They have become an integral part of any good old fashioned festive fall weekend, right up there with pumpkin and apple picking, hay rides (both traditional and haunted) and devouring anything pumpkin-spiced. If you’ve embarked on a day trip to a local farm then there’s a good chance they have some sort of corn maze and there’s a good chance you’ve either dove right in and attempted to tackle it or at least thought about it. Why wouldn’t you? It looks like fun, looks like a nice way to spend an October afternoon.
But wait, is it though?
It’s time we seriously ask ourselves “are corn mazes fun?” And I’m not talking about just the idea of corn mazes, because of course those are fun. I’m talking about the corn maze itself and even more specifically, adventuring into one. I’m not so sure it’s all that fun.
For starters, you’re going to get lost and you’re going to get frustrated. If you consider either one of those two things enjoyable than good on you. I’m not sure you’re human. Getting lost is the worst. Getting frustrated even more so. And don’t think it’s not going to happen while you’re trying to solve a corn maze. It’s a maze; to frustrate and confuse is the maze’s whole purpose for existing.
Corn mazes can start out innocently enough and those first couple times you encounter a dead end can be kind of entertaining; it can really bring your group together in fantastic ways. You’ll hit a wall though, sometimes literally. It’ll be a wall of old, smelly hay staring you right smack in the face. You’ll back track and then hit another dead end. More hay and then some little kid goes running past you, somehow they know what they’re doing and they’ll disappear before you can follow them. More hay and more hay and more hay. The puddles of mud are a fun extra bonus. If things really start to fall apart, all you can do is pray you have cell service.
Fast forward and you managed to conquer the corn maze. Somehow an hour has passed and the line for pumpkin-flavored ice cream is even longer than it was when you entered the maze. You still need to pick out some mums and had harbored sweet dreams of getting your face painted. It’ll be tough to get that accomplished now with all the time you spent adventuring through the fantastical corn maze.
On top of that, you made it out and what do you have to show for it? Nothing. If you go apple picking, you come away with apples. If you go pumpkin picking, you come away with a pumpkin. If you go in the country store, you come away with cider and some homemade donuts.
You go into a corn maze though, you come out empty-handed. If anything, you have some hay in your socks, but that’s about it. Don’t sell me on a sense of achievement. What did you achieve? You navigated through a maze of corn, something you chose to do. There isn’t any kind of sense of achievement there friend, just a sense of muted accomplishment, nothing to get pumped about and certainly not akin to coming away with giant pumpkin shaped perfectly for carving or more apples than you know what to do with.
But for a moment let’s go with it and say corn mazes are fun. Corn mazes are your thing. Great. I’m happy for you. Of course then I really feel for you because the sad truth is that there is a quite a range in quality when it comes to corn mazes.
If you’re a corn maze purist then I would venture to think that the majority of corn mazes out there are not to your standard. They are too short, they are too easy, they are too crowded. Being disappointed doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Probably doesn’t to you either. You know what that sounds like? It sounds like the harsh reality of corn mazes not being fun rearing it’s ugly head and causing a ruckus in the other room.
An argument in favor of corn mazes could probably be made by the pro-corn mazers out there based around the design element of corn mazes, how they can made to resemble something or someone. Wow, that’s great.
Question though, how can I even tell that from the ground? Oh, I can’t. Cool. Then the design means nothing to me.
Then there’s haunted corn mazes, something I personally haven’t experienced but I’ve experienced enough haunted activities to have an idea what to expect. I’m going to be honest – they sound kind of cool at first, but then when you get into the nitty gritty of a haunted corn maze, it sounds like my worst nightmare. It’s dark, crowded, muddy and worst of all, there’s only one way out and depending on where you are, that way out isn’t anywhere close to you. I’m the kind of person that likes an exit strategy. An exit strategy for a haunted corn maze sounds like me just barreling through rows of corn stalks until I see the bright lights of rented light towers.
Conclusion: haunted corn mazes sounds like absolutely horrible.
Now I’m sure there are corn maze fans out there. There has to be. Farms and orchards wouldn’t continue to plow through corn fields just for kicks. Just because I’m not on board with something doesn’t mean everyone else isn’t (see: Pumpkins, David.) I realize that and know all to well that I’m not speaking for everyone here when I make my case against corn mazes.
But with that being said, corn mazes aren’t fun. Corn mazes are at best just okay and at worst, absolutely terrible.