A trip to the 'a-mazing' York Maze with the family is a must this summer!
With the school summer holidays in full swing, many mums and dads are eager for exciting ideas to help keep their children busy.
If you are considering a great family fun outdoors experience with a real adventure to puzzle your way out of, then a trip to York Maze is a must!
Created from over one million living, growing maize plants, York Maze is not just the largest maze in the UK, it's the largest in Europe! And apart from four impressive mazes to explore and adventure around, there is so much more to see and do at the North Yorkshire attraction.
I had the opportunity to visit the award-winning "a-mazing" gem of a place with my husband and two children (aged 8 and 6) and I have to admit, I was so impressed that we are already planning next year's trip!
York Maze is a seasonal visitor attraction - open only during the summer (until September 6th) and Halloween - and we had to book in advance before our eagerly-awaited visit.
Despite a damp day, on arrival we were amazed to see a full car park, which by the way is free. We made our way to the entrance where we were greeted by friendly staff and my children were handed a puzzle sheet when attempting to adventure their way out of the maize.
Once you enter the grounds, you find there are so many fun-filled crowd pleasers to enjoy without having to walk long distances and the queues are not long at all - in fact, within minutes you find yourself full of enjoyment on the rides. Basically, is close by.
Attractions include The Popcorn Pillow, where children jump about safely. It's housed under a giant marquee so you don't have to worry about the wet weather for this; Cornstruction Zone - a giant sand and water area, where cranes and pulleys are used to move sand, pumping water, creating dams and making streams; Cobstacle Course, a giant inflatable obstacle course where kids can really challenge themselves; The Volcorno - UK's only 360 degree, 4 meter tall volcano climb and slide, birds of prey demonstrations, plus many more thrilling rides and challenges.
What my children enjoyed the most was the Corn Snake Tower Slides and the quad rides. The three exhilarating tube slides proved hours of fun for my youngster while the quad rides, which are priced atn£1 a go, were equally fun. My favourite was the House of Cornfusion - a series of optical illusions and sensory challenges, where rooms magically begin to shrink, fall over or even turn upside down. It was so much fun and is definitely worth checking out.
Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to experience the star attraction - the Crowmania ride (which is getting brilliant reviews), as we were too eager to explore the mazes! York Maze is home to four different mazes - Mineshaft Maze, Jurassic Maize, Finger Fortune Maze and the Giant Maize Maze. Each maze had its own unique design and theme - appealing to both adults and children alike.
The main maze is absolutely huge - you can easily spend up to an hour in there. And there’s a QR code to download if you get lost. The stunning maze has an impressive Mr Men theme this year, cut into the shapes of Roger Hargreaves' famous creations to celebrate 50 years of the Mr Men and Little Misses. We had hours of fun in there and my kids found all the six check points. The weather was perfect for us, but I can imagine it being a little exhausting if it's really hot weather so take plenty of drinks with you and wear a sun hat. By the way, the maze has dedicated "searchers" patrolling the area to help find anyone who is lost or stuck.
York Maze is a fantastic day out for all the family and definitely worth the money. Almost all attractions are free (apart from the quad rides), the food at the cafe is reasonably priced although we did take a picnic and there are plenty of picnic benches spaced around the spacious venue. Lots of Covid safety measures are in place with hand santitizers freely available and despite hundreds of children and adults running around enjoying themselves, the grassed grounds were spotless with no litter as there were plenty of bins provided and emptied by efficient and pleasant staff. The queues were not long at all. There is also a gift shop - The Ivy Store - selling maze-related goodies, gifts, garden ornaments, toys, and much more - all very reasonably priced. It had drinks and ice creams too!
When planning a trip, it is strongly recommended to book in advance.
David Leon, Director of Operations at York Maze, commented: "If you are planning a visit, you must book online in advance and that spaces are selling out, so we would encourage anyone thinking of visiting before we close September 6th to come to the website and book their date. Whilst the advance tickets are cheaper they are restricted to the date you book and can't be changed so if people are unsure about their plans better to book a Flexible ticket which if you can't make it you can change the date by logging into your account online and changing the date, the date change costs £1.50 per booking not per ticket and needs to be done by midnight the day before your booked visit, and of course there needs to be availability for the date you want to change to."
The standard flexible ticket prices are £18 each for adults and children. Kids under the age of 2 go free and admission for people with disabilities or carers is £9 each. For more information or to plan your visit, log onto https://www.yorkmaze.com/