1. Attend a Skull Session at St. John Arena

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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 Urban Meyer gives a little speech . . . it’s very high energy and really a lot of fun! We are close enough to campus that we were able to walk up the Olentangy Bike Path. I’d recommend either parking on West Campus (parking is $20!) and taking a shuttle or parking in a neighborhood along the 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!

The upcoming home games are October 29, November 5, and November 26, see the schedule 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! You can see a list from Columbus Moms Blog here, or check out my first weekend post of October for a list of ongoing Fall Festival Weekends!

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Last week, we 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 and one Friday only (October 14, 2016) at Leeds Farm!

Another place we love to go is Smith’s Farm Market! The picture below is 2 years old, but they always have a large selection of pumpkins and picturesque settings for fun pictures with pumpkins! They also have yummy baked goods and other produce!

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3. Go Apple Picking

A few weeks ago, I shared about our visit to Orchard and Company, but 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 21st – 23rd, and the 28th – 30th. 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 which is going on this coming weekend, October 14th and 15th. 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! img_5573

Last week I shared about our visit to The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, which is FREE and only about an hour away! 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 last 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. Franklin Park is particularly beautiful in the fall! While you’re at it, check out this list of Halloween and Fall 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: Nov 16-20, 2016. 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!

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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? 😉  On November 17, 2016, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! Last year, while the library was under construction, the train was on display at Huntington Bank downtown, and we still made sure not to miss it! 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: Exploring Dayton with Kids: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the Oregon District

Written by Julie Miller