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US: Southwest, Best Corn Mazes and Fall Festivals for Family Fun. From country traditions in New Mexico and Oklahoma to luscious apples in Arizona, the season is in full swing. Corny or not, mazes are made for families and mean fun.
Here's the scoop: Getting away for just a day can make all of the difference. Disconnect from chores and schedules or a few hours and make memories with your kids. Taste sweet apple butter or corncob jelly; carve a pumpkin or stuff a scarecrow; play flashlight tag or chase the kids through the corn stalks; ride on a wagon full of hay or bob for apples, the season looks promising and we have an action list for you. Checkout what it takes to be the best.
New Mexico: Albuquerque, Rio Grande Farms Maize Maze (09/15/2012– 10/31/2012).
Not far from the heart of the city it is possible to share the wonders of the high desert and its fascinating wildlife. An added benefit weekends during September and October is the Maize Maze – a seven-acre corn maze designed with elements of deception. Navigating the Maize Maze is a great interactive family. Throughout the maze information stations provide hints to explorers. Depending on how carefully you choose – and how many times you get lost! – “solving” the maze during daylight hours takes about one hour. Best part: There are many maze options including by moonlight, by starlight or the maze with music. (Rio Grande Farms Maize Maze 1701 Montano Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107 (505)345 4580 or www.riograndefarm.org)
New Mexico: Las Cruces, Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.
Visit the interactive museum that brings 3,000 years of New Mexico farming and ranching into the hands of children. Best part:
The 47-acre museum contains real stories about real people. The interactive museum, which has welcomed visitors from all over the world, brings to life the 3,000-year history of farming and ranching in New Mexico. (Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces. www.frhm.org
New Mexico: Santa Fe, Harvest Festival
(10/06/2012–10/07/2012). This very popular community event features harvest activities including crushing grapes for wine. Lsten to music and enjoy dancing, or grind sorghum with burros. Attendees will have the chance to stringichile ristras and buy traditional crafts from artists. Try dipping candles and watch soap being made. Best part:
Taste warm bread and bizcochitos from the horno. (334 Los Pinos Road, Santa Fe, 87507. (505) 471-2261 or www.golondrinas.org
Arizona: Wilcox, Apple Annie’s Fall Pumpkin Celebration
(Weekends 09/29/2012 – 10/28/2012).
You’ll find Apple Annie’s in the Sulphur Springs Valley of southeastern Arizona. The 4300’ elevation means warm days and cool nights a situation which is ideal for fruit and vegetable growing. The Orchard is known for tree-ripened apples, peaches, pears and Asian pears as well as farm-fresh vegetables, including sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, chilies and pumpkins. During their annual fall celebration enjoy old-fashioned family fun picking your own pumpkins, fall vegetables. Best part:
Taste freshly pressed apple cider and pick-your-own apples. Pumpkins of all sizes are ready for adoption from their huge pumpkin patch. For a small fee enjoy a hayride to the pumpkin patch and children's play area (Children 2 and younger are free.) Need to know
: Don't forget to bring a jacket because fall days can be comfortably cool in Willcox. (6405 W. Williams Road, Willcox, 85643. (520) 384-2084 or www.appleannies.com
Arizona: Tucson, Buckelew Farms Corn Maze.
(Weekends 10/19/2012 - 10/31/2012) Has the common Haunted House lost its terror? Try Buckelew Farms Haunted Corn Maze and you might find your Halloween spirit revitalized. After dark, the traditional corn maze is transformed into a full on seasonal experience, complete with props and live actors. Best part:
Day activites include the annual Pumpkin Festival with tractor-drawn wagon rides into the pumpkin field to pick your very own pumpkin. (Buckelew Farm 17000 W. Ajo Way Tucson, Arizona. (520) 822-2277 or www.buckelewfarm.com
Arizona: Glendale, Corn Maze at Tolmochoff Farms.
(10/1/2012 - 11/11/2012) Visit Tolmachoff Farms 6 acre family corn maze, which has a new theme every year, including a haunted corn maze: AZ Field of Screams. If you have little ones that want to join in on the adventure, the mini corn maze is right up their alley. Other activities include a petting zoo, train ride, and hay pyramid,. Best part:
Clasic family fun includes real time farm experiences and a children's play area. Make sure to pick up fresh produce from their produce stand on your way out!.(Tolmachoff Farms 5726 N. 75th Ave Glendale, AZ 85303. (623) 386-1301 or www.tolmachoff-farms.com
Oklahoma: Gore, Fin & Feather Fall Festival
(09/28/2012–09/30/2012). Each September, Fin & Feather Resort hosts the annual Fall Festival, one of the most popular arts and crafts shows in the state. Each year, thousands of attendees flocked to see the more than 200 exhibitors during the three day festival. In addition to the multitude of arts and crafts vendors, families will enjoy the fall-themed food and fun. (Route 1 - Fin and Feather Resort is located approximately 8 miles north of Gore on Highway 100 on the right hand side of the road. (918) 487-5148 or www.finandfeatherresort.com/annual-fall-festival
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Orr Family Farm
(09/22 – 11/03/ 2012). Not only is Orr Family Farm the largest horse training center in Oklahoma, complete with 240 horse stalls, race training track and indoor arena, but it caters to visitors with a third-sized replica of America's first transcontinental locomotive and a vintage horse carousal. In addition to naviaging the corn maze and traying your skills in the Amaze'n Maze competion they also offer a chance to practice gem mining and feed barn animals. Best part:
Try the 450-foot zipline and glide over the land. (Orr Family Farm 14400 S. Western Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73170. (405) 799-3276 or www.orrfamilyfarm.com
Looking for the best corn mazes and fall festivals in Texas? CLICK HERE.
If we missed your favorite corn maze or fall festival "Tell Mom"
and we will add it to the list. Make sure to include the name of the festival or event and its location on the planet as well as why you like it or what makes it worth the trip Our next round up will include family-friendly winter celebrations and enchanting Santa Trains.
We are building the list right now and would love to have your feedback. So just "Tell Mom!"
Information compiled from FTF extensive database as of September2012. Images provided by respective venues. Videos by Kemper Barkhurst at Rio Grande Community Farm, and The New Mexico Heritage and Ranch Museum, respectively. Sometimes things change, so please confirm details before making plans. Copyright 2012.