SPRING GROVE, Ill. — Richardson Adventure Farm’s annual corn maze will salute the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing.
On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 Saturn rocket Columbia transported the lunar module Eagle to the moon, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first earthlings to set foot on the surface and coin the famous phrase “One small step for man, and one giant step for mankind.”
At Richardson Adventure Farm in McHenry County, the corn is thriving, and soon the family will cut, rototill and tamp the 11 miles of trails and paths depicting two astronauts, the Columbia, the Eagle, an American flag, Earth, stars and the words “Apollo 50,” “Richardson Farm” and “Next Giant Leap.” (There’s even a little green man peeking out of a crater).
Richardson Adventure Farm, 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove, has been in the family since 1840, and opened the first corn maze in 2001. Over the years, it has become an annual destination for family fun, with a new 28-acre maze every year, plus more than 30 activities, including wagon rides, pig races, a vintage carousel and a “park train” that runs on real tracks. Most of the activities are included in the admission fee. Only a few, such as the zip line and “Zorb” rides, cost extra. Private picnic sites with tables, campfires and firewood are available by reservation, and there’s plenty of free parking.
Each year, the Richardsons add something new to the farm. This year, it’s all about comfort, beverages and music. “We built a heated pavilion near the huge restroom complex,” said Wendy Richardson. “It’s got a great view of the jumping pillows, giant slide, Extreme Air, Zorbing and the park train.” They also added a heated tent near the pig races and train depot, serving wine, beer and hot chocolate with schnapps, plus live music on most weekend afternoons.
September admission is $17 for ages 13 and older, and $14 for ages 4-12; October/November weekend prices are $19 and $16; children under 2 free.
Richardson Adventure Farm is open Sept. 7 through Nov. 3, Thursdays through Sundays, plus Labor Day and Columbus Day. For more information, visit www.RichardsonAdventureFarm.com