"We always have to deal with the threat of rain, and it can really hurt you" when large groups have to cancel at the last minute, Day says.
Maze owners take immense pleasure in watching urban customers have fun on a country outing.
At stations inside the Corn Maze, visitors can complete a rubbing to eventually reveal a map of the maze.
(Mark Finkenstaedt - For The Washington Post)
"It brings people so much joy, being here with their families," Kate Knott says. "We see a lot of grown-ups become kids with their children."
"I want people to come here for three or four hours and not feel rushed," Hub Knott says.
Follow these guidelines for a first-rate maze experience:
Wear comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting dirty: You may walk for miles, and pathways may be muddy. (A related suggestion: Place old towels on your car floors for protection afterward.)
Dress in layers, as the temperature inside the maze may feel warmer.
Allow plenty of time. Most large mazes require anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, but individuals' times vary widely. Giant mazes of 10 acres or more may take two to three hours to navigate successfully.
Carry bottled water in case you get thirsty.
Stay on the pathways. Cutting through the corn creates new paths and ruins the design.
Don't panic. All large, challenging corn mazes include trained staff who know how to reach lost visitors quickly and guide them out safely. Don't hesitate to wave a signal flag or holler for help.
The following farms, most within an hour to 90 minutes of the District, feature corn mazes and other fall activities. Always call ahead if weather conditions look dubious, as rain or high winds often cause closings. All sites have bathroom facilities, typically portable toilets. Most locations offer discounts for groups visiting during off-hours on weekdays, and most accommodate birthday parties. For information on finding mazes outside the Washington area, see below.
Maryland and Virginia Mazes
Mazes Outside the Washington Area
Pumpkins and More
Freelance writer Mary Jane Solomon, co-author of "The Insiders' Guide to Washington, D.C.," is a frequent contributor to Weekend.