“If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there” —Lewis Carroll,
My husband and I have been traveling out to Western Massachusetts to enjoy Mike’s Maze in Sunderland, MA since before the kids were born. It’s one of our favorite autumn/Halloween traditions. This year may have been one of our favorite years because it was the first time the kids really got into the activity of navigating the maze. Each year, this farm turns their corn field into a work of art. Seriously. The details in their designs are mind-blowing. This year’s design was Alice in Wonderland, cleverly referred to as Alice in Sunderland. The corn field’s design influences the games played inside the maze. Rather than just aimlessly wandering through the maze, visitors are handed a map and invited to seek out certain check points throughout the maze. Each check point has a task, question, or something to collect to complete the game. This year there were three levels of games that varied in difficulty. Choosing the easy route, we were meant to seek out pink flamingos that contained a number and letter on its back. Once all the letters were recorded they were used to unscramble a word puzzle. This game was easily obtainable for the kids and they loved it. We got to practice our map following skills and the boys had to identify the numbers and letters on each found flamingo as well as record them on our clipboard.
In addition to check points, there’s also random fun finds along the maze. This year we found a mushroom forest and a rather confusing sign. In all the years we’ve been enjoying the maze, this was by far the coldest visit. We even found ourselves navigating the maze through random snow storms. It made for an interesting adventure! Once we found our way back out of the maze, the boys were awarded a pumpkin prize for collecting all the check points.
And as if the fun of the maze weren’t enough, the farm also provides tons of fall festival fun including a hay rides, a mini hay maze, a potato blaster, a tractor tire playground, a farm animal feeding station, horse rides, and tons of yummy snacks at the Corn Cafe from cider donuts to corn chowder. It can easily be an all day event. On our way home, we love stopping at a charming used books store and cafe in the tiny town of Montague. The Book Mill lives on the banks of the Sawmill River and provides multiple floors of cozy nooks and crannies to sit and discover a used book treasure. While enjoying a snack in the cafe, we got a front row view of the river, which was gorgeous on this fall day.