The Hippo


May 31, 2020








 Beech Hill Farm corn mazes 

Where: 107 Beech Hill Road, Hopkinton
When: Open daily, weather permitting, 11 a.m. to dusk, from Aug. 1 through Oct. 31
Cost: $6 per person to access all three mazes. Free for children ages 3 and younger.

A-maze-ing fun
Beech Hill Farm opens its seasonal corn mazes

By Angie Sykeny

 It may be too early for pumpkins and hayrides, but Beech Hill Farm is getting a jump on the fall season with its corn mazes, open to the public beginning Saturday, Aug. 1. 

The farm features three mazes with different themes each year. This year’s mazes are “Space Exploration,” “New England Patriots” and “Wild About Animals.”
 “It’s become a real New England tradition as far as agritourism goes,” said Holly Kimball, who designs the corn mazes. “People like to have an activity and are always excited when the mazes open, so we figure, if the mazes are up and ready, there’s no sense in waiting [until the fall].”
Kimball, who has a background in education, said she creates the mazes with an educational element, making them a popular activity for camps, school groups and families. The mazes are smaller than most traditional midwestern corn mazes, with the largest being 4 acres. Having three smaller mazes rather than one large one allows for larger groups and provides varying levels of difficulty to appeal to people of all ages.
The mazes are set up like a scavenger hunt. Before they begin, participants will be given a brochure with puzzles and clues. The answers are revealed on signs scattered throughout the maze. Each maze has between 20 and 30 signs to find.
“It’s made to be a little more interactive than just walking in and coming out,” Kimball said. “There’s something to do while you’re in there, which sets us apart from a lot of mazes... and it gives groups and families a great activity where they have to work together and do it cooperatively.”
The “Space Exploration” maze, made in the shape of a rocket ship, is inspired by NASA’s 50th anniversary of the first American astronaut to walk in space. This is the largest and most challenging of the three mazes. Participants will have to solve a crossword puzzle with questions like “what was the first meal eaten in space?” and “where is the largest volcano in the solar system located?”
Sports fans may appreciate the “New England Patriots” maze where they’ll have to answer trivia questions like “what year did the New England Patriots play their first season?” as well as “name that hall-of-fame-r.”
“Wild About Animals” is the best maze for young children, Kimball said. It’s small and laid out in the shape of an octopus. Participants will have a game board-type activity where they’ll have to find the answers to questions like “what animal has three hearts?” and “what is the slowest fish in the ocean?”
Kimball said each maze takes about 30 to 40 minutes to complete, and that most people do all three. She recommends tackling the mazes in small groups of two to four.
“In a herd, it’s hard to decide where you’re going,” she said. “It’s more fun to break up into teams so that everyone can participate in problem solving and answering the questions and deciding where to go.”
Beech Hill Farm has a long history, dating back to 1771, and has been owned and operated by nine generations of the Kimball family. They started the corn mazes 10 years ago to give visitors a new, educational activity to do at the farm. In addition to the mazes, Beech Hill Farm also features an ice cream barn, a nature trail, a country store and farm animals on view.
“A lot of other small family farms in New Hampshire had to sell because it became too difficult to make ends meet, so we’ve had to get creative to keep the farm going,” Kimball said. “People love to come choose pumpkins, see the animals, do the corn mazes. All of these pieces are what make it unique and make it work.”  
As seen in the July 30th 2015 issue of the Hippo. 

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