft, defy gravity on an inflatable jumpie, and play king atop Tire Mountain.
In 2011, WBIR-TV reported that local racecar driver Trevor Bayne dropped by Oakes Farm to see his face carved into the cornfield. The farm had adopted Bayne as that year's maze theme, shaping the field to look like his face and his racecar when viewed from above. On the ground, however, the maze was a tangle of curves and dead ends that often took guests 90 minutes to solve, longer if they neglected to learn ancient Greek in order to ask the minotaur directions.
The farm updates its agricultural labyrinth annually to reflect a new motif, but it never fails to entertain explorers with its routes and interactive games. Just as delightful are the hayrides that ferry visitors to and from the pumpkin patch, the smell of autumnal sweets from the Cornfections stand, and the echoes of laughter from inside the Mine Shaft—a giant slide in the farm's Back 40 entertainment area. These attractions, alongside animal exhibits, pedal karts, and open zones for freeform play, draw families to the seasonal hotspot. In the days approaching Halloween, however, the farm endeavors to make patrons flee with its haunted attractions and pop quizzes for school children.