Headless Horseman Festival, Corn Maze, Hayride, and Fall Fun at Conner Prairie

Headless Horseman Festival

Originally published 10/12/19. Updated 9/25/20

In addition to having over 1000 acres of history, Conner Prairie is well-known for its famous Fall event, the Headless Horseman festival. The festival is back for another year with more events and activities than ever before! It is so popular in central Indiana that it brings an average of 2,500 visitors per night.

Celebrating its 36th year at Conner Prairie, the Headless Horseman is a must for your Fall family bucket list. I added it to ours and this year marked our first time as a family visiting the Headless Horseman. I can’t wait to continue this tradition each year!

Disclaimer: Blog posts contain affiliate links. When you click on these links I earn a small commission that helps keep this blog running and support my family. If you have any questions, feel free to read my disclaimer and privacy policy. We received free admission compliments of Conner Prairie as part of a media event. As always, opinions are purely my own.

COVID Disclaimer: When traveling and visiting businesses, as always, please check state and business guidelines and hours before arriving. As always, be safe for yourself and others! 

Festival activities for 2020 include (according to their website):

Headless Horseman Wagon Ride
Barrel-Train Ride (Ages 7 & under)
Tubing Hill (NEW! in 2020)
Legend of Sleepy Hollow Marionette Show
Legend of Sleepy Hollow Theatrical Show
Fortune Telling Booth
Monster Museum
Conner Prairie Store
Mad Science Show
Spooky Storytelling
Corn Maze
Haunted Corn Maze
Midway: Hi Striker, Cauldron Toss, Ghost Pitch, Pirate Ring Toss, Plinko, Monster Long Jump, Soccer Putt-Putt

Guests will receive a complimentary bag of a ball and a ring necessary to play games.

(Members receive free admission to the Headless Horseman Festival, but you’ll need to make your reservations in advance online. Admission includes all activities, one hayride per person, and entrance to the corn maze – see the fee and hours below).

Headless Horseman

Featuring both rides during the day and evening, the Headless Horseman offers both a scary and festive element to Fall. The Haunted Hayride brings the Headless Horseman alive through a seated tractor ride (no hay for 2020 season) through Conner Prairie where the Headless Horseman himself shows up.

Based on the classic tale, the Headless Horseman comes alongside the tractor wagon riding on a horse with a sword in hand. While this may seem frightening to young children, it wasn’t as scary as I anticipated it to be and I did see many families with young children on the night ride. The night rides may be scary to young children than daylight rides.

We took one of the last tractor rides available in the evening. Plan to wait for the Haunted Hayride, we arrived on a very busy night at 7:30 pm and received tickets for the 10:15 pm ride (then waited an additional 45 minutes in the line after 10:15). If you are taking little ones, prepare for this in advance! Hayrides must be reserved in advance. 

If you arrive before 10 pm, there will be characters singing traditional songs while you wait in line. For the evening ride, expect to have a few scares such as spooky music, displays, and possibly some jump-scares in addition to the Headless Horseman.

Corn maze

In 2019, the Conner Prairie corn maze was voted one of the top 10 best in the country award! How cool is that!? {and that’s just one awesome fact!} With a different design each year, the 2020 12-acre corn maze has been designed to this year’s tribute to the 200th anniversary of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

The 22,160-foot maze features three unique adventure paths to appeal to guests of all ages:

Puzzle Maze: Test your wits in our family-friendly puzzle maze (open during the daytime hours), 30 mins.
Kids’ Maze: Bring the little ones along on our shorter kids’ maze (open during the daytime hours). 1 hour+
Haunted Maze: Brave the spooky Haunted Maze, the “Amsel Farms,” after dark – inspired by real ghost stories of the region and recommended for ages 10+. There will be special effects lighting, fog, and strobe lights. Guests
will hear about the legend of the farm with sounds, effects, lights, and live scare actors. Open sunset to 10 pm.

Important Maze Info

  • Daytime admission to the Puzzle Maze and Kid’s Maze is available for is $5 per person, $4 for members
  • The “haunted maze” is only open during the Headless Horseman hours, from sunset to 10 pm.
  • Corn maze paths are 5 feet wide.
  • Wheelchairs and strollers are not advised.
  • Using the restrooms BEFORE the maze is recommended.

The Apple Store

The Apple Store will be closed for the 2020 season. Apple cider slushies will still be available at the food tents.

Tips for Visiting:

  • Days and hours are: October 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 22-25, and 29-30, 2020 from 6-9:30 pm.
    {Activities and tractor rides may run until 10:15 p.m. or later depending on the crowd, Headless Horseman time must be reserved in advance}
  • Please have online tickets printed before your visit date.
  • Admission for ages 2 & up: Thursday & Sunday Nights: $17 / ALL MEMBERS GET IN FREE (Advance online tickets are required for all members), Friday & Saturday Nights: $21 / PLUS-LEVEL & ABOVE MEMBERS GET IN FREE (Advance online tickets are required for plus-level and above members). Purchase online here.
  • Unfortunately, the Access Pass is not valid for admission to the Headless Horseman.
  • Plan to spend 2-3 hours at the festival (longer on busy nights & weekends).
  • Children are always encouraged to come dressed up in Halloween costumes.
  • Photos are allowed during the tractor ride, but flash photography, tripods, and other equipment are not.
  • Children aged 15 and under need to be accompanied by an adult.
  • Bring extra money if you want to purchase beverages and food, or if you want to take a ride on the 1859 Balloon Voyager.

COVID protocols for the Headless Horseman:
  • Hosting outdoor festivals uniquely qualifies Conner Prairie to create a safe environment to carry traditions like the Headless Horseman.
  • Mandatory wearing of masks by staff and guests (ages 5 & up) in ALL areas (you may remove your mask while drinking and eating).
  • Tickets must be purchased online in advance, no gate admission will be allowed.
  • No stroller and wagon rental will not be available at this time. Wheelchair rental will be available; limited quantities.
  • Public restrooms located on our grounds will be regularly cleaned.
  • Hand sanitizer will be located throughout the grounds.
  • Outdoor food and drink locations will be located around Clowes Commons and Featherston Barn for families and group picnics. The Cafe on the Commons will provide food and beverages within the guidance from governmental officials.
  • No cash will be accepted, payment by credit card only.
  • Guests will receive a complimentary bag of a ball and a ring necessary to play games. Bounce houses, the corn sandbox, karaoke, and other games and activities not conducive to social distancing have been replaced with more suitable activities.
  • Maximum 2,000 capacity per night.
  • The corn maze and haunted corn maze will be limited to groups of 10 every 3 minutes to ensure adequate spacing.
  • Wagons lined with padded vinyl mats (no straw). Maximum 10 people per wagon or 18 people seated wagon. Guests will be seated in family units away from other groups and asked to maintain distance on the ride. Wagons will be disinfected following use.

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