The Kraay Family Farm is known far and wide for its corn maze but there is much more to the farm than that.
For 15 years, the Kraay family has been adding and expanding upon their extensive corn maze field to bring in families from all around. The goal is to create hours of family-oriented fun that gives people a place to get outside and enjoy each other’s company.
“The best thing for me is being able to see people play. That’s really important to us,” said Rachel Kraay, part owner and operator.
“Not only do we see the three-year-olds play, but we see the 23-year-olds play and the 53-year-olds play. It’s just great to see. People put their phones away, there are no video games and things aren’t plugged in – you get to really interact with your family and friends and that’s what I like the most.”
The Kraay corn maze is Alberta’s original corn maze. It boasts 15 acres of an expertly crafted design that changes annually, along with more than 40 attractions that range from jumping pillows to mini golf to calf roping and pedal carts.
The site also has a variety of other activities that include a train ride, pig races, a corn blasting cannon, food, a singing interaction show for kids, play houses, jungle gym play centres, parks and giant games such as chess and snakes and ladders.
Kraay works with her husband Reuben, and his parents, Ed and Linda at operating and maintaining the farm, which is currently celebrating its 15th year anniversary. This year brings nostalgic feelings for them as they look back at where the farm started.
“We’re definitely excited. We started as a corn maze with the slide, and we’ve been adding one to five or more things every year. It’s grown a lot. We’re really excited that we can provide this kind of a place for our community,” said Rachel.
Each year, a new design is planned for the maze.
In 2012, the family broke a world record as they turned their farm into the world’s largest quick response (QR) code. This year, they chose to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Alberta Prairie Steam Train attraction in Stettler and added the shape of a train into their maze.
“It takes a lot of thinking. We look around at things that we’re interested in, things that people like, and we create a picture in our minds. That’s where it starts. Then we start drawing it out and take that and create a maze,” said Rachel.
“We’ve been on the Stettler train before, and really, really loved it. We know lots of people love our train here. A train looks awesome in a maze, with the shape and everything so that’s why we chose it.”
The maze and farm is open from late July until Oct. 18th, Monday to Saturday.
Rachel offered a few words of advice to families thinking of visiting, saying, “Dress to be on a farm. I think people should expect to be here for longer than they think. We just want to encourage people to come see what we have.”