In North America and elsewhere, corn mazes are an autumn tradition, along with apple picking, hay rides, and haunted houses.
The phenomenon arrived in the Czech Republic this summer via an elaborate circuit of corn mazes now open throughout the country, which have quickly become popular with families and fun-seekers alike.
The 25 mazes, called Cornies, or in Czech, Kukuřičáci, opened here in late spring. Since then the experience has been racking up positive reviews by Czechs impressed with the novelty of the mazes…or are they labyrinths?
Fit-Jump, the company that created the concept for the Czech market, clarifies: “A maze is a confusing pathway that has many choices of paths, with many routes leading to a dead-end. One way or another, both are puzzles that have fascinated mankind for centuries.”
Corn mazes are created by cutting paths into a corn field that has been planted specifically for this purpose. The production and design must be carefully planned; choosing the correct hybrid of corn plant is critical to the success of the maze.
Mazes are about 1 hectare in size. The largest of the group is in Brno near the zoo, measuring two football pitches in length. Other locations include three mazes near Prague (Praha Koloděje, Praha Líbeznice, and Praha Vestec).
Each has a unique route plan and a number of paths to choose from depending on skill level and desired challenge.
Interactive games for children and adults accompany the experience with eight of the sites marked with QR codes allowing for visitors to compete against others in a kind of league of maze masters competition.
And while the corn mazes are open for peak summer business, some autumn events, including Halloween activities, are said to be in the works. Follow Kukuřičáci on Facebook for the latest.