Enjoying the Fall Festivities


Olga Kopp, Arts & Community Writer

Fall seemed to arrive suddenly this year, which means that fall activities are now in full swing. It is well-known that fall is famous for pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hot cocoa, and pumpkin spice lattes. This year people can come and enjoy Valley Corn Maize which arrived in town of East Grand Forks.


Even though it was a cloudy day, people and families came out to enjoy the cooler weather. Around 300 people came out to visit on Saturday and take part in the fall fun.


Valley Corn Maize is owned and operated by Kevin and Debbie Krueger, Matthew and Amanda Krueger, and Shane and Sarah Pilon. 


“This is our fourth year open, we were not open last year. We started four years ago,” Sarah Pilon said. 


She and her family enjoy running the place every year.


Every fall season multiple visitors of all ages come to enjoy their time together at the Valley Corn Maize.


The best attraction in Valley Corn Maize is 15 acre corn maze with two separate trails, one longer and one shorter. There are hints and a map available, as well as fun trivia questions to answer. Completing the corn maze can vary in times. Depending on the walking pace and the brainstorm work, it can take about an hour or more to get through the entire maze. Those committed to completing the maze can usually do so in about 30 minutes.


This year the theme of the corn maze is “walking with dinosaurs.” The maze depicts Jurassic Park from the sky. The maze can clearly be identified as a giant T-rex and one small triceratops. Attention all Jurassic Park fans, this is your chance to walk in the jungles of the Valley Corn Maize.


Sarah Pilon described the process of the Valley Corn Maize preparation. 


“We plant the corn in the spring, and we mow the design of the corn maze. We have zero-turn lawn mower and we have a GPS from the tractor that we stick on it. We upload the design of the maze onto the GPS. It’s a lot of work,” Sarah Pilon said.


Creating a corn maze is a long and difficult process. It takes all day to mow the lawn to create a perfect shaped picture of the dinosaurs.


Unfortunately, the maze was not open this week because it was too muddy. There is a possibility that maze will be open next week if it is dry enough.


“Everybody can find something to do and have fun here. It is really nice because we have so many more activities. Even with the maze not being open during the muddy days, people still can be here for hours and still have a blast.” Sarah Pilon said.


There are many activities for family and friends to enjoy. One of these being a giant corn-filled bin box which looks like a big corn pool where children and adults can spend a fun time together. Rat rollers is another great activity where you can compete with your family and friends in a fun race. There are also corn cannons, croquet, oversized lawn games, including Jenga, Connect Four, Yardzee and Corn Hole. 


“We have a ton of new yard games, including the wall ball game and the basketball game. Everybody loves a giant corn box: adults get in there, kids get in there; people are swarmed in there all the time,” Sarah Pilon said. 


Activities at Valley Corn Maize also include tetherball, air blasters, spider web, and a new feature of basketball game at the ball zone which is a competitive basketball game.


The owners of the Valley Corn Maize have multiple meetings every year, where they are making decisions about new features to add. 


“Every year we are trying to include something new. There is always something slightly different,” Amanda Krueger said.


“I really like the new ball zone. A lot of work went into that. I like the competition feel to it. You can compete with your friends and enjoy time together,” Shane Pilon said.


Everyone will enjoy a giant slide going down from a high pile of hay bales. There is also an opportunity to take a ride in a grain-train wagon around the maze.


Travis Huerkamp was visiting the maze with his children. He has come to Valley Corn Maize for the past three years. 


“This is my third year as a visitor here. I am coming here to have a good time with my family. My kids like the giant slide; they can definitely spend hours on there,” Huerkamp said.


Nothing is better than having a picnic outside. As good as it sounds, you can take a break from games and have a little snack at picnic tables. There are hot food, beverages, and frozen yogurt available for an additional cost. 


Those who enjoy taking pictures have the ability to get fun pictures at photo slots around the maze area.


Although Valley Corn Maize is a fun event for family and friends, it is also an educating event where people can learn more about agriculture: how the corn maze is made, how to plant corn, what corn is used for, etc.


“Come and make good memories with your family and friends, so you can think and talk about it in the future,” Krueger said.


If you decide to go, plan to spend a couple of hours at least. Definitely bring boots when you go.


Valley corn Maize is located on Highway 2, Intersection of 160th Street SW & Hwy 2., East Grand Forks, MN. 


Opening hours: Fridays: 4pm – 7pm, Saturdays: 10 am – 7 pm; Sundays: 1pm – 6 pm. 

*Available Thursdays to scheduled groups only.


Price: general admission: $7.95 + tax (kids under 36″ receive free admission); season pass: $18.95 + tax (Unlimited visits for the current season); group admission: $5.95 + tax (one day individual pass for groups of 15+ people). The price includes all activities except for the Air Blasters.


Students can come on Fridays, pay $5 + tax and enjoy the fun activities.

You can find more information about Valley Corn Maize at mailto:[email protected], or you can call 701.215.6886.