I love going to county fairs in the summertime to animalwatch, to peoplewatch, to test my stomach’s fortitude on rides and to test my stomach’s fortitude at the booths. Fairs are loads of fun, but it’s hard to say that they’re easy on your waistline. With the exception of those new bungee contraptions, all the rides are powered by electricity, so unless you’re one of those kids in competition with the horses, you can’t say you get much exercise. And then there are all the foods whose names begin with “deep fried.” Hoo boy.
Yesterday I stopped in at Longacre Farms in Macedon, New York, invited by a member of my family to try out their 2.5 mile “Amazing maize maze.” That maze, a twisting and turning and winding path through a field of tall feed corn, was a lot of fun and a bit of a walk: we took more than an hour in the fresh country air to reach the end.
As I walked, ran and turned back on myself, I thought how different this experience was than the fair: both outside in the country, but one depending more on my own power. When my family and I made it to the end of the maze, we found a range of other activities at Longacre (all part of the $10 entrance package), including a massive playground area for younger kids, a huge slide following the contour of a hill, a go-kart track with go-karts powered by pedals, and my favorite, the giddy fun of a huge German-style “jumping pillow” that offered unlimited trampoline-like jumping fun for kids and adults alike (I lasted about an hour before my joints gave out).
All of these activities are people-powered. If you’ve had your fill of passive summertime amusement and are looking for family-friendly outside fun that’s a bit more vigorous, then by all means climb a mountain, kayak on a lake, and swim at your favorite local hole. But for slightly-fairish fare that’s a lot more healthy, by golly this maze was fun. If you’re miles from Macedon, chances are there’s one close to you.