Journey to the Center of the Maize

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For our family the Halloween spirit usually takes a year off between visits. Last year our time in Rome was low key, fun but with little time or forethought put into costumes or an aura of spookiness. This year, however, we’ve vowed to pull out all the stops and have no regrets come November 1st.

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En route to a Halloween in Seattle, we came across the Portland Corn Maize, a perfect Halloween warm-up activity (and conveniently located halfway between our former rental in Oakridge, Oregon and Seattle). This was the Younger Fives’ first time in a corn maze; a different Maize was right down the road from where we used to live in Western Maine, but we had never actually made the trip. Outfitted with our rain gear and rubber boots, we were ready for an a-“stound”-ing (trying hard not to make the obvious “maze” pun) adventure.

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The maze entrance had plenty to get the kids excited for their journey. Each Five chose a trivia clue card (with different themes ranging from Halloween to Movies) that gives hints (but by no means spoilers) about which way to go at various numbered locations inside the maze (assuming you can figure out the correct answer). We were also advised to be on the lookout for Cornundrums, visual puzzles along the way. Glad to have our boots on, we set forth into the unknown.

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The first half of the maize went pretty smoothly. We took a few wrong turns, but many of the paths looped back around so we ended up where we need to be in the end. We still had plenty of energy left when we reached the halfway point, a convenient exit that lets you take a break if needed then resume right where you left off.

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The second half was definitely more challenging than the first but struck a good balance between making you work to find the right path without getting too frustrated. We definitely commented, “I think I’ve seen that ear of corn before!” several times on this section of the maze, and we had to really retrace our steps and engage in some spirited conversation to figure out what we were missing. Eventually we found the right path, and from there it was smoothly splashing the rest of the way. Our 4-year-old was just starting to lose his enthusiasm at this point, so it worked out perfectly. By the time we reached the exit, we felt like we had really accomplished something and, even better, we had gotten our fill of fall fun for the day 🙂

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