Corn Maze Celebrates Purdue University’s 150th Anniversary

Photo: Ted Schellenberger, Purdue University

Exploration Acres, Northwest Indiana’s largest corn maze and pumpkin patch, has created an 18-acre corn maze commemorating Purdue University’s “150 Years of Giant Leaps.” The maze, located near Lafayette, will open to the public on Sept. 13.

Tim Fitzgerald, president and CEO of Exploration Acres, says, “This year’s maze will celebrate the rich history of Purdue University’s past, as well as its focus on innovation for the future.”

This year’s maze was planted using GPS technology to precisely drop seeds in a dot matrix pattern, allowing the design to grow as it is planted.

“It’s amazing how far technology has advanced in a few short years. This new planter allows us to create mazes that were not possible before,” Fitzgerald says.

The dynamic design features two familiar faces: Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Armstrong, one of Purdue’s most famous alumni, piloted the Apollo 11 lunar module, which successfully landed on the moon 50 years ago. As he stepped onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, he made the famous statement, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” which unified the world.

Earhart is best known for her attempt to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. During her historic flight in 1937, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean and was never discovered. The plane purchased for the flight, a Lockheed Model 10E Electra, was funded by Purdue Research Foundation. She was also a passionate adviser for young women at Purdue during the 1930s, and she challenged them to pursue higher education.

Exploration Acres is collaborating with Purdue’s marketing team to bring special Boilermaker activities and events to the farm this fall. Every Saturday will be a Purdue Pride day. On these days, maze customers who wear Purdue apparel will receive a $3 discount off adult general admission. Details will be posted on the Exploration Acres website before each weekend.

Exploration Acres offers more than 20 activities that are fun for the whole family. Highlights include an 11-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, fire pit rentals, and hay rides. Visitors can also purchase food and beverages from local vendors.

Exploration Acres will open on Sept. 13 and will remain open until Oct. 27. Tickets are available online or may be purchased upon arrival. Exploration Acres is located at 6042 Newcastle Road, Lafayette, IN 47905. For more information about admissions, activities, and hours of operation, visit here.

Purdue University’s Giant Leaps sesquicentennial campaign is a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. The 150th anniversary celebration of Purdue will conclude with an astronaut reunion at Homecoming on Oct. 12.

Again nominated for USA Today honor, voting underway

After finishing third out of 530 mazes last year, Exploration Acres has again been nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice Awards for best corn maze. The contest gives voters four weeks to select their choice here. A person can vote once a day for the run of the contest. The contest ends Aug. 26, and winners will be announced Sept. 6, then later in USA Today.


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