Who would have thought that Southern Maryland would be home to one of the most amazing (see the pun there) Sunflower Mazes in Maryland? Not only that? Goldpetal Farms (formerly known as Ladybugs Alive) actually holds multiple sunflower mazes and other fun activities every year! Check out this Kid Friendly Guide to the Goldpetal Farms Sunflower Maze for details on what to expect and a preview of their awesome happy sunflowers!
The Sunflower Maze Design Reveal
Just like with a corn maze in the fall, the farmers at Goldpetal Farms take great care to choose the coolest designs. Goldpetal Farms designs the sunflower mazes around a theme. Past themes have included Bob Ross, The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, Butterflies and Pollinators, Healthcare Heroes, and more!
With any agricultural event, the weather can sometimes mess with the sunflower season. However, typically, Goldpetal Farms announces the first maze in mid-to-late June on their Facebook page. The reveal is part of the fun! The first maze and sunflower field opens in mid-June and Goldpetal Farms has timed the field planting to ensure successive mazes run through mid-August or early September (if we are lucky!). In 2023 there will be three different sunflower mazes to enjoy! Acres and acres of sunflowers to put a smile on your face! So peak bloom time will actually last for the entire summer!
Personally, I am so impressed with how dedicated Goldpetal Farms is to trying out new techniques to create original and unique sunflower varieties. There are so many varieties of sunflowers and zinnias. And many of them are hybrids created by the farm itself!
Goldpetal Farms details to make your experience more fun!
As with any sunflower field or maze, there are some issues that could derail your day. But Goldpetal Farms has thought of everything! Throughout the maze there are shade areas where you can sit under a canopy and relax or cool down if it’s too sunny. They also have a mist station inside the maze to cool you off if you get overheated.
There are typically two mazes with each sunflower maze design. There is the main maze, which is typically laid out like a scavenger hunt. And then there is a much shorter and easier maze that would be perfect for families with young kids. Also, the shorter option would be fantastic for super hot days when you want the sunflower experience without dying of heat and dehydration (this is a bit of an exaggeration, but if you are unprepared it can get pretty hot in the maze!).
Back inside the barn they typically sell cold drinks, local honey, and other fun souvenirs. There are also places throughout the farm and maze where you can have your own picnic.
Tips for staying safe and comfortable inside a sunflower maze
- Apply sunscreen. The optimal conditions for an awesome sunflower field mean that the sun will be beating down on you. Protect your skin!
- Don’t forget hats and sunglasses. I love wearing a wide-brimmed hat to any sunflower field or maze. If that’s not your style, a ball cap works great too! And many people swear by a sun umbrella.
- Wear close-toed (and comfortable) shoes. You are on a farm after all. Protect your toes and ankles with comfy and supportive footwear!
- Stay hydrated. Fill up your water bottles before you head out to the maze. Even if you choose the shorter maze, you don’t want to get lost and dehydrated.
- Go potty before you enter the maze. There are port-a-potties at the barn entrance. Don’t get stuck halfway through the maze (you or your kids) doing the potty dance.
- The bees won’t really bother you (unless you are a sunflower). They are pollinators and are there to do one big job– pollinate the sunflowers. However, if you are worried about them, just apply bug spray at the barn before heading out.
Best Times to Visit Goldpetal Farms
I mean, sunflowers are basically the happiest flower of all time, so there isn’t a bad time to visit. However, if you want to visit when the sunflowers are the most magical, here are some timing tips:
- The sunlight for photos will be best in the mornings or late afternoon-to-early evening timeframe. This happens to be when the fields are cooler too.
- Sunset can be a particularly magical time to visit, especially if the weather is gorgeous.
- Sometimes you can get lucky and stick around for lightening bugs! If there are lots of lightening bugs, Goldpetal Farms will actually stay open later for Lightening Bug Blitzes. How awesome is that?
Zinnia Zuperbloom Feast O’Flowers
Goldpetal Farms has planted gorgeous zinnias for the last few years. In 2023 they are kicking it up a notch with two weekends dedicated to a Zinnias. The Zuperbloom weekends will be July 15-16 and 22-23. The seasonal sunflower mazes will still be in full bloom.
But for these two weekends you are also assured of 2 acres of zinnias in multiple colors and varieties, local food trucks with great eats, ice cream crafters, and wine, educational talks, crafters, cut-flowers you can purchase, unique photography opportunities, and more!
We love zinnias so much because guess what? Butterflies love zinnias! And because zinnias are so colorful they complement the bright yellow sunflowers perfectly!
Educational Experiences and Fun Activities
Every year Goldpetal Farms offers a wide variety of fun and educational activities to enjoy while on the farm. Typically there is a nature-themed scavenger hunt to go along with the sunflower maze hunt.
There are fun photo ops like the big red tractor (our favorite).
There are typically fun yard games like cornhole and a play area that is suitable for kids and adults.
But our favorite extra activity is the art activity that is typically included in admission. We love the free painting stations.
You can paint a few masterpieces, take your favorite home, and donate the rest to the farm to display as a public art project. It’s truly the best way to wind down after exploring the maze!
Pick Your Own Flowers
You aren’t allowed to pick the sunflower in the actual maze. As fun as the sunflower maze is, most of these flowers are harvested after peak bloom and used as a food source. But the great news is typically next to the maze there are pick your own flower fields too! When we have visited there are a few rows of pick your own sunflowers next to the pick your own zinnias.
I mean, you can’t visit a sunflower maze and field without doing some sunflower picking! Cut your own stems cost $1 per stem or $5 for 6 stems for sunflowers. And $.50 per stem for zinnias.
Even though the main event for sunflowers is in St. Mary’s County, Goldpetal Farms also has a pick your own sunflower field in Virginia Beach as well!
Goldpetal Farms plants multiple sunflower mazes each summer starting in mid-June and typically lasting through mid-August.
The address to each field is revealed when the maze is announced. However, Goldpetal Farms is located in Chaptico, MD in St. Mary’s County.
When the sunflower season opens, Goldpetal Farms is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am-sunset.
Admission to the sunflower maze is $15/person age 7 and up. Kids ages 6 and under are free. Cut your own sunflowers are $1 a stem and $5 for 6 stems. Zinnias are $.50 a stem.