Indiana is getting a little bit Stranger this Halloween. Sure, the series Stranger Things is set in the fictional Indiana town of Hawkins, but the real town of Lafayette, Indiana just made its mark.
Exploration Acres just revealed Northwest Indiana's largest corn maze, designed around Stranger Things. Images of Eleven, the demogorgon, and the boys on their bikes are visible in the complex design, which covers 20 acres. That's roughly the equivalent of 15 football fields. There are over 10 miles of paths, divided between four different mazes of varying sizes. This is the largest maze Exploration Acres has ever created.
Tim Fitzgerald, president and owner of Exploration Acres, is a maze designer by trade. His daughter encouraged him to watch Stranger Things over the Thanksgiving holiday and he loved it. "I could really relate to it," he said in a phone interview. "I could really related to the kids on their bicycles!"
He sketched up his ideas and sent the preliminary designs to Maze Play, who creates the physical maze. "They drive here from Idaho and plant the maze for me. Up until last year, we would plant the entire field and then till the paths with the pattern, using GPS. But the equipment has become so sophisticated now we can actually use a planter to drop seeds exactly where we want them, according to the geographic location of the planners. It's pretty high-tech stuff."
Fitzgerald was careful to say that this is a Netflix-sanctioned event. "We've worked together since January," he says. "This would be a great environment to create an immersive experience." He even offered to recreate Hawkins out at the farm. While they eventually scaled back on that, Fitzgerald does promise that there is "other Stranger Things imagery on the farm... there are a few photo opps."
The corn maze is open from September 14 to October 28. There is also a pick-your-own pumpkin patch which spans 11 acres and features 38 different varieties of pumpkins and gourds, to ensure the perfect jack-o-lantern. The family-owned farm was established in the 1920s, and opened for business as Exploration Acres in 2008.