York Maze will always hold a very special place in my heart as it's where Dave & I got married just over three years ago.
But aside from being a truly fabulous wedding venue I wanted to share ten more reasons why York Maze is A-maze-ing!!
1. Your ticket price is your day paid for
It's a real bug bear of mine when you pay an entrance fee to an attraction and then spend the rest of the day being bombarded with ways to make you spend more money. This doesn't happen at York Maze - for example, there's nobody trying to take a photo of you with Maze mascots Kernel & Sweetie then trying to sell you it, quite the opposite in fact as when we arrived there was actually a really friendly member of staff offering to take photographs for us which was really thoughtful - it's not easy to get a family photo on an adventure for the most part! (Check out the York Maze website for prices and online booking discounts)
2. Fantastic staff
Every single member of staff we came into contact with was really lovely and accommodating; from the guy helping us to make sure we joined the shortest queue at the entrance to the very friendly Adam who was giving out stickers at the end of the Maze - they were smiling, enthusiastic and keen to make sure we really enjoyed our day.
3. The Maze
Obviously. I've never been in a maize maze before so wasn't really sure what to expect. This year's theme at York Maze is Thunderbirds and you are challenged to find your way around the Maze searching out 6 stations and answering questions along the way. The answers will give you a secret code to enter at the exit allowing you to open the safe door and post your completed form for the chance to win a prize. We managed to find all 6 stations without using the map (we didn't find them in the right order but this didn't really matter).
4. Money Back Map
I was quite daunted at the thought of entering the Maze and worried that it would get quite tedious with three small children in tow if we couldn't find out way out again. Thankfully you're offered the option to buy a map at the entrance - at just £1.50. However, if you do make it out of the Maze without opening your map you'll get your £1.50 refunded at the shop on your way out at the end of the day making it a cracking insurance policy! I would suggest it's well worth investing.
5. Pushchair friendly
Although York Maze is basically set in acres and acres of farm land it is relatively pushchair accessible - though I must admit we chose to take the baby-wearing route with Amy when we went making it a little easier to get around the site. The Maze itself is quite a solid path and, although it can be sticky in places, it is possible to navigate with your pushchair. On the days where the weather has made a real mess of the Maze, Farmer Tom takes the decision to either open the Maze later giving it time to dry (it opened at 12pm when we visited) or on some occasions close it altogether offering a reduced entrance fee. (It's worth checking York Maze social media for announcements about this - Facebook / Twitter) It's also worth considering your footwear - we wore wellies for our day at the Maze and were really glad of them.
6. It's Puntastic
From the "Cobstacle Course" to "I've cornquested York Maze" or a whole range of F1 related pig monikers (Teamo Hock, James Runt - you get the picture) there is a real sense of humour about a day out at York Maze with something to make you laugh around every corner. (I was particularly amused by the large sign for "Lost Parents Here"
7. Plenty of options for food
Whilst you're more than welcome to take a picnic to York Maze and there's plenty of picnic benches scattered around the site there's also the Coffee Shop offering freshly made coffee and homemade sandwiches and cakes or the The Kernel's Kitchen serving an epic range of delicious burgers (at reasonable prices). (Watch out for wasps keen to share your picnic - the team at York Maze have clearly done what they can to minimize their presence but they're there nevertheless.)
8. Corn Snakes Slides
New to York Maze for 2015 are the Corn Snake Slides - with a smaller "Little Snake Slide" which was perfect for slide obsessed Amy and then three different tower slides to experience. Although Chloe was a bit daunted by the height of the slides when she first saw them, after a bit of gentle encouragement to get her down the first time she went on three times in a row. Ben of course had to try all three and I think would have spent quite a long time up and down those slides had we allowed it! (And yes, they're big enough for grown ups to as Dave proved!)
9. Crazy Golf
I have to give mention to the Crazy Golf course purely because I somehow manage to score a "hole in one" - not once but three times - whilst wearing a small person strapped to my back! The Crazy Golf course was just long enough for Ben and Chloe to enjoy having a go but not get fed up with it. The course can get a little backed up if the people in front of you are a bit slow to get their holes but it wasn't too much of a wait to get round.
10. The Bouncy Pillow
The enormous bouncy pillow is a true highlight of a day at York Maze. One of my favourite photographs from our wedding is of us on the bouncy pillow and I know it's something that Ben remembers from the day. In recent years Farmer Tom has added a roof to the bouncy pillow to allow it to be used in (almost) all weathers. A great practical solution to our unpredicatable weather, though I did think it was a shame as it didn't feel quite so eciting with a roof on for some reason - perhaps that's just me. We were all keen to get on the bouncy pillow and have a jump about! There are two queues, organised by height so that older, more exuberant bouncers can get on and enjoy themselves without fear of hurting the little ones! In recent years Farmer Tom has added a roof to the bouncy pillow to allow it to be used in (almost) all weathers.
Though we spent over 6 hours at York Maze we still didn't even touch upon some of the other things on offer like the water fights, the House of Cornfusion or Crowmania. The really is just so much to do that, weather permitting, you can easily be there from opening to closing!
I could go on writing about our day at York Maze for ever but I think you get the point - it's a great day out and we will definitely be taking our brood back next year!