What better way to kick off fall than with a corn maze? For nearly 3 years now I’ve lived less than 15 minutes away from one of the most popular corn mazes in the Boston area… which is part of the reason why I’ve never done it before. Every autumn I plan to go to the maze, and then I get scared away by the crowds of people who descend upon Marini Farm for the corn maze, pumpkins, apple cider, and general fall merriment. If I was going to go this year, finally, it was going to be early in the season, before the autumn rush. Aisha and I decided to go at night for their first flashlight corn maze of the season. It’s a few extra bucks for a cooler, darker atmosphere. It was Aisha’s first corn maze ever.
The website said to plan for 1.5 hours in the maze (!!), but we ran the risk of arriving around 8:30pm. The farm closes at 10. We came armed with flashlights, and were pleasantly surprised that there was no line to enter into the… amusement area? I’m not sure what to call it. There’s a pirate ship and a giant pillow and corn hole and just a really odd assortment of activities. There was a stereo blasting Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and other 80s hits. I don’t know. But we passed all that nonsense and went straight for the corn maze entrance.
This year’s corn maze theme was “Arabian Nights” which lent itself nicely to all sorts of problematic things (the corn maze itself was shaped like a sad and screaming Aladdin and a menacing genie… plus a camel and some Middle-Eastern architecture… yeah I’m not sure what’s going on there honestly). That all began in a little hut where Aisha and I were forced to watch a 5-minute introductory video that looked like it was recorded with a 1995 camcorder. In it, a man painted in all blue (he’s a genie, ok) gave us the rules of the maze. No running, no smoking, no fondling or eating the corn. I didn’t watch most of the video because I was too uncomfortable to look at the screen.
The teenager working gave us a big orange flag to wave in case we got truly lost. I wondered how they would see the flag in the dark, but it didn’t matter, we didn’t end up needing it.
Finally, we proceeded to the entrance of the maze!
And then… shit got real. It was dark. It was quiet (except for Bon Jovi), and the wind rustled the corn. There was no one directly in front of or behind us, and while that’s ideal, it was honestly kind of spooky for the first few minutes as we got our bearings.
Then we became maze-solving machines! It was very fun. We’d occasionally encounter some people, sometimes going in the opposite direction, making us question if we were going the right way. The night was clear and we could see the moon. There were Arabian-themed puzzles along the way, but we only stopped at the posts that revealed where in the maze we were. The maze is big enough that it’s sectioned off with different colored tape. We could tell we were progressing when we moved from blue to white, white to green, etc. There were also a couple bridges to climb and look out over the corn. I imagine that’s more helpful in the daytime, but still a fun and eerie view.
There were only a handful of times that I felt completely disoriented. The 80s music provided an auditory reference point of how close we were to the farm, and what direction we were facing.
All in all, it took us 45 minutes from entrance to exit. And that was with us being in no particular hurry. It’s a big maze, and despite all the corny commercialism, it was definitely worth the trip!
P.S. I have no pictures from the corn maze because it was all dark. You’ll just have to imagine what being in a corn maze at night looks like. Imagine Signs without Mel Gibson.