In full disclosure, we were provided with tickets to Andersen Farms Sunflower Maze in exchange for our honest review.
Mommy University Tours Andersen Farms A-MAZE-ing Sunflower Maze
Located in the heart of Sussex County, Andersen Farms has several locations that they have cultivated over twelve years of farming. This family owned business launched a Sunflower Maze in 2015 that combines art, nature and problem solving skills that will entertain and engage the entire family.
Equipped with suntan lotion, bottles of water and our camera, we walked through the 200,000 sunflowers at the Sunflower Maze on a scorching hot day in August. I would love to paint a picture of cooperative toddlers but as parents the words toddler and cooperative rarely go together. Strolling through the entrance and being greeted by the massive mural of a sunflower was quickly overshadowed by the incessant complaints of my children. Within a few steps, however, the whining disappeared and the eyes opened to the grandeur surrounding them. Quickly, they became obsessed with finding pollinators and locating letters and hidden items in the maze especially “the mouse in a house.”
Sunflowers have the power to change temperaments like magic as it is impossible to not smile when you see a sunflower. Satisfied with our accomplishments, we identified all but two of the letters and found all but one of the ladybugs. My children also enthusiastically volunteered for photos, admired the bees and ran around the maze. We took amazing photos that day but most importantly we created another family memory that will not be forgotten.
Mommy University Presents
5 Reasons Andersen Farms Sunflower Maze is Amazing
The enormous sunflower mural that greets you when you begin the Sunflower Maze is hand painted by the Andersens. I am impressed that children are invited to participate in the mural by using their fingerprint to paint a seed in the center of the flower. The symbolism doesn’t escape us as children are planting a seed in Sussex County. While we were able to see the beginning stage of the mural, I can’t wait to see what the final painting will become. Andersen Farms also has many paintings located throughout the maze as items to locate in the scavenger hunt as well as photo props that will keep you engaged.
Enjoy Time Outdoors
As a modern family, we rely on screen time more than I would like to admit and visiting Andersen Farms is the perfect invitation to get outside. Walking through the fields, listening to the humming of honeybees and bumble bees with an occasional bird chirping, inspires me to stay outside. Looking at sunflowers that tower over my children framed against a stunning azure sky makes me wonder why not take more walks in nature.
Enhances Letter Identification
There are several layers of the scavenger hunt. Traditionally, scavenger hunts will invite you to locate items but at Andersen Farms, in addition to the listed items children can also find hidden letters. What a great way for young children to learn their letters by finding them in a sunflower maze! The early reader may not feel challenged to identify the letters but the other half of this puzzle is that the letters comprise a message that needs to be decoded. Children can re-arrange the letters in order to unscramble the message. If letters are too challenging, how about finding the ladybugs? Andersen Farms has multiple layers to this puzzle.
Encourages Problem Solving Skills
There are two parts of the Sunflower Maze that encourage problem solving skills. The first part is that you are walking through a maze. In order to get out requires you to trace back your steps (which is the “boring” method) or attempting to find the exit. It may sound easy but remember in a life-sized maze there are dead ends and walking in circles. The second layer of the Andersen Farm’s Sunflower Maze is the Scavenger Hunt which invites families to find letters, ladybugs and images. I appreciate that Andersen Farm has different levels of objects because it invites each member of the family to participate.
Walking each step in the path would overwhelm our sun drenched family, so we reassessed and began collaborating. Since the Sunflower Maze is large, we started splitting up into teams to locate the dead ends, circular paths and trails that lead to the exit. Rather than competing against each other, we worked together as a team. Your family might prefer the competitiveness of who will find the hidden items first which is fine. Just remember everyone can be a winner in this maze!
August is the formal invitation for sunflowers to shine bright in New Jersey. I was so excited to visit this new Sunflower Maze as The Andersens have created an experience that blends academic learning, problem solving skills and art in a stunning environment that will appeal to the entire family.
Andersen Farms is located at 514 Lafayette Rd., Sparta, NJ. The Sunflower Maze is open from 11 am – 8pm every day of the week. Adult tickets are $10, Children are $5, and children under the age of three are FREE. So get outside and grab the SUNSHINE!
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