The 2011 edition of the Cooley family’s rural entertainment venue officially opened on Friday just north of Dixon, with moms and kids the first excited visitors.
The popular Cool Patch venue has three main attractions: the world’s largest corn maze with 45 acres of intricate passageways; a kid zone featuring a straw mountain, a miniature straw maze, and a “corn bath;” and endless tracts of many varieties of pumpkins for the picking. Associated with the kid zone this year is a scarecrow-design contest.
Also available are food and drinks, picnic tables, and porta potties.
A special gun for shooting small pumpkins will operate on the far north end of the grounds.
Cool Patch runs this year from Sept. 16 through November 6th, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Due to the large size of the corn maze, it’s wise to give yourself a lot of time to find your way from beginning to end (see the maze diagram as one of the photos with this article). Wear old shoes since there are still small muddy spots from row irrigation. There are stakes placed at many spots along the paths that will help you pinpoint your location, but be wary – sometimes tricksters change their locations. Also it’s best to try the maze early on in the season, because later some impatient maze-walkers try to create shortcuts through the tall corn. Carry cell phones in case you become separated from others in your party and carry flashlights if there’s a chance you’ll be in the maze after sunset. A compass wouldn’t hurt! No strollers or wagons are allowed in the maze.
On Friday, workers were still completing work on the grounds, but it should be 100 percent up and running the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18.
The Viewfinder photos here were shot on opening day and give you a taste of what you’ll find at Cool Patch.
To get to the Cool Patch grounds, take the Milk Farm Road exit while headed west on Freeway 80 near Dixon, or take the Currey Road/Hwy. 113 exit while headed east on Freeway 80 just outside Dixon, then go over the freeway headed north on Currey Road. Shortly, turn right onto Milk Farm Road near the Milk Farm restaurant sign. You’ll soon see a Cool Patch sign. Here you’ll turn into a bumpy, grassy field where you’ll drive about a quarter mile to a free parking area.
For more information visit coolpatchpumpkins.com or call 530-304-0163. Visiting Cool Patch is free. To try the maze, adults pay $10 and children pay $6 (kids under five are free). Pumpkins are for sale. A hay ride costs $3 each and pedal karts are available for $5.
A great family visit to celebrate the fall season.