Friday, September 24, 2004; Page WE33
HUBER'S FAMILY PRODUCE FARM -- 11898 Philadelphia Road (Route 7 and Raphel Road), Bradshaw, 16 miles from downtown Baltimore. 410-679-1948 (recorded message) or 410-679-1941. www.hubersfarm.com. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through Oct. 31. Admission to both mazes is $6 for adults, $3 for children younger than 13; kids' maze only, $4 for adults, $2 for children. The pick-your-own pumpkin farm's five-acre corn maze features a hayride design, while a mini jack-o'-lantern-shaped maze geared toward young children includes nursery rhymes and characters to guide visitors. Each group visiting the large maze receives an activity sheet and flag to wave for assistance. Other highlights, all requiring additional fees, include an inflatable haunted house, scarecrow making and a moon bounce. Haunted Hayrides take place Oct. 15 and 16, 22 and 23 and 29 and 30, 7:30 to 10:30. $8 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 12 and younger. A portion of the Haunted Hayrides proceeds benefits the Pediatric Oncology Friends at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in memory of Daniel Huber. The $2 parking donation benefits a local Boy Scout troop. Visitors also can take a hayride to the pumpkin patch during daylight hours; donations accepted benefit Pediatric Oncology Friends. Weekend concessions include such items as snowballs, popcorn and hot dogs. A picnic pavilion has six tables.
GESELL FARM MAZE -- Off Smith Avenue and Agricultural Drive, near the Carroll County Agricultural Center and Carroll County Farm Museum. 410-386-2842 (recording information). No Web site. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting at 5, with last admittance at 8:30. Admission of $10 for ages 13 and older and $5 for ages 6 to 12 benefits the Gesell Farm Board's farm-related programs for the community; admission is free for ages 5 and younger. The 17-acre maze, planned and created by local residents, features connecting sections representing a windmill, cow's head, silo and barn, along with the words "Carroll County." Numbered posts help people orient themselves along approximately three miles of trails, designed to be easy to navigate for all ages. Visitors can choose a short, medium or long course. Bring your own flashlight or purchase a small souvenir flashlight ($3) on site. Snack foods and drinks are available.
ZEKIAH FARMS -- Booth Place, off Bryantown Road, off Route 5 (Leonardtown Road), across from Mount Eagle Estates. 240-216-4065. www.zekiahfarms.com (includes directions). Open Saturdays and Sundays 11 to dusk through Oct. 31. $7 for two mazes, free for ages younger than 3. This farm, which first opened to the public last autumn, boasts Charles County's only mazes. Designed and constructed by Missouri-based Precision Mazes, a three-acre, right-angle maze features 1 1/2 miles of straight paths. A one-acre maze created from sorghum, a grain plant similar to corn, features a half-mile of paths cut in the design of the fire department's Maltese-cross-shaped badge. Geared toward children, the maze includes five scarecrows accompanied by EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home) fire safety tips. Other farm highlights, covered by the maze admission price, include hayrides, animals, scarecrow making (bring your own clothes), face painting and a straw pit. Visitors can pick pumpkins in a three-acre patch, buy seasonal produce and purchase refreshments such as sandwiches, chips and sodas. Picnic tables are available.
CRUMLAND FARMS -- 7612 Willow Rd., Frederick. 301-845-8099. www.crumland.com (includes directions). Open Saturdays and Sundays noon to dusk through Oct. 31; also open Friday, Oct. 14 and 15 and Nov. 1 and 2 from 10 to 4. $8, $6 for ages 5 through middle school and free for ages 4 and younger. The former dairy farm's fourth annual cow-themed corn maze features an eight-acre design cut in the shape of Maizy the bovine, the farm's mascot, masquerading as "Cowzilla." Ryon Grau, a family friend, designed and helped cut the maze. Visitors try to locate 12 stations, where they can stamp a worksheet to complete a maze map. The maze includes a bridge. Signal flags are available and can be viewed by staff from an observation deck. Visitors to the grain farm also can slide down a 40-foot tube, feed goats on a "goat walk" platform and look at additional farm animals, including Princess Grace, a new miniature horse. Young children can ride a free tractor-pulled barrel train. A hayride to a six- to eight-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch is free with the purchase of a pumpkin. The farm also sells fall decorations. Refreshments include sodas, snacks and, on some weekends, hot dogs and sandwiches. Bunny Bingo takes place Oct. 9 from noon to 4, requiring a small fee, as a benefit for the Volunteer Frederick volunteerism organization. Rabbits raised by 4-H members hop around a large numbered grid topped with feed; the person whose designated number is the last to lose its feed pellet is the winner. The farm also boasts an upright silo resembling an ear of corn, as well as several seasonal- and farm-themed murals, all painted by family friend Emily Chesley.
SHARP'S AT WATERFORD FARM -- 4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville. 301-854-6275. www.sharpfarm.com (includes directions). Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through Oct. 31. $7 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 5 to 12, free for ages 4 and younger with a paying adult. The farm and produce stand's five-acre maze, designed by manager Cheryl Nodar and built by owners Chuck and Denise Sharp, features three adjoining designs: a chicken, sheep and cow. Flags are not available. The chicken is designed for young children. Interspersed along the pathways of the sheep and cow, signs display facts about the animal parts (such as a cow's four stomachs) depicted in corresponding sections of the maze. Mazegoers can exit from the cow's ear and continue their walk on a one-mile nature hike. Other farm highlights include a 30-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, free hayrides, animals, face painting ($1 to $8 depending on the design), observation beehives and a small farm museum. Scarecrow making workshops ($7, $5 if you bring the clothes) take place Saturdays and Sundays noon to 3. Visitors also can pick gourds, mini pumpkins and popcorn. The site also houses a country store and greenhouses. The farm has a few picnic tables, along with a pond-side picnic area on which to spread blankets. As part of Howard County Farm City Week, the maze is open Friday from noon to 5, and a free hayride takes place at 4:30. On Saturday, the "Howard County Iron Bridge Hounds" and riders visit the farm for a fox chase.
ARORA HILLS CORN MAZE -- 22900 Ridge Rd., Clarksburg. 240-686-0206. www.arorahills.com (with directions). Open through Oct. 31, Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 5. Admission by suggested donation of $10 per family or $5 per person benefits Hospice Caring Inc., a nonprofit volunteer hospice organization in Montgomery County. Arora Hills holds its second annual charity maze, sponsored by the new community's land developers and homebuilders. Situated on neighboring farmland, the 3.3-acre, house-shaped maze includes 2.35 miles of pathways. Lost visitors can wave provided flags to signal hospice volunteers stationed at a raised lookout. Designed and built by Maize Quest, the maze features a Fingertip Fortune Game: Five checkpoints each include a different color of chalk powder, into which a mazegoer dips a fingertip. A walker who visits every station ends up with fingertips of five colors, creating a pattern. A board posted at the end of the maze displays all possible patterns, each of which corresponds to a fortune. Each visitor also can look at four possible designs for next year's maze and vote on a favorite. Every child age 12 or younger who completes a free game sheet -- available on site from hospice volunteers -- receives a prize. The site has no food or beverages. Radio station Hot 99.5 FM will be on hand to give away prizes on Oct. 23 from 2 to 4.
BOWLES FARMS -- 22880 Budd's Creek Rd., Clements. 301-475-2139. www.bowlesfarms.com. Open Fridays 4 to 9, Saturdays 10 to 9 and Sundays 11 to 6 through Oct. 31. $8, free for children 5 and younger accompanied by an adult. Now in its fourth year, the St. Mary's County Corn Maze & Pumpkin Harvest features a 15-acre corn maze cut in an F/A-18 Hornet jet design, a tribute to nearby Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Created by the Maize design company based on the Bowles family's design, the maze consists of two sections, one of which is larger. The pathways include two bridges. Visitors who get lost along more than three miles of trails can wave flags to signal for help from employees stationed in three towers. The admission price also includes a straw maze, straw mountain, hay rides and a farm animal petting zoo. Pick-your-own pumpkins also are available. The farm boasts a large picnic area, souvenirs and concessions, including snacks and country-style meals. Restrooms are heated and air-conditioned. Special events include lawn mower racing by the Mid-Atlantic Lawn Mower Racing Association Oct. 2 at 2; live music on Oct. 3, 17, 24 and 31 from 2 to 6; an antique tractor pull and parade on Oct. 16 at 11, followed by a lawnmower pull at 4; an antique tractor pull on Oct. 17 at 11, followed by a tractor parade at 2; and the Southern Knights Rod & Custom Car Show on Oct. 24, starting about noon. A free bike rodeo with prizes is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 31; check the Web site for further details.