Fall Family Fun on the Farm: Denver Downs

If you're looking for fall family fun, you're really not likely to find more of it in one place than you will find at Denver Downs Farm in Anderson, with its corn maze and other activities for the whole family. If you haven't gotten there yet this year, there are still two weekends left to enjoy the festivities.

In addition to the corn maze at Denver Downs, the list of activities available will make it a full day of fun: from the traditional, like hayrides and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, to the must-see-to-appreciate, like duck races and the angry pumpkin slingshot.

The last two weekends of the season will feature some special events:

  • Visitors on October 24--26 will be able to enjoy the corn maze and other activities, but also they will be able to tour the Civil War Living History and Reenactment events for the regular ticket price.

  • Thursday, October 30th, is Scout Night, with $2 off for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform

  • Friday, October 31, will have a Halloween dance party from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., with a costume contest for adults starting at 9:00.

  • On November 2, the final day of the corn maze season, is grandparents day, with free admission for one grandparent with the purchase of a child ticket

  • Although the rest of the season is no-dogs-allowed, on November 2, dogs (on a leash) are welcome--and, in a Denver Downs first, there will be a dog costume contest.

Denver Downs: A Family Business

Mazes made out of vegetation are nothing new--hedge mazes were popular in Europe starting in the late 17th century. The first corn maze appeared much later, though. It was created in Annville, PA, in 1993, and since that time, corn mazes have been a popular form of agritourism in the fall, and a good way for farmers to boost their income and bring people to their farms.

Denver Downs has been owned and operated by the Garrison family since 1869, transitioning from cotton to dairy to its current form: a working farm that focuses on agritourism, with the fall activities centered around the corn maze added 14 years ago The current generation of five siblings is actively involved in the operations of the farm and farm market, the corn maze events, and other agribusiness ventures connected to the farm.

Catherine Davis, one of the sisters who splits her time between her home in Charleston and the farm in Anderson, says that the farm will stay in the family, and she is hopeful that her children and nieces and nephews will continue to work with the farm.

The corn maze and fall activities significantly contribute to the income of the farm, with several thousand visitors per weekend during the season. This year saw several new additions to the line-up of activities as well as improvements to the facilities: Landscaping and fencing were added to enhance the appearance of the farm, and a concrete floor was poured in the hay barn to make it a usable venue with picnic tables.

A brand new straw barn was built for kids to play in, with rope swings to jump in the hay. New events and activities include a pig race track, corn rollers, farm soccer, and pumpkin bowling.

The corn maze and activities are open for a month and a half or so out of the year, but the planning and set-up for the next year's events take up much of the rest of the year. Additionally, the farm hosts field trips for school groups, and the newly renovated hay barn will serve as a venue for weddings, family reunions, company picnics, and other events.

Contact Lee Smith for school groups or Catherine Davis for other events, and be sure to follow the Denver Downs calendar of events and Facebook page for upcoming events such as an oyster roast, spring festival, and more.

 Sharon Purvis is a freelance writer and editor who makes her home with her husband in Duncan, South Carolina. You can find more of her work at SharonPurvisWrites.com.