A trip to York Maze is as much a part of our family summer as endless ice cream, complaints about suncream and a stressful camping trip or two. It’s only open for six weeks, so we wasted no time in heading along to see what’s on offer for 2019.
Our first stop was the hilarious House of Cornfusion which has been expanded to include even more brain-boggling rooms that have been designed to, well, confuse. With illusions galore, it’s an experience that had all five of us in stitches. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we must have visited in at least ten times during our visit. The kids (9, 7 and 4) enjoyed exploring all the old classics: the large adventure playground and sandpit, the huge bouncy pillow and the mineshaft maze. As always, the crazy golf was a must-do as was the climbing wall and Volcorno.
With limited exceptions, most of the activities are suitable for all ages except the very young, which was great. No standing on the sidelines for us grown-ups: we got involved with pretty much everything too, and it was lovely to do it all as a family.
Maze by name and maze by nature, there are now three mazes on offer and we did them all. The Jurassic maze, complete with dinosaur inhabitants, was a big hit with our eldest, while the youngest always makes a beeline for the Finger Fortune Maze.
The theme of the main maze this year is The Lion King, but unless you’re viewing it from a helicopter, it’s not overly obvious! There’s a little quiz that you can do as you go round it, but our boy was so keen to see how fast we could get to the end that we didn’t get involved in that. Amazingly, we managed to get in and out of the maze in about ten minutes, but it would have taken a lot longer if we’d had really little legs in tow. Maze completed, we were back to the serious business of playing: sliding down the huge snake slides, having water fights and painting the giant maze mural. The kids held a huge snake in the animal area and we all admired the owls and reptiles, and the Crowmania tractor ride was as good as ever.
For once, we hadn’t packed a picnic (although there are plenty of places to eat one) so we had hot food from The Kernel’s Kitchen. It was quick, tasty and reasonable value – there’s no sense that the Maze is taking advantage of having a captive audience by hiking up the prices. The coffee’s pretty good and there’s a decent selection of the all-important ice cream, too. We had a post-lunch pause while we watched the new show, KerNoel’s House Party, which is included in admission. It’s a pun-heavy half-hour that majors on audience interaction rather than plot, and we had the sense that they were still finding their feet when we visited.
After a full six hours, it was time to persuade the kids that it was time to go home. Several trips to the House of Cornfusion later, we finally made it back to the car. York Maze may not be the cheapest family day out, but we do think it’s good value when you consider how much you can pack into the day. The only limit is your energy! A special mention for all the staff we encountered, too, who were all so friendly and polite. Yet again York Maze has done it again: it’s a brilliant summer day out for the whole family.