The Maize

The Maize at Sherman Farm in Center Conway opens this Saturday and runs through Oct. 24. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONWAY — Starting today, for the 14th year, the family-run Sherman Farm in East Conway is once again presenting its outdoor “agri-tainment,” the Corn Maize.

It will be open weekends from Sept. 18 through Oct. 24, including Columbus Day. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

“We have collaborated this year with with Pine Tree Elementary School Principal Aimee Frechette and her students on the theme ‘We Are Leaders,’” said Michelle Dutton of the Sherman family, which includes Phyllis Sherman, who bought the former Shirley family with late husband Al Sherman in 1964, Michelle’s sister Kathy Sherman and her husband Jeff Hatch. “We are empowering youngsters to be leaders.”

Dutton said the Shermans will be working with local schools in years to come, alternating between SAU 9 and MSAD 72 following the success of this year’s trial run at Pine Tree.

“The students were incredibly creative,” said Dutton.

She said that each “village” of students was given a word that focused on empowerment and leadership. She said the students came up with ideas for the design, which includes four quadrants:

• In the upper left quadrant, grades K-1’s “Peacemakers” design shows kids holding hands, singing and helping each other out.

• In the upper right corner, Grades 2-3 did “Dream Makers,” a dream catcher with a flower in the center and six feathers.

• In the lower right, Grades 4-5 did the “Future Makers,” showing a brain and a light bulb.

• In the lower left, Grade 6 did the “Change Makers,” with images of a student using a megaphone and a butterfly, the symbol of metamorphosis.

The Sherman Farm’s playful maze has been named by Yankee Magazine as one of the best corn mazes in New England and was WMUR TV-9’s Viewers’ Choice for Best Corn Maze in New Hampshire for 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Past themes have included the New Hampshire state quarter; the University of New Hampshire Wildcats-University of Maine Black Bears ice hockey rivalry, “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White; “Land of the Lost” with a dinosaur theme; and last year’s “Grow Your Community: Support Local.”

Sherman’s features 12 acres of farm-related fun. Inside the maize, entrants get to play games such as Farm Scene Treasure Hunt and Corn-conundrums (with corny riddles to solve): when participants answer questions along the way, the answer is their passport to continue along the right direction.

“The corn boxes are back (we did not offer them last year due to the pandemic). The Barnyard Bingo is not being offered as we could not get the cards, but we are offering everything else,” said Dutton.

“We did see a big uptick in business for last year’s corn maze and our farm market as well as people wanted to be outdoors and they also wanted to support local agriculture,” she added.

Admission includes the corn boxes, the Moo Express, a petting farm featuring goats and pigs; a mini-maze (perfect for little ones); a play area offering farm-themed fun for kids 10 and under); Pumpkin Patch (pumpkins sold by weight); and the Pumpkin Pad, giving kids a chance to bounce on a pumpkin-shaped pad.

Tickets ($12 general admission, age 2 and under free) are available online at shermanfarmnh.com, where you can reserve your preferred dates.

Sherman Farm is located at 2679 East Conway Road in East Conway (near Fryeburg, Maine). For more information, call (603) 939-2412.

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