Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the corn maze at Southgate Crossing was the only one in Elkhart County. There is another at Knollbrook Farm in Goshen.
ELKHART — Southgate Crossing is allowing visitors another chance to wander through its corn maze this weekend, part of a season of fun fall activities for families.
Themed the Amazing Bee, the corn maze will be open every weekend through Nov. 2 behind the back parking lot of Southgate Crossing on C.R. 26 on the city’s southwest side.
This is the second year Southgate Crossing has held the corn maze. The event started last year as a way to bring the community together and to make people aware of Southgate Crossing’s existence since it reopened under new management three years ago, said Rick Powell, project and facility manager.
“We’re constantly looking for different things to do to bring the public here and, as we were brainstorming, we decided to look into starting a corn maze,” said Powell. “There’s a lot of corn in Indiana and we have a farmers group that plants this field every year and then they cultivate at the end of the year, so it was the perfect place to have a maze put in.”
The maze is on 4.5 acres and is one of two known corn mazes in Elkhart County. The other is located in southeast Goshen on 12 acres at Knollbrook Farm. The Shipshewana Corn Maze in LaGrange County shut down after four years.
At Southgate Crossing, visitors can get help navigating the maze from a map available at the entrance. Or they can download a “Maze Tracker” app that will show them where they stand in the maze.
New additions this year include a bee train, a corn cannon that shoots corncobs with compressed air, duck races and a play area for children. The event also includes a straw bale maze, hill games and treats, and interactive fun for the entire family, organizers said.
Powell said almost 200 visitors attended last Saturday on opening day.
“That was a good start, better than last year,” Powell said of the attendance. “Advertising has been good, the word has gotten out and the public is responding.”
Powell said preparation for the event involves going around to make sure everything is functional and also trying to add more activities from last year.
“We didn’t have the bee train last year or the cannon or duck race, so every year we try to build on what we have and make it bigger and more fun,” he said. “It’s good family fun. There’s something for all ages.”
But Powell said he hopes the festivities draw visitors to see changes at the big red barn where they can buy and take classes about brewing wine or beer, get a haircut or purchase fresh produce.
General admission for the maze is $7 per person; free for ages 4 and younger. Groups of 10 or more receive two tickets (with purchase of 10). Thursdays is reserved for groups.
Admission is free for veterans this Sunday, teachers and school employees on Sept. 22 and for first responders on Sept. 29.
Hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
More information is available at 574-294-2040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.