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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Blue Backpack Chronicles: A-mazed at Mazza’s

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 3:44 PM

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A three-mile-long corn maze is a pretty intimidating prospect for a person with a terrible a sense of direction like me. But it also seems like a quintessential New England fall thing to do.

That’s why, on a whim, I purchased a two-for-one admission deal to Sam Mazza’s Corn Maze. On a recent chilly September day, I headed to Colchester with my trusty 3-year-old sidekick, Theo, to check it out.

After an unplanned detour in the Big Lots parking lot in Essex — that should give you an idea of my poor navigational skills — we arrived at Mazza’s farm market.

The three-mile maze is actually comprised of two different mazes, the woman at the cash register explained as she handed us a map. The easier one is .9 miles, while the more challenging one is 2.1 miles. Theo and I decided the shorter one was more our speed.

En route to the maze, the menagerie of farm animals behind the market beckoned. We admired the beastly yak and fed the goats — or, in goat-phobic Theo’s case, threw a handful of food into the goat’s pen and hoped for the best.

The corn maze has numbered checkpoints with hole punches at each one so you can track your progress. Theo and I punched out numbers 1 through 3 handily but got a little turned around after that.

Despite the warning at the maze’s entrance to “stay on the established maze paths,” impish Theo kept trying to burrow into the thick stalks of corn. I managed to pull him out of the corn long enough for us to find checkpoints 4, 5, and 6, albeit in reverse order.

As we snaked through the pathways, we participated in another maze game: making crayon rubbings of plaster animal tracks that were sprinkled throughout the maze.

After 45 minutes enveloped by seven-foot-walls of corn, both of us were ready to break free. Finally, we emerged into the open air.

“That was kind of confusing,” Theo said.

“Yeah, that’s how mazes are supposed to be,” I replied.

Theo looked at me plaintively. “Why?”

Guess my trusty sidekick still has a lot to learn.

If you go:

Sam Mazza’s is located at 277 Lavigne Rd. in Colchester. Sam Mazza’s Corn Maze is open seven days a week from early September through October, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-11 and free for children under 3. No tickets are sold within an hour of closing.

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This post was written by Kids VT contributor Alison Novak, who lives in Shelburne with her husband and two kids. Every week this fall, she and her 3-year-old son, Theo, will embark on an inexpensive excursion to someplace they’ve never been. The Blue Backpack Chronicles — named for Theo’s trusty travel backpack — is a blog series about their adventures.

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