Corn mazes in the Bay Area
This twisty, tricky corn maze is difficult enough to stump adults. It sprawls over six acres, with stalks rising over 12 feet tall. Luckily, you’re not left to navigate the fields completely on your own: various stations among the rows offer clues to guide you in the right direction. At the end, climb to the center of the bridge for a bird’s-eye view of the entire maze. If the corn maze seems like too much of a commitment, there’s a mini straw bale maze designed for kids. The farm also features a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, pony rides, a children’s train ride, and a petting zoo.
Arata’s claims the distinction of San Mateo County’s oldest working pumpkin farm. The family starts plowing, planting, and cultivating the fields in March to produce their six-acre corn field, which grows up to 9 feet tall. Pick your pumpkin from those hidden among the stalks or wade through the so-called “pumpkin river,” a snaking, half-mile-long path through the corn filled with vibrant pumpkins of all sizes. If you’d rather tackle a traditional maze, check out the two-acre Minotaur’s Labyrinth Hay Maze. The bales are stacked between seven and eight feet high and a new route is developed every year. On weekends, a costumed minotaur patrols the maze, passing out golden pumpkins to kids.
Farmer Jim Groverman designs a new corn maze every year, planting nearly 160,000 seeds to create this four-acre labyrinth. The stalks rise 10 feet high; finding your way through the full maze typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. (If you’re anxious about wandering, maps are available.) Bordered by sunflowers and hay bales, the maze rises beside a five-acre pumpkin patch filled with over 35 varieties. Bring a flashlight on Fridays and Saturdays, when the maze is open after dark.
Joan’s corn maze covers 1⅓ acres. It’s quick enough for kids’ limited attention spans, but tall and twisty enough to entertain adults. In addition to the maze, the farm includes a wide range of fall activities, including a pumpkin-covered obstacle course, gem panning, a train ride, pony rides, and hayrides. There’s also a small cafe serving hot dogs, shave ice, and snacks.
This 8-acre corn maze is the largest in Sonoma County. If that sounds daunting, not to worry: There’s a “short” route with fewer twists and turns. Climb to the top of the nine-hay-bale-high pyramid for an overhead view of the patch. In addition to the giant maze, you’ll find 10 acres of pumpkins—featuring over 45 different varieties—as well as hayrides, a petting zoo, pumpkin blasters, and a pumpkin decorating station.
This 20-acre maze is spookier than most—it’s open until midnight on weekends to attract thrill-seekers. The so-called Maniac Maze sprawls across 20 acres. Farm co-owner Bonnie Swank designs each year’s maze to be unique; Twenty-seven signs are hidden among the stalks to help guide your path and solve a progressive story. Go during the day to explore the maze without the spooks and browse 21 varieties of pumpkins. You’ll also find an “ugly pumpkin” slingshot, a train ride for kids, and corn cannons.
Uesugi’s is known for its pumpkin pyramid, a towering orange pile built from 4,000 gourds. The farm offers corn mazes for every age level. Bootsie’s maze is designed for small children, with few turns to get lost in. Meanwhile, Kayla’s corn maze winds over two acres and includes interactive trivia cards that nudge visitors in the right direction. Afterwards, take a hayride through fields filled with thousands of sunflowers and wildflowers, ride a train among the scarecrows, or pet ponies and goats in the petting corral. Katie's Kitchen sells everything pumpkin flavored, from pumpkin ice cream and pie to pancake mix, butter, and salsa.
Repetto’s is a low-key alternative to pricey, over-populated pumpkin farms. The corn maze, which spans over an acre, is more festive than spooky. If you’d rather admire the maze from the outside, hayrides are available. The maze is bordered by giant Cinderella pumpkins and a wide variety of gourds, starting at 50 cents. No pumpkin tops five bucks.
Dell’Osso’s is one of the few pumpkin farms in the Bay Area to welcome furry family members—dogs are welcome, as long as they’re leashed. The cornfield is a sight to behold, covering 40-acres. The family has been developing corn mazes for over a decade. Until 2007, every maze was designed by hand using farm equipment. For the past 10 years, they embraced computer programs and a GPS system to create increasingly elaborate designs and routes. (The aerial view is as impressive as the on-the-ground experience.) In addition to the corn maze, the Dell’Ossos offer activities like a haunted house, hayrides, a petting zoo, super-slides, and more
It’s an hour-long drive from San Francisco, but it’s worth the ride for this barnyard hoedown. There’s live music and shows on the weekend, as well as games and kids’ activities. (Check out the lush flower and produce gardens, where you can gather a bouquet of fresh herbs, and the buzzing observation beehive.) The farm’s four-acre corn maze is festive and fit for small kids, as is the hay bale maze nearby. Hitch a hayride to the pumpkin patch, where your pumpkin is complimentary with admission.