I’d been to Ellms before, but just for cutting down Christmas trees. But it turned out to be a pretty excellent autumn experience, too.
First, we hit the Maize Maze.
As you may have guess, I am not a corn maze aficionado. My sense of direction is so very poor in real life that I generally don’t try to get lost for sport. That said, we got pretty well lost in the Maize Maze. This year they have a baseball theme, so as you travel through the maze, you can learn some baseball trivia and work out a puzzle and that sort of thing. But I was with the gymnastics mamas, so mostly I just shuffled along, chit-chatting. As you walk through the maze, someone carries a big flag that monitors can see from a bridge above, so you really can’t get too, too lost. Which is good, because it’s one of my talents.
There are plenty of pumpkins, just for sale, or you can pick your own out in a pumpkin patch (they’ll give you a ride). There aren’t apples at Ellms. I was chatting with someone from the family who said that people always arrive looking for apples, so they might have to plant some trees. And then literally within five minutes of hearing about that, I received a text from Cute W saying, “Can you pick up some apples while you’re there?” Luckily they do have apple cider and homemade cider donuts.
Beyond the Maize Maze and pumpkins-not-apples, there are plenty of other attractions. They’ve got a huge jumping pillow, zip lines, live music, a petting zoo, pedal cars for kids and grown-ups, and all sorts of other stuff. What I liked most about it is that almost everything is included in the general admission (I think you had to pay separately for the corn cannon), but everywhere you turned there was something to do, so it’s really lovely for wandering around with kids freely and doing whatever appeals to them. Some examples are a sports center
or their little “Sound Garden”
along with all sorts of other things, like bean bag toss games, a little mechanical “Chicken Show,” tires to climb around on, fun toddler toys, a bunch of other mazes, and more. They’ve got basic food (so you can stay for hours and hours), but only port-a-potties (so go light on the cider).
J really liked the big slide:
But, honestly, I think her favorite thing was rolling downhill in these tubes:
What I liked the most about this was that the tubes were just out there, lying around, and kids could do whatever they wanted. In fact, down the hill from J in the picture above, there was a pedal car track, and the parents kept reminding kids to aim away from the pedal cars to avoid a crash. But they were pretty sensible about it, actually. And it was nice to just let them go nuts and see where it led them.
For little kids, there’s a sand box, a corn box, and more. There were almost too many things to do, and what was nice that they were mostly very open-ended and low-key, so it’s a nice place to wander and play. I would say any kids 12 and under would happily spend hours at Ellms. They have a big pavilion and other space for birthday parties, too. And, really, kids 12 and up would have a good time in the maze, the jumping pillow, and other activities, too. Since some super-cool big kids might be turned off by the attractions for the little kids, I wouldn’t pick Ellms for a group of teenagers, but it’s wide range of activities makes it awesome for multi-age groups.