This classic family activity may seem unfeasible when living in a big city, but these close-by corn mazes make it simple for you and the kids to celebrate the season. From a Chicago Cubs corn maze to doughnuts and cider, these are no ordinary orchards and farms. With enough to do all day long with the whole family, these stops are certainly worth the highway headache.
The best corn mazes near Chicago
Known for its apple-picking, All Seasons also offers other seasonal activities for guests, like this year’s Super Mario Bros.–themed maze. While wandering, you can use question and answer quizzes, play a “whodunit game” or simply follow a map to make it through the maze. Prices vary based on bundles, but shouldn’t cost you more than $15 per person.
How could you miss out on the “world's largest,” most intricate corn maze when it’s only an hour and a half outside the city? Bring the family and spend your day getting lost in the farm’s 33 acres. This year’s maze? One dedicated to the Chicago Cubs’ World Series win, of course. Play one of five different maze games or check out the other activities on the farm, from pony rides to pedal trikes and more. Plus, it’s pet-friendly!
This nighttime-only walkthrough is a great way to bring Halloween hype into your fall festivities. Those up for the fright can navigate the haunted maze, with ghouls and goblins around every turn. For the scare-averse (and those younger than 12), there’s an alternative flashlight maze. You can do the haunted maze, flashlight maze and a moonlight hayride all for $20. The maze is open select dates in September and October, so schedule your visit in advance.
This massive farm with pumpkin patches, apple orchards and corn mazes is another autumn wonderland. It’s technically in Indiana, but only an hour’s drive southeast of Chicago. There are three different corn mazes and ticket options–all $10 or under! Check out another path dedicated to the Cubs, a soybean maze made for little ones or the Culver’s Appreciation Maze–part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers Program. On your way back to the city, make sure to stop for some fresh doughnuts.
This classic family farm is a smart selection for anyone starting their day in the suburbs. Located in Waukegan, Kroll’s has a petting zoo, pumpkin patch and more for pretty low prices–$7 for ages 13 and up, $5 for 12 and under, kids under 3 get in free. Cash-only is the one catch, so bring some bills or wait for the onsite ATM.
This corn maze is family-friendly by day and haunted by night. When the sun is shining, you can traverse the 10-acre maze, with bridges and added exploring features for the kids. But on Friday and Saturday nights in October, the maze gets a makeover with ghouls, ghosts and graves–not safe for little ones, but certainly worth it for the older and more daring. Jonamac’s main event is its cider house and bakery, so grab some doughnuts and hard cider as souvenirs.
While the larger corn maze is more than three miles long, with tricky twists and turns, Konow’s also has a second smaller, simpler maze for young ones. The farm’s Fall Fest runs from September 17 to October 30 and includes other activities, like a faux-mining company and two giant corn pits–yes, corn pits. With tons to do, the longer drive is worth it.
More than a maze, Goebbert’s Fall Harvest Market has a selection of pumpkins and other fresh vegetables culled from its 200-acre farm. The market’s corn and straw mazes can entertain the kids while you stroll through the market. You can also visit the zoo, or enjoy pony and camel rides. Make sure to try their homemade fudge while you’re there.
There’s three levels of corn maze to choose from at Kuiper’s–easy, medium or hard. While younger kids or those with shorter attention spans will enjoy the few minutes of fun, the hard-level maze is a pretty difficult challenge. Admission to the corn maze includes the pumpkin farm’s other activities, like pig and duck races, hayrides and train rides. Make a second visit later in the season for freshly-harvested Christmas Trees.
Family weekend getaways from Chicago
When you just need a little escape, hop in the car for a family weekend getaway to another super-cool Midwest destination. We all know Chicago is great when it comes to taking kids to the beach or playgrounds with water features, but sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Check out these sample itineraries to discover quaint small towns and even resorts full of awesome activities for kids.