Corny Fun

Whether a cornfield maze brings to mind deep questions of life on other planets or Mel Gibson's out-of-this-world smile in Signs, curiosity about this phenomenon has reached a new frenzy. But you don't have to travel to the ends of the earth to see an example; just drive down Highway 288. That's right, Houston has a corn maze right in its own backyard. This fall Sienna Plantation hosts Cornfused: A Corn Maze Adventure, a well-planned puzzle cut by human hands into a cornfield using global positioning technology.

The maze has three sections. For history buffs, there's the Texas History Maze, an interactive walking trail that takes visitors through all the milestones of Texas history beyond simply remembering the Alamo. The trivia about everything from the Spanish explorers to NASA may leave you more befuddled and dizzier than the actual labyrinth.

If that's too intellectual, try the Heritage Quilt Maze, with wide paths and open areas where children can run wild. There's an adjoining Cloud Maze for toddlers.

The more adult Field of Screams is an homage to the cornfields of horror movies, from Children of the Corn to The Mummy Returns. The intricate maze is narrow and has more twists and turns than any flip of a coin could help you through. Bring a flashlight or your handy night-vision goggles if you're brave enough to go after sundown.

In case you're directionally challenged, there are two observation decks. If they can find them, visitors can climb 12 feet above the confusion and spot the way out of the maze to safety, and maybe a little mockery.

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Claire Theriot Mestepey