We can't think of a better way to celebrate the season than from inside a corn maze on a crisp fall day. With Halloween just around the corner, Bay Area farms are slinging pumpkins, cider and fields of cut corn to get lost in, including offerings designed by GPS, with two-story viewing bleachers and even mini-mazes just for kids. So grab your layers and a buddy (always need a buddy in a maze) and check out one of these top corn mazes in the Bay.
185 Verde Road, Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay is the pumpkin capital of the world, and Arata's hosts one of the area's cutest patches and most complex hay mazes. This family farm is just off the big highway and features the four Ps: pumpkins, parking, ponies and port-o-potties. Though, the real attraction is the 2 acre Minotaur's Labyrinth Hay Maze, complete with secret doors and dead ends. If you get lost, send a buddy up a (slightly scary) ladder to get a lay of the land and direct you towards freedom.
501 S. Manthey Road, Lathrop
If you're willing to venture an hour east of SF, Dell'Osso's describes corn mazes as "their legacy." San Franciscans make the trek here every fall just to bask in the glory of the Dell'Osso's famous mazes, now designed using GPS. Every year's corn maze is different and features a special themed design when seen from above. 2015 features a witch on her broomstick flying above a haunted house—like we said, these people take the maze thing very seriously.
487 East Airway, Livermore
Visit the farm that has appeared on Letterman! The very family-friendly G&M Farms builds a massive (but relatively easy) corn maze every year, and is a particular favorite of little kids. All of the other fall accoutrements are also on display, from pumpkins to fresh produce. Pro-tip: the nearby Livermore outlets are also a-MAZE-ing.
550 Stony Point Rod, Petaluma
There is only one way out of Petaluma Pumpkin Patch's 4-acre corn maze, and it takes the average maze-goer about 45 minutes to complete the journey. This year, there's actually a second story viewing platform over the maze, making this seasonal event a spectator sport. Kids under 15 must be accompanied by an adult in the maze, and no scary masks are allowed inside (there's definitely a story there).
2600 San Felipe Road, Hollister
Head down to Hollister for the biggest corn maze we could find. Clocking in at 20 acres, Swank Farms' Maniac Maze is hugely popular. Admission includes a map and instructions for finding 27 different spots within the maze. Swank Farms also offers a kid-friendly maze, pumpkin sling shot, snack shack and cow train, and horror fans should come at night for "Terror in the Corn." Gulp.
1620 7th Avenue, San Francisco
Clancy's Pumpkin Patch brings a taste of country to the big city. Maze aficionados should be aware that the hay maze at Clancy's is most definitely for kids and requires crawling. That said, this urban fall extravaganza is pretty damn adorable and remains a tradition for thousands of San Francisco families. Note that this being SF, the parking lot is often full.