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 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!
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
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!
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.
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! They also have yummy baked goods and other produce!
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.
4. Attend Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo
Boo at the Zoo happens for two weekends in October, the 20st – 22rd, and the 27th – 29th, 2017. 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!
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!
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!
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. Here is a list of all the Columbus City Parks. Franklin 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! 🙂
8. See Model Railroads at COSI
Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI: October 25-29, 2017. 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!
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 November, the train will be installed at the New Main Library! In 2015, 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!
What else would you add to the list of “can’t miss” fall activities in Columbus?