Corn Maze Owners Open Area's Only Spring Maze

POSTED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 3:48pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 6:18pm

LA UNION- During the Fall, several corn mazes entertain tens of thousands of people in the Borderland but, for the first time, the maze at La Union has opened a maze of spring grasses.  It's the only maze like it in the area. This one is a much-smaller maze that caters more to families.

“We call it a pint-sized maze because it's not as tall as the regular fall maze,” says maze co-owner, Lucy Sondgeroth.

Sondgeroth and her husband, the owners of La Union Maze, decided to try a little experiment this year: opening a maze in the spring.  “It's a lot more family-friendly and it's easier to do because shorter. It's seven acres, as opposed to 14 acres,” says Sondgeroth.

Compared to a corn maze, which can grow up to 14 feet tall, this maze is made of wheat: about four feet tall.
And it's much easier to find your way out, since you can see where you are at all times.

Ashlie Searles, who took her toddler, says the maze was pretty easy.  “It wasn't too bad. My four-year-old navigated us through the whole way and we came out the exit so we thought it was a success,” says Searles.

The corn maze includes a number of attractions, 5 of them actually, including a jumping pillow and it's not just for kids. Parents and grandparents get in on the action as well.

Another popular attraction is the cow train. The owners thought this was just going to be a kiddie ride.  “Everybody wanted to get on it, so now we got parents and everybody gets on the cow train,” says Sondgeroth.

There are also duck races, as well as target practice.  Add to that a tube slide, an eating area with a tent, and of course, a petting zoo.

“We call this the "goat”- tel and that's the place where the goats like to hang out. On the other side of the goats, we have the bunny town. And little buildings for rabbits,” says Sondgeroth. “On this side, we have our burro and our pony. Again a big hit with the little kids,” said Sondgeroth as she took us through the area.

Then there's Shirley, the Vietnamese potbellied pig.  “She used to belong to a sweet lady that lived in Canutillo. And that was her pet. She got very sick and she couldn't take care of her anymore, but she was very happy to hear that Shirley got a good home,” says Sondgeroth.

For Sondgeroth and her husband, who's been a farmer all his life, opening a maze was a bit of a gamble.  “Twelve years ago, it was like a novelty. We had no idea what it was. We heard that there are people all over the United States opening up these mazes.”

Business took off, but very slowly. And now she says La union corn maze in the fall gets 40,000 visitors.

Sondgeroth says these mazes have helped keep farmers afloat during difficult times.  “It's become a little "agritainment" that has helped the farmers subsidize their businesses,” said Sondgeroth.  “It's grown into a little industry. We go to conventions and we have vendors who just cater to mazes. There's probably 300 - 400 mazes all over the country.”

Sondgeroth says the spring maze gives families the perfect opportunity to take the kids outdoors and enjoy the nice weather we've been having.

“If they've been here in the fall, they need to come and check us out in the spring. The weather's beautiful. The evenings are just gorgeous,” says Sondgeroth. “It's just a great time to be outside.”

This is the last weekend to enjoy the La Union spring maze.  They’ll open Saturday from 11a.m. to 10p.m., Sunday from noon to 10 p.m., and Memorial Day from 11a.m. to 8p.m.

Admission is $6 for ages 6 and up and $3 for kids up to five years old.

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