By Savanah Mandeville

“We are everything fall and Halloween in one spot,” said Artie Cole, who owns Exeter Corn Maze with his wife, Robyn.

“Our slogan has become, ‘It’s just more fun here’ because everybody tells us that!”

Located on State Highway MM, Exeter Corn Maze is much more than a maze. “The farm,” as it’s affectionately nicknamed by the owners, is a celebration of all things fall. There’s something for guests of all ages including two corn mazes, go-karts, slides, hayrides, a petting zoo, zip lines, a pumpkin patch and more.

Since opening in 2015, the attractions offered at Exeter Corn Maze have multiplied each year.

“We listen to our guests, and if they have a suggestion or idea, we try to add it,” Artie said. “We’ve noticed families are staying four or five hours, if not all day, so we wanted to add more food choices and more entertainment options this year.”

To fulfill those needs, the Coles have doubled the size of the barnyard area and have added more barns and seating. The expansion includes two more concession stands: Barnyard Barbecue and the Sugar Shack. The new Adventure Barn has ax throwing, a rock-climbing wall and a vertical climbing net.

For entertainment, Exeter Corn Maze will debut pig races, a lumberjack competition, and, last but not least, a pumpkin-eating, fire-breathing dragon, which will have shows three times a day.

“The dragon is really neat and something we haven’t seen around here, so we’re very excited for that this year,” he said. “Also, the pumpkin crop looks great, and we’ll have the biggest pumpkins we’ve ever had. It’s going to be a great year.”

The five-acre corn maze is still the big draw. Each year, the maze is created with an elaborate design, which is kept top secret until opening day.

For thrill-seekers and horror buffs, there is also a second, haunted maze that operates at night only, zombie paintball, a haunted barn and a new haunted house known as The Bunker. The Bunker is themed as an abandoned military outpost.

What started as a simple operation with one corn maze and one haunted house has grown into an eight-week autumn extravaganza in just a few short years.

How have they done it?

“Pretty much any money we make, we put it right back into it,” Artie said. “Usually when we open up, say the 5th this year, we’re already planning for the next year, and we spend the whole year building. We want everyone to be completely happy with what they come out to visit!”