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Our Guided Tour of Sever’s Corn Maze

severs fall festival

When I say, “Sever’s Corn Maze” you’re probably reminded of fall festivities, family fun, and of course, the legendary corn maze.

If you aren’t, then you probably need to read today’s guided tour of Sever’s.  And then get yourself down to this local farm that’s become a fall-tradition for so many Twin Cities families!

About Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival

sever's corn maze

Sever’s Corn Maze, otherwise known as Sever’s Fall Festival, is home to Minnesota’s first and largest corn maze.  Known as the “original Minnesota farm festival,” it’s held on a 100+ acre farm in Shakopee, Minnesota.  The corn maze is one of the largest in Minnesota and what we’d consider a “Try it at least once” experience.

Locations / Directions

Sever’s festival grounds and the corn maze are located near Highway 169 in Shakopee, MN.  A short 30-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis.

Address:

Sever’s Festivals, 3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379

Hours and opening

Sever’s Fall Festival and corn maze open Friday-Sunday in mid-September (September 10, 2021).  The grounds remain open through the end of October (close October 31, 2021).

Weekend hours include Friday 1–8 pm; Saturdays 10–8 pm; Sunday 10 am-6 pm;

History of Sever’s

The Sever family opened the first corn maze in Minnesota in 1997 with just a field of corn and a table for tickets and freshly-baked fall cookies.  More than 5,000 people visited that year.  Since then, the festival options have steadily grown each year into the largest fall festival in the state.   Despite the now lengthy list of attractions, there’s still some nostalgia in knowing Sever’s began as a family grain and pumpkin farm.

(We still consider it one of the best pumpkin patches in the Twin Cities.)

Cost

All attendees 4 years and up require a ticket to enter the festival grounds.  Daily tickets cost $17.00 each and must be purchased online for a specific day.  Same-day tickets are available but must be purchased online.  Even though reservations are required for a particular date, there were no time reservations; buy the tickets and enter the festival grounds at any time throughout the day.

Military and Seniors 65+ can purchase discounted admission for $14 each. In addition, if you live in the area and plan to visit more than once during the season, Sever’s offers a $40 season pass.

To purchase tickets online, visit SeversFestivals.com.

A Grown-Ups Guide to Sever’s Corn Maze

corn maze

As members of the DINK (double-income, no kids) crowd, sometimes we don’t always think to check out activities like a fall farm festival.  Since Sever’s predominantly caters to families with young children, I was worried there wouldn’t be much to offer for a weekend couples-only outing.

But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find some options all ages will enjoy!

Here’s what should be on the grown-ups list of things to do at Sever’s:

Corn Maze & Corn Maze Challenge

By far the highlight of any visit, the corn maze is what brings people back to Sever’s year after year. Each year, the maze has a different theme, captured in the corn layout and festival events. Last year’s theme: Amazon Expedition.  This year’s theme:  Mythical Creatures.

corn maze history

Unlike a traditional maze with only one way in and one way out, the corn maze here is set up more like a scavenger hunt.  Everyone receives a map of the labyrinth with letters corresponding with signs that are hidden throughout the maze.  So instead of just trying to avoid getting lost, maze challengers wander through looking for the hidden signs. Find all the secret signs, and you can submit a code online for a chance to win a $500 cash prize at the end of the season.

Finding all the hidden code signs in the maze took us about 30-40 minutes of casual searching and was 100% the most fun activity of the visit.

Live Music & Shows

Throughout the fall festival, Sever’s invites local musicians and performers to take one of two stages set up for live entertainment.

The Blue Ox Jazz Babies, a Minnesota-based Dixieland Jazz (think New Orleans meets Midwestern banjo) band plays shows every weekend at 11 am and 2 pm and 5 pm.  There’s also a pretty decent magic show for the kids with enough subtle adult humor to keep things interesting.

Beer Garden

Along with food trucks and apple donuts, Sever’s also has a beer garden area set up with craft beer, hard cider, wine, and our personal favorite, hot beverage shots.  (Definitely feeling a “last one through the corn maze buys a round” type challenge with friends in the future.

Insta-worthy Photo Ops

severs fall festival

The festival does really well by setting up opportunities to share those insta-worthy moments with friends and family.  As you enter the gates, the giant pumpkin displays and straw sculptures offer places to snap a quick selfie and show off your corn maze mastery.

Artisan Market

Although there’s no guarantee for the number or type of vendors present, Sever’s opens up the grounds to local artists to set up tents in a small artisan market.

At the most recent visit, there was a selection of jewelry vendors, Minnesota-theme screen printed items, and a woodworking booth.  Nothing extensive, but something to browse while the kids are conquering the tire mountain.

Petting Zoo & Pig Races

petting zoo and kids races severs mn

Even though it’s really meant for the kids, we saw plenty of smiles from the grown-ups at the exotic animal petting zoo and pig races.  It just might be the place to fulfill a lifelong dream to pet a kangaroo or hold a parakeet.  Then stick around to watch baby pigs race around the short track in the “Ham-ton Derby” pig races (held three times a day on weekends.)

A Kid’s Guide to Sever’s Corn Maze

Let’s be honest.  Sever’s fall festival is really about the kids. Even at the slower times late in the day, you’ll still find hundreds of them running around the entire festival grounds.  A vast majority of the activities are set up for the 4–14-year-old range, although we saw plenty of toddlers and grown-ups right in the mix.

Of the over 30 different activities Sever’s lists on their website, here’s what you and your kids won’t want to miss:

Corn Pits

corn pit

A corn pit is a simple concept, really, but it packs a lot of fun for kids. First, find ample open space. Next, make a square outline with strawbales to contain the mess.  And then fill it with millions of dried corn kernels.

We’re not exactly sure why, but there’s something about a giant pile of corn that kids can’t get enough of.

You’ll find two giant corn pits here—an extra-large with plenty of room for lounging and one “extreme corn pit” under a canopy, complete with old playground equipment.

Jumping Pillows

festival trampolines

After the corn pits, the jumping pillows by far had the most kid fans at Sever’s.

As a child of the ’90s, I’m not entirely sure when farms installed giant inflatable in-ground trampolines.  But had they existed back then, I most definitely would have waited in a long line for my 15-minute time slot of jumping glory.

Apple Express

Also a big hit with the littles, Severs has two lawn tractor trains that make a loop around the festival grounds.

This attraction comes with an extra per person price tag, though, beyond the regular entrance admission.  The same applies to the camel ($5) and hayrides ($1).

Other attractions

A few other things you may want to check out after your trip through the corn maze:

  • The Giant Slide ($2 per ride)
  • Antique Tractor & Fire Truck Collection
  • Tractor Tire Mountain
  • Pumpkin Blasters ($5 for a bucket of 8 mini-pumpkins)
  • Farmstand with pumpkins and pre-picked apples for sale

Some FAQ’s

Do I have to purchase online tickets?          

Sever’s does not handle any cash or at-the-gate ticket sales.  All tickets must be purchased online before your visit.  The process is simple and takes under 2 minutes.  Plus, it really seems to streamline the admission process once you arrive at the farm.

Does Sever’s offer discounted admission?

Sever’s offers a $3 discounted admission for active-duty military, seniors 65+, or groups of 25 or more.

Kids age three and under are always free.

This year, Severs offers discounts if you purchase advance tickets to their Halloween or Holiday Light shows.  Held on the festival grounds on weekends from October-December, these nightly shows are a newer event for the festival grounds.  (All events have to be booked for a specific date, so we opted not to bundle multiple events together.  But some of you advanced planners might find the 15% discount appealing.)

Do they take cash/credit cards?

Yes and no.

Sever’s does not accept any form of payment at the entrance (all tickets must be purchased online in advance).  And the add-on attractions (giant slide, face painting, pumpkin blasters, etc.) only accept cash.

That said, Most of the food vendors took cash and credit cards.

Note that there’s ATMs on site, if needed.

When is the best time to visit?

As you can imagine, Sever’s is a long-standing tradition for many Minnesota families. However, given they’re only open on weekends, it can be pretty busy during the peak fall farm/orchard season.

Therefore, we recommend arriving earlier in the morning (close to the 10 am time) or about 2 hours before close.  This avoids the biggest rush of kids and parking woes (see below).

What is parking like?

Sever’s opens the large field adjacent to the corn maze for parking.  There’s plenty of space for cars in their first-come, first-serve lot.

How long should I plan to visit?

While it’s possible to spend an entire day at Sever’s (your entrance fee pays for in-and-out privileges all day), most people spend about 2-3 hours on the grounds.

The corn maze takes about 30-40 minutes to complete. With a stop at a food truck and a few of the other attractions, plan at least 2 hours for your visit.

What else is there to do in the area?

If you’re planning a longer visit to the Shakopee area, tack on a few other popular Twin Cities attractions. Consider adding Jim’s Apple Farm (Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store), Valley Fair, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum & Apple House, Canterbury Park, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, or the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge.

All in all, is Sever’s worth a visit?

Yes!  Just know it might cost a little more than some other Twin Cities fall farm destinations.

With $17 admission plus extras for food, drinks, and some add-on attractions, expect to pay upwards of $30 per person for the full Sever’s Fall Festival experience.

But you get what you pay for.  Sever’s definitely has way more food, attractions, and the best corn maze experience than others in town.

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