Farmer Sonya and Farmer Leena pedaled their tractors at McMaze— a family-run farm. The family’s name? McDonald. So it was Old McDonald’s farm, with the usual characters. A neigh neigh here and a neigh neigh there…
Here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink oink… In fact all the usual sights and sounds of a typical barnyard… until this guy trotted out.
Llamas are funny. In person, they’re even funnier. They’re like a three-way cross between a giraffe, a horse, and a big wooly sheep.
But really, the reason we came to McMaze was… the mazes! (That’s why it’s called McMaze). As a girl, I was obsessed, absolutely obsessed, with mazes and labyrinths. (In case you don’t know the difference: a labyrinth only has one path. A maze has many different pathways. It’s a puzzle). I would actually spend hours drawing mazes. I once had a really long (probably impossible) maze on a roll of paper that was maybe three feet long. I bet it’s still under my bed at home, where I’d stash all my secret projects.
To get ready for our roadtrip, Sonya and I sat down to work on an easy maze activity book with some very perplexed koalas on the front. Sonya had to draw a line from the arrow to the star.
This is the kind of creative problem-solving that I hope a good, solid education doesn’t strip away from her.
Sonya showed just as much interest in the actual corn maze as the koalas on the cover of the maze book. This year’s McMaze theme was the War of 1812. In an aerial view, the maze looked like a cannon with a British flag. To amp up the geek factor, there were trivia questions hidden throughout the maze. If you answered them, you could get entered for a prize drawing. I was giddy with excitement, hunting for clues! Trivia and mazes? This place was designed for me!
Unfortunately, Sonya and Leena were underwhelmed by the McMazing-ness of it all. They were more interested in the grasshoppers than the trivia plaques. I only got to do one of the five mazes. But… I had fun getting turned around in the cornfield for fifteen minutes.
Old McDonald’s farm also had other attractions: like a corrugated pipe slide coming out of a wooden shed. Sonya and Leena loved it. It was bumpy, and you’d shoot straight to the bottom.
After a long, tiring afternoon of wagon riding, pig racing, and animal feeding, we had to head home. But a trip to Old McDonald’s farm wouldn’t be complete without a stop at… McDonald’s in a small Ontario town called Cornwall. This McDonald’s had a PlayPlace which was as impressive as the farm attraction we’d just visited.
With coaching from Big Sister, Leena made it all the way to the top. “You can do it, Leena! Come on, Leena! I need you, Leena!” Sonya shouted as she went up the triangular steps all the way to the look-out tower. Drex and I had no choice but to take turns helping Leena up the structure. She needed a boost every now and then, but she was determined to be just like Big Sister.