It's September and that means the start of the end of summer and the move into fall. But don't forget, autumnal exploring can be even more beautiful than summer trips, particularly if you head to the right location. Located just over an hour outside of Toronto, near Hamilton, the Hanes Corn Maze and Sunflower Maze near Toronto will fill your weekend with corny, amazing fun!
Corn mazes are a staple of the fall season. Depending on the size, you can wander for hours amidst the corn stocks, certain that you've seen the same dead-end 100 times before.
Well, getting lost in the 20-acre field at the Hanes Corn Maze is almost a guarantee. To put it in perspective, one NFL football field is only about 1.3 acres.
But, if you're looking for something a little less challenging, they now also offer an adorable (and slightly smaller) sunflower maze. Though navigating your way out might be easier, you'll probably find yourself spending just as long admiring the full eight acres of golden sunflower blooms.
The corn maze will stay open until the end of October, often extending into the first week of November if the weather allows. Meanwhile, the sunflower maze will stay open as long as it stays in bloom.
According to farm owners Kevin and Shelly Hanes, this should be until mid-September.
The eight-acre sunflower maze features seven checkpoints. Upon entering the maze, you will receive a map that lists five of the points, but the other two are a hidden surprise. The checkpoints will help you decode a secret message at the end of the maze — if you make it out, that is!
And that's a big if.
Shelly Hanes tells Narcity that rescuing lost maze adventurers is not an uncommon task!
"Yes, people get lost!" she says. "Just the other day, my son Nash had to rescue people. We always check the maze once a week for lost people."
However, if you’re lucky enough to make it to the other side of either maze, there are plenty of prizes to be won!
"When, or if, you exit, you will get to spin a prize wheel to see what you win. An air photo picture of the maze is always a fun prize, also chips, chocolate ... you can choose from a variety of prizes," Hanes explains.
"If there is a charity we are giving proceeds to, that charity will supply some giveaways for prizes too."
This year's partial proceeds will be donated to JDRF, a juvenile diabetes charity.
In September, the corn stocks are still lush and green, making finding your way out even more challenging. But, if you'd rather something a little more spooky, then late October is the time to go.
"For the whole month of October, we extend the hours 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. You can go in at night with flashlights and play the game. Bring your own flashlights or you can purchase one at the entrance. The weekend after Thanksgiving, we have scarey music playing in the maze for Halloween maze fun," Hanes tells Narcity.
All that getting lost will surely make your tummy grumble.
But don't worry, the Hanes Tiny Shop Bakery is on-site and has got you covered! It's fully stocked with a wide selection of mouth-watering baked goods. From butter tarts to pies, each treat is baked fresh daily without any added preservatives.
After your snack, don't forget to say hi to the adorable farm animals who call this place their home!
It's important to note you should bring cash with you. Debit and credit cards are not accepted — except for debit at the bakery only — though there is an ATM on site.*
The Hanes Corn Maze & Sunflower Maze
Price: $15 per person*
When: Until Oct. 31
Address: 1001 Hwy. #5 W., Dundas
Why You Need To Go: You can get lost (literally) in the beauty of the corn and sunflower mazes. Plus there are lots of sweet treats and fun prizes to enjoy!
*This article has been updated.