9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

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Fall is such a fun time in Central Ohio! Here are 9 things you can only do during the Fall in Columbus and Central Ohio!

What Are Some of the Best Things to do with Kids During the Fall in Columbus?

Here are 9 things we enjoy doing as a family during the fall!

1. Attend a Skull Session at St. John Arena

My kids love instruments and any kind of band, so we were excited, though a little nervous, about taking them to a Skull Session at OSU! It’s a great way to get caught up in the football spirit, even if you don’t have tickets to the game!

A Skull Session is basically a pep rally where the marching band plays, the players come out and the coach gives a little speech . . . it’s very high energy and really a lot of fun!

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I’d recommend either parking on West Campus (parking is $20!) and taking a shuttle or parking in a neighborhood along the Olentangy bike path and walking up the path to St. John Arena.

The Skull session happens 2 hours and 20 minutes before each game and lasts an hour. When it’s over, you can mull around amongst the tailgaters, pick up some free samples (1/4 of a Sugardale hot dog, anyone?) and enjoy the energy of game day.

We were nervous because we weren’t sure what would happen to our strollers when we got there! We were able to take our strollers (yes, we had two) into the arena, but we left them outside the gymnasium, along the outer wall. It was a risk, but no one decided to walk off with a stroller on game day. Phew! I don’t know where else you could put your stroller, as the seating in the gymnasium is very tight. It worked out for us and we were really glad we did it!

You can see the schedule of OSU games here! Friends recommended arriving 20-25 minutes early to get good seats, and I will pass that advice on to you. We got there around 9:20 AM for the 9:40 AM Skull Session and were able to get good seats facing the band.

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

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There are so many pumpkin patch options, it’s kind of amazing! Every weekend in October is filled with Fall Festivals – honestly, I had no idea before I started this blog how many there are! Make sure to visit my post, Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals for a complete list!

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We recently visited Jaquemin Farms on a Monday! This one is great, in my opinion, because it is open during the week and for only $2 kids ages 3-10 can play in the corn box and run through the straw maze! Kids 2 and under are free! During the weekends, they have bouncy houses and the price is a bit higher. So if you have preschoolers at home during the week, this is a great way to spend an inexpensive morning at a pumpkin patch! Other weekday options include Circle S Farms, evenings at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm.

If you want the BIG pumpkin farm experience complete with kettle corn, a zip line, a huge pumpkin trampoline, mazes, corn bins, pedal carts and more, make sure to check out 15 Things to Do at Leeds Farm!

Another place we love to go is Smith’s Farm Market! The picture below is a few years old, but they always have a large selection of pumpkins and picturesque settings for fun pictures with pumpkins!

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3. Go Apple Picking

I’ve shared about our visit to Orchard and Company, and Branstool Orchards, and here’s a list of more apple picking ideas from Columbus Moms Blog! It’s getting late in the season, but there are still apples to be picked at many farms and a lot of them have farm festival weekends as well! If you’re looking for some options during the week (as opposed to the weekend), a few farms are open on select Fridays: Lynd Fruit Farm, and Cherry Hawk Farm, to name a few.

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4. Attend Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo

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Boo at the Zoo happens for two weekends in October, the 19th – 21st, and the 26th – 28th, 2018. Dress your kids (or yourself!) in costume and visit a lot of vendors in different areas of the zoo who want to fill your kid’s basket with candy! It’s also totally acceptable to take your baby in a cute pumpkin costume in a stroller and accept candy on his or her behalf! 😉

5. Take a Road Trip

I shared 6 Ohio Road Trips to Take This Fall here, one of them being the Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek. Even if you can’t make it for the festival, a drive to Amish Country will be beautiful when the leaves (finally!) start to change!

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More fun road trip ideas include:

Fall is my favorite time of year for a road trip!

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6. Visit a Metro Park

Once the leaves start to change, there are some great options for leaf viewing in our local Metro Parks! A great one is Battelle Darby! There are walking paths through the woods and also bison viewing! While you’re there, check out the living stream in the Nature Center!

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Inniswood Metro Park is also beautiful in the fall. Seriously, check out this picture I took during the fall (below)! It felt like a fairy tale! It was amazing!

7. Visit a City Park

Don’t underestimate your local city park for fall beauty. Here is a list of all the Columbus City ParksFranklin Park is particularly beautiful in the fall! Keep an eye out for the Harvest Parties at Columbus Rec Centers. You don’t have to go far to celebrate! 🙂

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8. See Model Railroads at COSI

Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI (2018 dates yet to be announced!) My kids LOVE this special couple of days when several model railroad clubs take over a few galleries at COSI. There are a lot of model trains to see and also trains to play with! It only comes once a year, but it’s one of those things my oldest son always asks about!

model railroad days at COSI

9. Visit the Huntington Holiday Train at Main Library

This is something I consider a Christmas tradition for our family, but it does arrive before Thanksgiving, so technically, it’s a fall activity, right? 😉  In mid November, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! It’s really beautiful, and if you have train lovers, like I do, it’s something you have to see!

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What else would you add to the list of “can’t miss” fall activities in Columbus?

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ICYMI: Fun for the Whole Family at EnterTRAINment Junction

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9 things to do with your kids this fall in Columbus, Ohio


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What Should We Do This Weekend? August 17-19, 2018

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Over 35 family-friendly events happening in Columbus, Ohio this weekend!

FRIDAY

10:00 AM – Forest Fridays at Sunbury Urban Farm – join a nature counselor for this weekly forest playtime. Enjoy a nature activity and a play time in the woods. Recommended for ages 2-5.

10:00 AM – Summer Book Sale at Upper Arlington Public Library – shop thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and more for $.25 to $2 each! The sale goes on through August 26th!

10:00 AM – The K12 Public School at Home Tour at COSI – this interactive mobile exhibit will offer an up-close look at education options available to students nationwide. There will be hands on activities, robots, augmented reality and more!

10:30 AM – Read it, Make it, Eat it-Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see? at PARTY Like It’s Your Birthday – enjoy a story, crafts and snack based on the Brown Bear theme! $15/child.

10:30 AM – KidX Summer Series at Polaris Fashion Place – enjoy free activities outside by the fountains at Polaris! This week they are doing a Touch A Truck preview! There will be a preview of some of the trucks that will be at the Touch a Truck event on Saturday! The dates are wrong in their Facebook event, but I have confirmed that the preview is 8/17 and Touch a Truck is 8/18.

11:00 AM – From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center – watch a movie based on a book for free with your library card! This week’s movie is Wizard of Oz and there are showings at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM every day! See this and more in:  35 Free Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus!

11:00 AM – The Columbus Food Truck Festival at The Scioto Mile – the Food Truck Festival happens on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM and is free for all! The festival includes live music, craft vendors and over 60 food trucks! Plus don’t miss the Columbus Duck Race benefitting Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

12:00 PM – Columbus Zoo Animals at Experience Columbus – come visit with animals from the Columbus Zoo at the Experience Columbus location in the Arena District. This is a free event.

5:00 PM – Learn More at Open House! at The Simplr STEAM Playground – check out the Open House at the SIMPLR STEAM playground from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM to learn about their Makerspace for kids! You can also drop your child off for one free hour. (Grades K-8).

6:00 PM – MusicBASH: The Richard Lynch Band at Slate Run Metro Park and Living Historical Farm – enjoy a night of country music at Slate Run Metro Park!

6:00 PM – Board Game Night! at Third Way Cafe – for a $3 cover charge you can play board games until 9:00 PM. Coffee is available and you can BYOB and food.

6:00 PM – Our Lady of Perpetual Help Community Festival at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grove City – this festival happens Friday and Saturday from 6:00 PM – midnight and includes rides, games, a silent auction, live entertainment, food and more! There is also a kids tent with games and activities!

7:00 PM – Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr. at Lincoln Theatre – CATCO is Kids takes your favorite movie to the stage! Check the link for several performance times throughout the weekend!

8:00 PM – Movie Series – Lego Batman at Sharon Woods Metro Park – watch The LEGO Batman Movie at dark! Bring your own seating!

8:30 PM – Movies in the Park – Star Wars the Last Jedi at Westgate Park – watch the movie Star Wars the Last Jedi at the park. Refreshments will be available for purchase! Bring your own blanket or chair!


Thank you to Branstool Orchards for sponsoring this post.

Read about our visit to Branstool Orchards here!

Pick  your own peaches at Branstool Orchards from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday! Dogs on leashes are welcome and there are picnic tables in the orchard for families that want to bring a picnic! Peaches should be available until the third week of September featuring nine varieties! We also have 32 varieties of apples left in the 2018 season!

Our farm market is stocked with fresh and local produce as well as many gourmet food items. If you don’t want to pick your own apples and peaches, we have plenty in the market to choose from as well! New this year we have organic milk and yogurt as well as local pasture raised eggs and single serve velvet ice cream!

Check our website for info on CSA subscriptions, farmers markets we attend and approximate ripening dates!


SATURDAY

8:00 AM – Hefty Hike at Blendon Woods Metropolitan Park – this 6 mile hike is recommended for ages 10 and older! Pack your own lunch!

8:00 AM – Harlem Township Days – celebrate Harlem Township with vendors, rides, live entertainment, fireworks and more! This festival happens Saturday and Sunday! On Saturday there will be free activities for kids including a bounce house, velcro wall, llamas and more from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM! On Sunday there will be a pancake breakfast, non denominational services and a kid’s tractor pull!

8:00 AM – KidsLinked.com’s 6th Annual Powell KidsFest at Adventure Park – enjoy a family friendly festival including a Free Fun Zone with a video game truck, contests, balloon artists, scavenger hunt and more!

9:00 AM – Lynd PEACH FEST ’18 at Lynd Fruit Farm – enjoy free wagon rides, kids crafts, games and more! There will be live music, food trucks, peach pie and more!

9:00 AM – Waffle Bar! at Coffee Connections of Hilliard, LLC – for $5 you can get a waffle with unlimited toppings plus juice and drip coffee! Coffee Connections has a fun play area for kids, see more here!

10:00 AM – All Aboard for Railroad Fun at Sandel Legacy Trail – check out the model trains at the Sandel Legacy Trail House and meet local model railroaders! This open house also takes place Sunday at 12:00 PM.

10:00 AM – Touch a Truck in New Albany – kids can get up close to fire engines, snow plows, street sweepers and more plus meet firefighters, police officers and public service department personnel!

10:00 AM – WAG! Fest 2018 – this is a free, family-friendly festival focused on dogs! There is a doggie beach, activities, vendors, educational advice, product samples and more!

10:00 AM – Touch-A-Truck at Polaris Fashion Place – get up close to fire trucks, dump trucks, classic trucks and more! Mr. Sunny from Sunny 95 will be there with cold treats!

10:00 AM – Fairy Garden Building at Scioto Grove Metro Park – kids can build a fairy garden with things they find in the woods. Bring your own container.

11:00 AM – Columbus Duck Race at Genoa Park – enjoy children’s activities, entertainment and watch thousands of ducks race to the finish line along the Scioto mile! A purchase of a racer duck benefits The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital plus you may win prizes including up to $5000! Family activities begin at 11:00 AM, Duck Drop happens at approximately 6:00 PM.

12:00 PM – Weinland Park Festival at Weinland Park Elementary School – this neighborhood festival includes free food, a bounce house, hamster balls, face painting, games, raffles and more!

1:00 PM – Open Barn Days 2018 at Sunrise Sanctuary – open barn days offer the opportunity to visit the animals at Sunrise Sanctuary which have been previously abused or neglected. Tickets can be purchased online and space is limited.

6:00 PM – RULE (3)’s 9th Birthday Party at Rule 3 – celebrate Rule 3’s 9th birthday with live music, bounce houses, corn hole, photo booth, characters, prizes games and more!

6:30 PM – Music Under the Paper Moon at Gallant Farm Park – visit the farm, get your photo taken under a paper moon, enjoy refreshments, games and live music!

SUNDAY

10:00 AM – Pick Your Own Peaches at Branstool Orchards – this weekend, peach options include the ever popular contender Peaches, and you can pick your own apples, including Tsugaru and Zestar! apples. On Sunday, J-POPS gourmet Popsicles will be set up from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

11:00 AM – 5 Years of BIBIBOP – celebrate 5 years of BIBIBOP at the original location in Grandview between and 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM for $5 bowls and Plinko!

11:00 AM – Family Funday August Edition at The Draft Room – enjoy free crafts for kids and beer specials for the grown ups! Plus Broke Johnny Food Trck will be on site for brunch!

1:00 PM – The Muddy Miler at Gahanna Pool – this free adventure includes a muddy obstacle course where you WILL get dirty! This is free for the whole family and no preregistration is required! Arrive between 12:30 and 3:00 PM to be released in heats. First come first served.

1:30 PM – Cheap Skates at Chiller Ice Rinks – Sundays from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM admission is $5 for all and kids 4 and under are free! Skate rental is $3 for those over 4. All locations.

6:00 PM – Free Movie Night: Toy Story at Columbus Commons – enjoy free bounce houses, slides, face painting, carousel rides and more at Columbus Commons then watch Toy Story at 7:00 PM!

8:00 PM – Sunset Bison Walk at Battelle Darby Nature Center – take a one mile walk to see the bison at sunset!

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*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio

 

 


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: MaryAllison Comfort

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Each month I will be featuring a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus!

Thanks to MaryAllison for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Cover to Cover Bookstore

This is just about the cutest bookstore I have ever seen and it’s weekly story time is a who’s who of preschoolers. If you know Clintonville, you may remember this classic bookstore located on High Street. A new and equally welcoming owner took over and reopened this gem of a children’s bookstore in Upper Arlington.

This little store is charming and the staff is ever so friendly. Picture a local version of The Shop Around the Corner from You’ve Got Mail! There are Saturday morning story times and even a Harry Potter bookclub for young kids. I took my kids to the Harry Potter birthday party in fact, complete with Bertie Botts beans! Bonus points that it is around the corner from a coffee shop, too!


2. Grandview Heights Public Library

I’ll drive all over Columbus to try out different libraries, but it turns out our favorite library is just a short drive away in Grandview. My kids love the iPad stations with a great selection of educational games. Even my youngest can gleefully bang on the screens and “play” a game. If screen time isn’t your jam, there’s an elaborate dollhouse, a train table, and so many puzzles! Is there anything better than playing with someone else’s toys?

While the kids play nearby, the local events bulletin board fills my social calendar, alerting me to new family fun. Whether our visit to the library is a short one or a “we’re leaving in five minutes” on repeat kind of visit, the outing is not complete without climbing the steps or (power) walking up and down the ramp over and over. When you have small children, it’s the little things in life that make for the best day, or at least it’s a sticker that can sooth a kicking and screaming child when it’s time to go.


3. “Kitty Zoo” aka any pet store

This is a genius parent hack that I borrowed from a friend. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but it needs to be shared with all! My girls love kittens, cats, any passing dog for that matter, so they love to to visit the “kitty zoo.” We visit with the kitties, ooh and ahh for several minutes, come up with imaginary names for all. Then we make our way to the fish tanks, and the fish are almost as exciting as the cats with their bright colors and fancy aquarium decorations.

By this point, a brand new puppy or lovable big dog has made a visit to the pet store with their owner. We are the pet store’s unofficial greeters for all four-legged patrons. After all the excitement of watching the cats, fish, and dogs, we have spent a good thirty minutes in the store, which is exactly what this mom had in mind for a quick and free adventure.


MaryAllison Comfort is a work-from-home mom while she juggles the schedules of her first-grader, preschooler, and toddler. She has a health and wellness business that helps people take back control of their health, whether its through weightloss, healthy aging, or energy and performance. Follow along with @ma.comfort on Instagram for her adventures in parenting and nutrition-inspired living.

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ICYMI: Free Splash Pads and Fountains in Columbus, Ohio

 


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