Harvest season is upon us, and with it comes a multitude of wacky food-themed traditions. But in the midst of all this apple bobbing and pumpkin carving, do we ever stop to ask ourselves about the true meaning of autumn?
In short: no, nor do we have to. This season will be gone before anyone knows it and these activities are so much fun, they are the true meaning of fall. Here’s a rundown of the best nearby places to get your fall fix…
The Melon Shack: Hwy. 20 and NE Garden Ave., Corvallis
Probably the closest option for those of us in Corvallis, The Melon Shack has constructed a huge corn maze with haunted/non-haunted variations. The family-friendly version offers directional clues in the form of farm trivia questions and will take up to an hour to complete, with fun activities like a slide, pumpkin patch, and hay palace to explore afterward. The haunted version should take considerably less time for those who dare to pass through after dark on a Friday or Saturday if the fog, dark tunnels, and chainsaw-wielding spooks do their job.
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Cost is $5 during the day, $10 for the haunted maze.
Davis Family Farm: 4420 NE Hwy. 20, Corvallis
Further down Highway 20 lies the Davis Family Farm where the friendliest looking giant spider you’ll ever see sits perched atop the hay bales to greet visitors. No scares to be found here, just good old-fashioned fun. The maze isn’t on the same scale as many of the others in terms of size, but the price of admission includes access to the hay pyramid, slide, duck races, and apple cannon. They also offer hay rides and homemade cider and donuts to ward off any chill the day may bring.
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Cost is $3.
Bose Family Farm: 35765 Cyrus Rd., Albany
Bose Family Farm takes the food theme to a whole new level with their corn maze. Hidden in the corridors of this 10-acre behemoth are six scarecrows with unique stamps. Collect them all on a punch card and be entered into a drawing for half a hog. There’s a dark but non-haunted version on Friday and Saturday nights for those who crave a little extra challenge without the fright and a plethora of daytime fun to be had with tractor rides, a dark hay maze, and disc golf.
Open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost is $7 for the maze and $10 for an activity wristband.
Airlie Hills: 10720 Airlie Rd., Monmouth
It may not be the biggest or scariest maze, but that’s not what the folks at Airlie Hills had in mind anyway. Here, the corn maze is considered an artistic medium and whoever designs it—possibly with help from aliens, though no confirmation or denial was given—truly has an eye for aesthetics. Though the pattern can only be seen from above, it’s guaranteed to be shockingly intricate and worth the drive to Monmouth by itself. There’s no shortage of activities for the kids, either, though trike racing is one offering you won’t find anywhere else.
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $7 for all activities on weekdays, $9 on weekends.
By Jason Campbell