October weather in Colorado has a tendency to be all over the place. I mean, all over the place. And this month is no different: last Sunday, Oct 14, I was up in Breckenridge, stuck in my hotel due to a snowstorm. Between 8-10 inches and sub-freezing conditions made for a tough day throughout the state. Seven days later we were at Anderson Farms in Erie, Colorado (north of Denver and east of Boulder) sweltering in the mid-70’s heat as we tried to explore their 30-acre corn maze.
Let me say that again: 30-acre corn maze.
That’s big enough to get lost in and plenty of people do, but don’t worry, it’s fun and eventually everyone finds their way out (even at night, in the dark, during Terror In The Corn).
I’ve been taking my kids to Anderson Farms for many years [my 2014 and 2017 trip reports] and we have a great time on each visit, whether they were little and enjoying the barrel train or bigger and wandering off in the corn maze by themselves, then joining us for lunch at one of the food venues.
This year I had my whole crew, including my oldest, Ashley, home for the weekend from University of Denver along with her boyfriend, and my son Gareth, home for fall break from Pitzer College in Southern California. Joining the crew was my 14yo K- too. It’s a pretty popular venue, so my recommendation is to get your Anderson Farms tickets online: the online ticket pickup is a much shorter line!
As you walk in, it’s hard not to notice all the activities oriented around the little ones, including the aforementioned barrel train:
The little ones really love the activities and it’s fun just to see them laughing and running around. It’s also a great cross-section of Colorado with a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures represented.
With the youngest one in my gang of high school age, most of these activities were a poor fit. Except the pedal cars, which were a hit:
Turns out that when it’s hot, those cars are 2x difficult to get moving quickly, so while the enthusiasm was high, the persistence was quite a bit lower and it wasn’t long before they turned in their vehicles so we could head towards the pumpkin launcher and tennis-ball cannons. In previous years, Anderson Farms has had a slingshot for launching baby pumpkins, but this year they upgraded to tennis ball cannons. They’re a bit noisy but looked darn fun to shoot at the barn target about 50-feet away:
My gang wasn’t interested in shooting tennis balls, but they were up for being goofy on a hot Sunday afternoon. So.. with a tiny bit of film editing, I managed to capture this great and highly memorable sequence:
Clearly having fun, and just as clearly not a shy bone in any of their bodies!
Afterwards we headed to the famous corn maze. When you walk into Anderson Farms, they give you a maze map and punchcard, and the younger kids a smaller themed mystery punchcard (with less maze spots to find). You can use that to track your exploration of the maze or you can just walk around and hope for the best. My son is currently in a photography class so he took advantage of the chance to take some photos too:
To be honest, it was hot and we all got rather tired and cranky by the end of the afternoon. Even with bottles of water and a shared bag of tasty candy corn. It was classic Colorado, really, a 7-day variation between being so cold and miserable everyone stayed inside and being so hot that we were out, but a bit exhausted by the time we left the Farms.
Fortunately, we had enough energy for a family selfie:
Once we did get home after four hours or so we were all so tired that I think everyone had a nap. Im’ not sure because I passed out on the couch for a half hour. Totally worth it, however, and another fun afternoon of family memories!
Oh, and Terror in the Corn? That’s when you show up after sunset and head through the corn maze while zombies and other baddies jump out and try to scare you. Not my cup of tea, but it’s quite popular with the high school and college set, for sure. What do you think, though? Sound like a fun way to spend a few hours while you’re getting into the swing of Halloween?
Disclosure: Anderson Farms gave us tickets for the family to enjoy all of their activities in return for this writeup. Which was darn nice of them.