Walking through a corn maze with no sense of direction under the cover of darkness may sound like something out of a nightmare, however, in Sonoma County this means, the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch is back.
For the past 20 years Jim and Cindy Groverman have been providing the Bay Area with a little taste of the country between late September through the end of October.
Many local and urban visitors come visit the pumpkin patch to look at and purchase many of the interesting types of pumpkins and gourds.
Karen Foley has been working at the pumpkin patch for 19 years.
“Every year I think to myself, why did I do this? But then I remember how much fun it is to work here,” said Foley. “Everyone is always in a good mood and enjoy coming from all parts of the Bay Area.”
The Groverman’s try to provide a different variety of pumpkins and gourds every year; this year they range from butternut squash, peanut pumpkins, knucklehead pumpkins, bottle gourds and many other interesting varieties.
Pumpkin prices vary by size. They can range from $1 to $15 or more, depending on the size. One can also find some activities during the weekends and food vendors. The Petaluma pumpkin patch is open every day, but it often closes when there is heavy rainfall due to the fact that one cannot walk nor drive on the soil.
Aside from the simple entertainment of the unique variety of pumpkins, one can look at the adorable farm animals, race to the top of the haystack mountain or explore the amazing corn maze.
“The corn maze is a lot of fun at night,” said Liz Eadon, who has been coming to the pumpkin patch since she was six. “It is also fun during the day, but at night it is easier to scare my friends.”
The corn maze is open every day, but on Friday and Saturday night, it is featured as the night maze, and it is open until 10 p.m. Admission for the night maze is $9 and one can purchase a map, which is an areal shot of the maze, for $1.
Once one is in the maze, it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel completely lost even with the help of a map.
Luckily, once one reaches the first pinwheel, which is the first point in the maze where there is a selection of five different routes to choose.
There is a helpful guide who can show people where they are on the map and give clues for which route to choose. From that point on, one will hopefully make their way to one of the two upper platforms, in which they can see where they are in the maze and how far the second platform is.
Walking through the maze in total darkness, aside from being an adventure can also be a great way to scare others by making creepy noises, such as monkey noises that one mazegoer made throughout the entirety of being in the maze.
“Walking through the maze makes for a really great bonding experience,” said Abby Cruz. “I had a lot of fun scaring my cousins with random screaming.”
Clearly, the night maze is a lot more fun at night because people seem to really enjoy scaring other people, and being in total darkness. During the night maze one should definitely bring a flashlight for viewing their map.”
Some of the tips for successfully completing the maze in 45 minutes are to mark the map with a pen or thumb every time one comes to an intersection, and either keep to the right or keep to the left when choosing intersections or one will find themselves lost for up two hours.
The amazing corn maze was created 12 years ago and has become a wonderful addition to the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch.
The placement of the corn maze and the pumpkins are swapped every year and the corn maze is also different every year.