Photos courtesy of Skylar Zachian.
Fall officially began last week, and I’ve spent the past seven days gaslighting myself into believing it’s still summer. I am simply not ready to trade in my mango dragonfruit refresher for a pumpkin spice latte. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for leaves changing and chestnuts falling. Actually no, I take that back. Those chestnuts are scary. There’s nothing more frightening than walking to class and having a heavy chestnut thump on the ground beside you. Then you just stand there for a minute and think, “Dang, that really could’ve just knocked me unconscious.” As you can tell, I’ve never particularly been Fall’s biggest fan.
However, not long ago I discovered the most amazing Fall activity that makes me slightly less reluctant to let go of summertime. Let me introduce you to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.
Located less than half an hour away from campus in Ronks, PA, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is essentially Disney World; not only do I think this, but according to the Cherry Crest Website, a man named Ed Bouligney once made this statement so it must be true. Only instead of a magic castle and princesses, you’ll be met by a 5-acre corn maze with 2.5+ miles of paths and the opportunity to pick sunflowers, pumpkins, and popcorn—yes, popcorn.
Let me start off by telling you about this incredible corn maze. Every year, Cherry Crest chooses a new theme for their maze and creates the maze in the shape of that theme. Since their opening in 1996, themes have included Noah’s Ark, the solar system, Charlotte’s Web, etc. Last year’s theme was National Parks, so you were walking through corn stalks that formed the shape of a bison. This year’s is “Bee A-Maized”, so it will be shaped like a bee hive. And their mazes are designed by Don Frantz, a former Disney Broadway Producer. Pretty cool, right?
But there’s more! Before you enter, you’ll be given a game board that is essentially a map of the entire maze. Your goal is to follow the hints that will take you to mailboxes that hold little map pieces that you can add to your game board to document the specific places you’ve been. There are 3 different levels to choose from. Easy takes you around the edge of the maze in about 20 minutes if you follow yellow trail markers. Intermediate shows you a bit more in 45 minutes if you follow the orange path. Difficult is entirely self-led and can take 2+ hours if you plan to explore the entire maze.
In addition to the game board pieces, there are also little activities and jokes placed throughout. Last year, as I was voyaging through, I came across a little wooden box labeled “Rare, Yellow Hanging Bats.” When I opened it and found hanging yellow baseball bats instead of animals, I laughed for 10 minutes straight. I still think about that moment at least once a month. There’s no question as to why USA Today voted this the #1 Corn Maze in America.
Oh, and did I mention that the maze is so large they have lifeguards? Well, I don’t know if they are actually called lifeguards but they sit up on a very high life-guard looking chair and make sure people don’t get too lost. And… you can come at night with a flashlight and go through the maze in the dark for an extra challenge and a little spooky feeling!
If that wasn’t enough, there are also a million and one (give or take) food options. I personally am a huge fan of the roasted sweet corn on the cob and kettle corn that comes in a cute little reusable Cherry Crest container. I may or may not have spilled half of my kettle corn in the maze, but that’s a story for another time.
Plus, there’s a farm animal center! And you can buy merchandise (t-shirts, candles, home décor, and more). And I know I mentioned this earlier but, come on, you can pick your own popcorn! Last but not least, if you’re looking for a way to decompress, mark your calendar for Saturday November 4th when Cherry Crest will be having their 12th annual Pumpkin Madness Festival. According to their website, if you bring leftover pumpkins you can participate in “Pumpkin Smash, Pumpkin Bowling, Pumpkin Putt-Putt, Pumpkin Chucking, and a HUGE pumpkin drop.” As if that wasn’t enough, they also have a glow in the dark pumpkin drop later that night followed by fireworks. If you need me on November 4th, you know where I’ll be.
Moral of the story, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm not only makes me tolerate Fall, it makes me enjoy it. Look forward to it, even. I highly recommend visiting ASAP.
Junior Skylar Zachian is the Campus Life Copy-Editor. Her email is email@example.com.