Monday, October 16

Fall Family Fun: Amazing Grace Crop Maze Review

If you live in Arlington, the options for fall festivities on anything resembling a farm seem to be limited to an hour's drive. That's not a huge deal, but since we figured this might be our last year convincing the kids they want to participate in some of the activities, we wanted to make it one of the more interactive attractions. That left it between Amazing Grace and Conner's A-Maize-Ing Acres. The main reason we chose Amazing Grace was the slightly lower price, teacher discount, and the fact that we were a little uncomfortable with the Redneck Olympics at Conner's. Overall, it was a decent (and pricey) outing that was a little less than expected.

I have to admit that every fall experience I have is measured against Wisconsin's Elegant Farmer. Every year, I'd complain about how much money we'd spend on overpriced apples, pumpkins, and general store goods. But we had all kinds of options. If we didn't ride the wagon or pick any apples, we could pay almost nothing on the farm, and I liked that. Amazing Grace charges a flat fee. Then you can enjoy all the fun as much as you want. I don't mind that formula, but it is different from what we'd grown to love and hate back home.

I understand that you can't grow corn or pumpkins very well in Florida, so I don't fault anyone for using sorghum and picked pumpkins. But those two elements make a maze that's transparent and a pumpkin patch that's just pumpkins stacked inside some fencing. The activities are actually fairly fun for the kids, so that's cool. Our kids were old enough to enjoy archery and basketball shooting. They seemed to like the rat race feature the most. But they also liked the corn crib pool, and that activity looked more substantial than the one at Conner's, anyhow. Some of the activities and photo ops bored them, but that's half-expected.

The only really negative experience was the falling-apart saddle swings that were not only uncomfortable, but honestly looked like a tetanus shot waiting to happen. Our daughter also complained that the "hayride" was just a couple of wagons without hay behind a mini-tractor, but that's mostly because we've been on real hayrides behind real tractors.

We were mostly disappointed that the "farm" wasn't a working farm, and it was surrounded by new suburban houses, with seemingly more on the way. Two calves and a small petting zoo made the whole farm idea half-hearted. Then again, maybe there aren't farms in Florida, either. I'm not really sure. The owners of this establishment have been recognized as farmers, so I assume it's somewhere on the property or across the street.

Unlike the pumpkin patches in Wisconsin, it seems like the main establishments near Jacksonville are closed Sundays. That makes Saturdays busy for families. I'm not going to form an opinion on this, but since most of Halloween and fall activities are fairly secular, I guess I'd just keep it open on Sunday if I was running it, even if I was busy at church myself. In fact, the church pumpkin sales seem to be open Sundays, so go figure.

Another money-making opportunity lost on Amazing Grace is the farm store. While there's some food for sale, we just brought our own lunches and ate after we were done with the fun. No carry-ins are allowed, but it's not like they checked my bag, so bring a water and some snacks. But the country store is really what's missing. Canned goods and overpriced farm products. My wife loves that kind of stuff. Jams and pickles and canned fruits. I could care less, but it's just always been part of our fall experience until now.

Overall, if I'd say we were glad we tried it one more time before the kids are way too old to enjoy the experience, but we'll probably try something new next year.

Contact Brian


Email *

Message *

Pennies From Heaven AKA Welfare for Writers

The reason why we have ads on this site is because that's one way writers make money online. Your presence on this site right now might make a penny for our family. Clicking on an ad might get us closer to $.50. Buying something online as a result of clicking on a link can make us a few dollars. We will not get rich from this money, but every penny helps out. Every like or share or re-post or follow. Please, make a donation to our family by clicking.

JAX Weather


Jacksonville jax money Florida crime housing activities vehicles economic development school home news transportation planning police Duval website design kids politics traffic research TV neighbor reviews sports taxes parks statistics East Arlington writing history environment St. Johns roads travel water employment fun men previous owner rankings Arlington weather women beach review business church jaguars pollution dating fashion football guns hurricane library race tourism fatalities health care zoning baseball music JEA Mayport restaurant summer animals games military unf Lyft St. Augustine education flooding pets spanish AC Halloween farms film french hockey noise ocean po radio Duval County Fletcher high school armada cats christmas controversy debate decision fall fort caroline style superhero 2021 AAA Roadside Assistance Advice Blowhard Cambridge AICE County Sheriffs Duval County Public Schools Easter FDOT FL Google Gyros Haretna Hilton Honors James jaeger Kernan Boulevard Lutheran Milano's Ocala Pressers SEO St. Johns County Starbucks T-shirts Tim Tebow VW acting ad of the week addiction again all balls arts asked avoid behavior belief best bi-polar boo celebration chances chump colleges column common comparison consequences councilmembers credit card cuisine difficult to use don't work doors driving games entertainment experience expression faith finding food frustration future gambling gaming gas station grass hack handles high school exchange homes housing market humor illegal traffic stops impact importance improve indians informed infrastructure insightful issue. killing language last chance light boat parade lights local dating scene lottery love made mascot meaning mental health merchandise mistakes mood swings no U-turn sign no brains notebooks opening opinion origins ownership party paying for hotels personal opinion pet ownership pitbull play players pooper popular pound sand program protect real estate reason reform religion request revenue rewards program rights road trip save school identity school pride school spirit service simple sketchy slang someone state struggle support system take down taste teachers thank you timucuan traffic laws traffic stop universities unpredictability usage vehicle pet peeves welcome workplace