We were offered the opportunity to spend an evening at the Blue Bell Corn Maze developed by the good folks at Water Hollow Ranch. They offered us a reduced price to review their maze and attractions, but all the opinions are our own opinions.
First off, the maze is fabulously built. Made from stands of corn at least 8 feet tall, this maze was intricate, confusing, and creative. I was immediately lost after about two turns in to the maze. Fortunately, we had our “DPS” with us – “Dad’s Positioning Service.” He knew were we were the entire time – well, almost. Toward the end, he too, experienced some confusion – leading us into dead end after dead end for about 20 minutes. Never fear, he was able to get a lock back on where we were and get us out in the end.
The kids had a hard time with the maze. They didn’t quite know what to expect, and I hadn’t done a lot of preparation with them before we left. The three oldest immediately tried to run off in several different directions. We grabbed them all, and used Mom’s scarf to tie them all together. We walked through the maze like a chain gang for a while until they realized they “wanted” to stay with their parents. Our preschooler was just happy holding Mom’s hand for the hour we were in the maze. And the baby rode out the maze on Dad’s shoulders – her normal perch for such outings.
The maze is built in three sections, or phases. We were able to complete two of the phases. The first phase we found ourselves lost in was a picture of a wagon wheel. That was while I was navigating. Dad knew where we were and navigated us swiftly and surely out of that section via the gigantic Mountain America sign. After a brief rest looking out over the maze and enjoying the country music –I danced the Boot Scooting Boogie – we started back in for the second phase.
The second phase proved to be much more difficult. We let Dad lead for the entire time, but even he got disoriented. Somewhere in the cowboy hat we got turned around and then kept going in circles. Dad kept saying we were out, and then we would run into a dead end.
Ultimately, it was the Passport Posts that saved us. The Monsen family knew they were building a tough maze, so they placed markers throughout the maze to help those of us who were directionally challenged. At the beginning of the maze, there were mail boxes with 10 question quizzes on different topics inside. The answers to the questions tell which way to go. Once we reached a post, we were able to look at the corresponding number on the quizzes (we took in two), and know which direction – left or right – to go. We finally knew we’d been going in circles for sure when we saw the same post again. The second time we saw the post we stopped, answered the questions, and were able to get on the right path.
The third section of the Blue Bell Corn Maze is a haunted section and hasn’t opened to the public yet. When it opens, the third section will be the only part of the maze that is haunted – leaving the other two sections friendly to little kids during October.
Water Hollow Ranch offers not only an amazing corn maze, but also a great midway experience geared just for kids. My kids “secretly” told me that they would be just fine at the midway attractions, while Dad and I went through the maze. We declined their offer, but we let them play at all the booths. Also, available, was a covered eating area, a sand box, and a fire pit. All amenities that made our visit very enjoyable.
One of the alternative attractions was a funhouse tunnel. My children all really enjoyed this, except for the preschooler. She got so disoriented that she wouldn’t walk, and just sat on the bridge with her eyes closed. Mom had to “rescue” her and guide her through the tunnel holding both of her hands. After we had finished with the maze, my three older kids kept going through the tunnel, but not my preschooler – she preferred the tube slide.
The tube slide was the center attraction of the hay bale maze. The hay bale maze is designed to be a fun maze for little children to go through. In the center is a tube slide, which of course, my children loved. All of them found the hay bale maze much more to their liking.
My baby, however, liked the goats available at the goat feeding attraction. She would laugh and giggle at the goats. I was able to show her how to feed the goats, and she absolutely loved it. She thought the billy goat was incredibly hilarious. She loved grabbing the poor goat’s horns. The goats were all so well-mannered and gentle. They finally went away from the baby, but only after they’d submitted to some serious “affection” from our one year old.
Also set up at the Blue Bell Maize was “Big Bertha”. Big Bertha is a large air fired cannon. Mr. Monsen loaded it with hay, and things, and fired it at a target for us. There were other air fired cannons available to be shot by the visitors. Also, there was a paintball arena set up for visitors to use. I think the paintball arena was meant to help married couples overcome any hard feelings from “use a map; I don’t need a map” conversations.
Also available to visitors is a pumpkin patch, corn pit, a cow train, and a roller slide. My children thoroughly enjoyed the corn pit and the roller slide. We might have to invest in a roller slide for our back yard. The pumpkin patch gives visitors the opportunity to pick their own pumpkin. There is an extra charge for the pumpkin. We were running out of daylight, so we had to skip the cow train.
Also available, and ever important to my boys, is a nice variety of snack foods at a concession booth in the midway. The prices were reasonable, but we had supper in the oven at home, so we never ordered anything.
We spent a fantastic two hours at the Water Hollow Ranch, enjoyed ourselves fully, and came home ready for bed. Going out to the ranch, walking (and getting lost) in the maze and watching our kids have so much fun at the midway attractions just made it feel like fall has finally started. All the employees were really friendly and fun to talk to, which made the experience all the more A-Maize-ing!
For more details check out www.bluebellcornmaze.com. The entire experience at Water Hollow Ranch is well worth the drive to Blue Bell, Utah. Once you get there just follow the signs. It’s hard to miss. The Blue Bell Corn Maze at Water Hollow Ranch is something your family will really enjoy and remember doing.