A river of shimmering corn runs through Howell Farm’s 20th Anniversary Maze, which opened on September 17, with a boatload of challenges for those prepared to navigate its waters.
The maze is a giant, walk-on puzzle whose pathways form the image of a mule-drawn canal boat, the kind that once plied the waters of the nearby Delaware and Raritan (D & R) Canal. Maze goers who find the puzzle pieces that form a map of the maze and who can solve its 3-way game board, are eligible for prizes, boasting rights and a listing on the maze’s giant scoreboard.
Maze-goers seeking the ultimate challenge can try solving the maze in the dark, when the moon, stars and lamplight are needed to find the way out. Team-building challenges for schools, community groups and businesses are available on weekdays, by reservation only.
General admission is $10 for ages 10 and older, $8 for children ages 5-9 and free for children 4 and under. In September, the hours of entry are noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. In October, entry hours are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The maze closes one hour after the latest entry time.
The maze includes a courtyard with music, games, photo-ops and pedal tractors for kids. Hayrides, food, a farm stand with pumpkins, and the farm’s traditional hay bale maze is also offered. In connection with the maze theme, members of the Hopewell Historical Society will present an exhibit about the D & R Feeder Canal, and Linda Barth of the New Jersey Canal Society will give a talk about New Jersey canals. Please contact Howell Farm’s office for dates and times.
The Amazing Pumpkin Carve, an artistic exhibit of 50 giant pumpkins carved by specially selected artists, will be featured the weekends of Oct.7 through 10 and Oct. 14 through 16. Presented by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, the exhibit includes pumpkin carving demonstrations, opportunities to win giant pumpkins, and other pumpkin-related fun. Admission to the exhibit is $5 for ages 10 and up, $3 for ages 5-9, and free for children 4 and under. Carve hours coincide with the operating hours of the maze.
The maze is the annual fundraiser of the all-volunteer Friends of Howell Farm, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to help the Mercer County Park Commission with its operation of the farm. Proceeds from the maze are used to support the farm’s historic preservation projects and its educational programs for schools.
Howell Living History Farm is owned by the County of Mercer and maintained by the Mercer County Park Commission. It is located on Valley Road, just off Route 29, in Hopewell Township. The GPS address is 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township, NJ 08530. Parking and admission are free.