Corn mazes and pumpkin patches are as part of fall as Halloween and apple cider.
At Thompson Farm and Nursery in Conway, the corn maze is less “Children of the Corn” and more Disney feature film, complete with Princess Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”
Belle along with the “Pumpkin Princess” are there to pose for pictures every weekend when the Thompson Farm is open to the public through the Halloween season.
The 6-acre labyrinth depicts “Beauty and the Beast” and is intended for small children, said Scott Thompson, who helps manage the family farm.
“They’ve had labyrinths for thousands of years. It’s like a mirror maze, you just have to find your way through it and take your time and try to figure out where you are and try to make your way back out of it without cutting through the corn,” Thompson said.
And please don’t trample the corn. That will ultimately be the food for the farm’s 15 cows, 12 pigs, six horses and six goats that this seasonal activity helps to support.
The maze is open on Friday nights when participants are urged to bring flashlights to find their way in the dark. Parents can also bring blankets and chairs for Friday night family movies at 7:30 p.m. Pumpkins are for sale, as well as Smores kits, and marshmellows can be roasted over the fire pit.
The First United Methodist Church on 5th Avenue in Conway has created a pumpkin patch under the courtyard live oaks to help raise money for their mission work in Horry County.
It’s the first year the church has hosted a pumpkin patch, which will also benefit the church’s worldwide emergency relief organization, said church spokeswoman Cathy Estridge.
More than 1,000 pumpkins ranging from wee size to giant are for sale daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Oct. 29th, the church will host a trunk-or-treat event to pass out candy to the children.
“Y’all come and enjoy,” Estridge said.
Here is a list of some local farms and churches offering fall pumpkin patches and other Halloween activities.
Thompson Farm and Nursery
Address and contact: 1625 Bucksville Drive in Conway (843) 236-1400.
Dates and times: Fridays from 6 p.m. through 11 p.m., $9 per person. Saturdays from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. Prices are $13.50 for ages 3-12 and $15.50 for ages 13 and up.
Southern Palmetto Farms
Creepy cotton maze with glow sticks and flashlights, haunted hayrides, barrel train rides and pony rides.
Address and contact: 2601 Garner Road in Aynor.
Dates and times: Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $8 to $10, and free for children ages two and younger.
Hayrides Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays plus other special weekend activities.
Address and contact: 1542 Hickman Road NW, Calabash, North Carolina, 910-287-6794 or 843-399-6902.
Dates and times: Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is pumpkin day, Oct. 22 is also pumpkin picking day plus pig races, hay maze and hay rides.
First United Methodist Church
Pumpkin patch under the Live Oaks in courtyard and trunk and treat.
Address and contact: 1001 5th Avenue, Conway, 843-488-4251.
Dates and times: open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday 11:45 a.m. to 7 p.m.
First Baptist Church
Pumpkin patch and trunk and treat fundraiser
Address and contact: 500 4th Ave North, Myrtle Beach, (843) 448-3155
Dates and times: Oct. 16- Oct. 31 between 9 a.m. until dusk.