“Get lost.” At best, that phrase is a mean retort, and at worst, a kid’s scariest nightmare. But getting lost doesn’t have to be a bad thing, thanks to these five corn mazes that are full of twists and turns — and more than a kernel of fun. And since they’re all within 70 miles of Chicago, you can save the getting lost until after you arrive.
Cost: $11, free kids 2 and under
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 26-Oct. 31
Distance from Chicago: 30 miles
The 15-acre corn “maize” is shaped to read ‘Odyssey Fun World Tinley Park’ and features the farm’s mascot, Chipper. While you’re visiting, check out other family-friendly activities like the petting zoo, corn cannons, hayrides and cow train — they’re all included in cost of admission.
Cost: $15, free kids 2 and under
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends. Sept. 17-Oct. 31
Distance from Chicago: 40 miles
There’s something for everyone at this farm, which features a 15-acre maze for older kids and adults and a two-acre version for little ones. This year’s main attraction is in remembrance of 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, while the kids maze celebrates the 50th annivesary of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and features Snoopy. More than 25 attractions are included in general admission, so plan to spend a full day.
Cost: $10.99-$14.99, free kids 2 and under
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Sept. 17-Nov. 1
Distance from Chicago: 60 miles
This year, the farm’s maze is themed to ’50 Years The Great Pumpkin’ and is sure to be a hit with the entire family. Plus, there are pedal tractors, a mountain slide and a haunted forest to explore, as well as bushels of other family activities.
Cost: $16, $13 kids 4-12, free kids 3 and under
Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Sunday; 3-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Sept. 3-Oct. 30
Distance from Chicago: 65 miles
It’s go big or go home at this corn maze — the largest one in the world at 30 full acres. Trekkies will appreciate this year’s design: 50 years of Star Trek. Farm admission includes kids’ ziplines, jumping pillows and an animatronic chicken show, among other activities. And for an additional fee, you can try gemstone mining, a paintball gallery and the pumpkin patch for big-time fun.
Buy one admission, get 50 percent off second admission to Richardson Adventure Farm.
Cost: $5, free kids 2 and under; $13 Haunted Maze
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 3-Oct. 29
Distance from Chicago: 70 miles
This 10-acre puzzle, which even has two bridges, was designed in partnership with Culvers to say “Thank you Farmers” and support the Future farmers of America Foundation. Visitors who are brave can also try the Haunted Maze (Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 30-Oct.29), which is packed with deliciously spooky items like chainsaws, a graveyard and ghouls galore. The Haunted Maze is recommended for ages 13 and up.