Gary’s Pumpkin Patch a local thriller

A-maze-in corn Gary’s Pumpkin Patch is a popular fall attraction, and each year thousands of people come to navigate their way through the giant corn maze, which sprawls across eight acres of land. This year’s corn maze was shaped like a tractor. Photo by Mallory Shehi.

Maggie Pilcher

Tired of the same Halloween decorations and events running in Topeka? Want to get in touch with nature while enjoying some of the most unique activities available locally? If this is the case, take a short drive south to Grantville, where Gary’s Pumpkin Patch hosts an array of exciting activities.

Located just 10 minutes from Topeka, Gary’s Pumpkin Patch, formally known as Gary’s Berries, offers a variety of fun for the family and friends. The main attraction is the corn maze, which sprawls across eight acres of land. Test your navigational abilities in the day, or enter at your own risk by moonlight. Each year, the field is cut into a different pattern, usually associated with agriculture or Halloween. This year’s theme was a tractor.

“I went for the first time last weekend, and I have to admit that I wasn’t as capable with direction as I thought I would be,” said Don Bailey, junior. “I entered the maize when the sun began to set, and didn’t make it to the exit until well after dark. I had a really good time, though.”

If getting lost in a maze is too much to handle, don’t worry. There are many other activities to take part in. There is a tire maze designed for youngsters who tag along, and a Halloween-inspired hay rack ride is offered. Nothing is more festive during autumn than an old-fashioned hay rack ride.

Also provided by Gary’s Pumpkin Patch is the FrightMare Farm, a haunted house tour hosted each Friday and Saturday night beginning in October. Stroll the maize, pick out the perfect pumpkin and then proceed to get spooked.

“I go to the maze every year, but the main reason I go is the FrightMare Farm,” said Brian Seese, sophomore. “I wait until Halloween season because Gary’s Pumpkin Patch has the best and closest haunted house.”

In addition to the maize, hay rack ride and haunted house, there are pig races every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gary’s Pumpkin Patch is also home to Topeka’s first jumping pillow, a giant rocking chair and the first ever Goat Mountain.

“It’s a tradition for my friends and I to make the journey to Gary’s Pumpkin Patch around Halloween season,” said Camrey Gayer, freshman. “I love the atmosphere and getting in touch with the outside.”