Were I a competent blogger, I’d have written this review a month or more ago rather than waiting until the end of summer and then scrambling to do it before the place closes for the winter. Then again, I’m writing this on a crappy, cold, wet late summer day which is exactly the kind of day we had when we went to the Lacombe Corn Maze so while I may not excel in competency I’m a master of consistency. We all have our gifts.
If Hee Haw Made Disneyland
We were spending a weekend camping at Aspen Beach Provincial Park with some friends in late August of 2014. As mentioned, the weather was mediocre at best thereby making the “beach” part of our weekend unpleasant. Rather than sit around in our trailers with grumpy kids we devised a plan to visit the nearby Lacombe Corn Maze at Kraay Family Farm.
Neither I, nor my wife, nor my kids had ever been to a corn maze before so we were a bit surprised upon arrival to discover much more than a corn maze. I’d even go so far as to say the corn maze isn’t even the central attraction of corn mazes (I’ve since discovered that few, if any, corn mazes are just corn mazes). What Kraay Family Farm actually is can best be described as a sort of down home, country living amusement park. Like if Hee Haw made Disneyland.
Which is not meant to be an insult by any means. I loved Hee Haw. And while there may not be roller coasters and cartoon characters parading around, the kids still had a fabulous time. Furthermore, it didn’t cost me a month’s salary to buy admission and fly us all to California either.
There is a wide variety of activities at Kraay Family Farm including, but not limited to, pedal cars, pumpkin cannon, jumping pillows, rubber duck races, petting zoo, horse swing, giant sandbox, mini golf, life size board games, crooked fort houses, mining sluice, goat walk, tractor/trailer rides, and nerf guns. The pedal cars and pumpkin cannon were particular favourites of our kids. Okay, and the adults. There’s something about shooting unripened fruit from an air cannon at an old school bus that awakens long dormant vestiges of one’s teenage soul.
Of course, there is also a corn maze. It consists of three separate maze pathways of increasing difficulty/complexity (if I recall this correctly). There are also scavenger hunts for each pathway that helps elevate the interest of walking through a field of corn. There are wooden lookout towers in the maze which provide an interesting view of the entire maze and help you reorient yourself if you truly get lost. These mazes were enjoyable but not the highlight of the day in our kids’ minds.
Admission is $12.50 per person over 2 years of age (2 and under is free). This is terrific value for kids but seems a little steep for adults who are primarily babysitters. Few of the free activities are geared towards adults so paying $25 for two parents to stand around watching the kids irked me a bit.
There is an additional fee for any activity that requires a Kraay employee to oversee. This would include the aforementioned pumpkin cannon, for example. You buy tokens for these rides much like at a midway. Regardless, there are lots of free activities included with your admission so if you didn’t wish to spend more than $12.50, there is still lots to do and enjoy. Food booths and a gift store are also present so you can keep yourself fed, watered, and, if desired, souvenired.
The entire facility was clean and well-kept when we visited and the staff was pleasant. As mentioned, it was a cool day and so not exceptionally busy. This typically enabled us to enjoy various activities whenever we wanted. On nicer days I imagine this could be quite the busy spot. As well it should be.
I’ll give the Lacombe Corn Maze/Kraay Family Farm 4 Baby Dill Pickles out of 5. We enjoyed ourselves and, most importantly, the kids had a blast. We’d certainly go back and hopefully on a better weather day. I felt the price for adults was a little high considering parents mostly stand around watching the kids but all in all it’s a cheaper day out for a family than any modern amusement park. If you are looking for something to do in the greater Red Deer area, I recommend you try this. Or a corn maze closer to your home for that matter.
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