Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Fun: Partin Ranch Corn Maze

2015 was the second year of operation for Partin Ranch Corn Maze and our second year going. My four year old had a blast! 
Partin Ranch Corn Maze is located in Kenansville, Florida 13 miles south of St Cloud and a short drive down the road from the Wild Florida attraction. It is open weekends in October. Admission is normally $10/ages 13 and up and $7/ages 4-12 (under 4 free) but I was lucky enough to find a groupon good for $12 admission for both me and my daughter. I do recommend buying tickets in advance because the line to buy tickets when we got there was a bit of a wait whereas there was an express line with no wait for people that had bought the groupon or prebought tickets on their website. 
Once you pay the admission fee pretty much everything they offer is free! You walk in past a small corn maze with tiny stalks and educational facts scattered throughout it that is perfect for little children. It had rained just before we arrived so the small maze was closed but my daughter enjoyed it a lot last year and it is much easier for little ones to navigate than the big maze.
The first thing we did was take some pictures in the "pumpkin patch" area. There are several cute set ups in the "patch" for fall pictures. The pumpkins are also for sale and are very reasonably priced. I let my daughter pick out one of the tiny $1 ones as a reward for being cooperative during my photo session.
The next thing my daughter wanted to do was the barrel train. The barrel train makes several trips in circles around some Minions made from hay bales. There was no line for the barrel train and my daughter really enjoyed it so she ended up doing two more rides on it after her initial one.
The main attraction at Partin Ranch is the corn maze. Kids of all ages seemed to enjoy following the winding paths through the huge corn stalks. Make sure you ask for a map when you pay for your tickets because without one the maze can be quite tricky. The maze is in the shape of a barn this year and the corn was quite tall. We didn't have a map at first so we got a little lost but luckily we found one somebody had hidden in the corn stalks so we made it out successfully. If you don't make any wrong turns the maze should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. I recommend bringing a bottle of water in if it is a warm day because it can seem like a lot of walking for little legs. There were a few people pushing strollers through but I would leave the stroller parked outside if you can since the paths can be a little narrow and uneven.

Close to the corn maze is a large jumping pillow. This ended up being one of my daughter's favorite things and she spent quite a bit of time on it. All ages are welcome so if you have a small child pay attention to who is on it so your child is less likely to get knocked over. Some of the older kids started getting a little rough at times and weren't paying very good attention to who was around them as they ran back and forth. 

There is also a large sand pit by the jumping pillow and this was also a huge hit with my daughter. In the sand pit are cranes to sit on and dig with, enormous tires to climb on, seesaws of all sizes, a tube tunnel to crawl through, and a large rope spider web to climb on. My daughter would've spent hours in the spider web if I let her. 
Next to the sand play area is an area with two large corn boxes. The corn boxes have plenty of pails, shovels, and trucks in them to play with. My daughter really enjoyed filling up a bucket and pouring its contents into the various dump trucks. A lot of children were having fun burying their friends or lying on their backs and making corn angels. The corn boxes are under a tent so they are shaded and surrounded by benches so adults can sit and relax while they watch the kids play. This proved to be a nice break on a warm day. 
The line for the hay ride is right by the corn boxes so I let my daughter play in them a little while longer while I waited in line for the hay ride. This ended up being the longest line we waited in all day so I recommend hitting it first if you get there when the corn maze first opens. Otherwise, a lot of adults were holding a spot in line while their children played in the corn boxes or sand pit area. I ended up waiting in line for about 15 minutes.
One reason the hayride line was a little bit long is because only one hayride was running and each ride lasted for several minutes. We rode through a creek and through some fields before turning around and heading back. My daughter really enjoyed seeing the cows. Although I did not time the hayride it is definitely more than a 2-3 minute ride so it is worth doing even if you have to wait in line for a little while.
The last attraction we did was the zipline. Last year this zipline was the first zip line my daughter ever did at three years old. This year at four she had even more fun on it. The zipline is another attraction that gets a line so I recommend heading there early. It seemed to be the most popular thing for kids to do. There are two zip lines and plenty of volunteers to suit the waiting kids up, send them off, and catch and unhook them on the other side. It does have a maximum weight limit (of I think 85 lbs) but I did not see a minimum. When my daughter rode it at 3 she was only about 30 lbs and I saw some really tiny kids riding it once again this year. My daughter really wanted to ride it again as soon as she got off but the sky was starting to get dark and the wait was about 10-15 minutes so I didn't want to get in line only to have her disappointed when we got close to the front and it was shut down due to rain.
We visited with the horses and played a few rounds of duck races before revisiting the sand pit and jumping pillow and calling it a day. 
For $5/person extra you can go for a ride on a combine but I opted to skip that. There were also plenty of booths and trucks set up selling food, drinks, and some products like local honey. Food and drinks were a wide range of prices. I bought my daughter a small cup of lemonade for 50 cents and a large cup for $1 for me on our way out. My daughter played some games in the "pumpkin patch" as I finished drinking mine.
Overall we had a wonderful day at the Partin Ranch Corn Maze. It is very family friendly with plenty for children to do. My daughter had a wonderful time and I look forward to visiting it again next year!

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