9 Things to Do with Your Kids This Fall in Columbus

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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!

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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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!

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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 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! 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. 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: 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!

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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? 😉  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!

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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


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Plain City Apple Picking Adventures

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We had beautiful weather for apple picking with friends at The Orchard and Company: blue skies, sunshine, fluffy white clouds and 70-some degrees! Now I’m officially in the mood for fall, looking up recipes for apple crisp and making note of all the fall festivals going on around town!

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The grounds of the orchard are beautiful and the apple picking was close to the parking lot and the whole process was very easy!

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The Orchard and Company has fall festival weekends on Saturdays and Sundays, September 10 – October 30, 2016. They happened to be open for Gala picking on a Friday – the first Friday of September, so we jumped on it since Gala apples are a household favorite! However, that did mean missing out on the festival fun – but our kids didn’t know any different and they still had a blast!

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One of the activities available at the orchard is fishing! You can also feed the fish from the dock!

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If you make this a yearly tradition, make sure to get your pictures at this cute sign!

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To enjoy the festival weekends, you must purchase a Farm Yard Pass to enjoy the extra activities. The pass is $10 for adults and children over 2. This pass is good for activities like the animal barn, pedal cart track, zip line, a corn box and more! Fishing is $2 extra and Gem Mining is $5. You do not need to buy a Farm Yard Pass to pick apples.

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September U-Pick dates are estimated as follows (check the website for updates and pricing!):

Golden Supreme: September 10th & 11th 11 AM- 5 PM

Honeycrisp: September 10th & 11th 11 AM- 5 PM

Jonamac: September 10th & 11th 11 AM – 5 PM

Macoun: September 17th & 18th

Jonagold: September 24th & 25th

After picking our apples, we weren’t ready to end our fall fun! My friend Jaclyn had spied a sign for a Yutzy’s Farm Market on the way to the orchard, so we decided to check it out! It ended up being the perfect place to sit down and eat our packed lunches, let the kids play and then lure them off the playground equipment for an amish-made snack!

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Yutzy’s sells all kinds of fresh produce, local meats, bulk food items and has a really popular deli. I say popular because there was always a line (and I know this because we had to excuse ourselves through it a few times to take the kids to the restrooms!)

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They also sell homemade baked goods, pumpkins and other fall squash!

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Out in the yard, there is a play area with several picnic tables!

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Besides this unique playground equipment, there were also llamas and ponies! My youngest is somehow really into horses, so he LOVED this!

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I was feeling extra generous with the sugar because it was Friday and beautiful outside and these cupcakes were only $1.50, but this is how that ended up:

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The funny part was, he looked at me and whined, “It’s on my arm!” and held his arm out for me to wipe. (Never mind that hair/eye incident!) The clerk at the counter must have had some foresight (or parenting experience) because she had insisted on giving me paper towels when I asked her for a few plastic forks to eat the cupcakes with!

We headed home in time for a late nap, but if you want to make a full day of it, try stopping at The Cheese House just around the corner, or attending the Shekinah Festival on Saturday (9/10)!

Know Before You Go:

The Orchard and Company, 7255 US Hwy 42 N., Plain City, OH 43064, 614-873-0510

2016 Fall Festival
Saturdays & Sundays, September 10th – October 30th
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Hours of operation are weather permitting.)
Phone: 614-873-0510

Yutzy’s Farm Market

6010 Converse Huff Road, Plain City, Ohio 43064
Phone: 614-873-3815
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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ICYMI: 9 Things to Do with Your Kids at Scioto Audubon


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What Should We Do This Weekend? July 8-10, 2016

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1. Family Fun Night at Blacklick Woods

When: Friday, July 8, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Ash Grove Picnic Area, 6975 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Phone: 614-508-8111

This fun (and free) evening features nature crafts, games and a campfire!

2. LuLu’s 1st Anniversary Party at LuLu’s Sweet Shop

When: Friday & Saturday, July 8 & 9, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM on Friday and Saturday until 5:00 PM
Location: 14 W. College Ave., Westerville, OH 43081

Celebrate the 1st Anniversary of LuLu’s Sweet Shop with live music, free samples, crafts for kids and lawn games!

3. Through the Eyes of a Child at Glass Axis

When: Friday, July 8, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: 610 W. Town St., Columbus, OH 43215

Children from Columbus area schools drew pictures of and wrote stories about an imaginary creature and nine of them were chosen to be brought to life by the artists at Glass Axis. You’re invited to watch the glass-making demonstrations for each piece! The CD102.5 Ice Cream Truck will be on location to pass out free Velvet Ice Cream and you can play the Piada Plinko Board!

4. Parade of Lights at the Ohio Truck Show and Benefit Auction

When: Friday, July 8, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Kidron, OH
Phone: 330-465-4587

I’m throwing this one out there for someone who is up for a road trip to Amish Country and whose kids might love seeing a parade of 200 trucks!!   The parade of vehicles starts in the daylight and as it gets dark, the trucks turn on their lights (hence the name “Parade of Lights”). The truck parade starts at 7:00 PM on Friday night, but is just one part of a weekend of bluegrass music, kids activities, a pancake breakfast, homemade ice cream and more! See more info here.

5. Finding Dory at Barnes and Noble

When: Friday, July 8, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: your local Barnes and Noble

This event will include a scavenger hunt, crafts and coloring and free giveaways like posters, stickers and bookmarks!

6. Westerville Music and Arts Festival

When: Friday – Sunday, July 8-10, 2016
Time: Time varies each day, see link for details.
Location: Uptown Westerville and Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-882-8917

This festival is packed full of live music acts, food trucks and an art show. There is also a youth art and craft exhibit. Kids 16 and under get in free, all others are $1.

7. Pirate Weekend at the Columbus Zoo

When: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 4850 Powell Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3400

Pirate Island is back at the Columbus Zoo and this weekend kids can play pirate games, celebrate with the gang of pirates AND if they come dressed as a pirate (with a paying adult) they will get in free!

8. Family Storytime: The Little Red Hen at Slate Farm

When: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: Farmhouse, 1375 State Route 674 N., Canal Winchester, OH 43110
Phone: 614-508-8111

Hear the story of the Little Red Hen and enjoy activities that show how bread is made! Can’t make it on Saturday? This event happens Friday, too!

9. Special Needs Screening: The BFG at Studio Movie Grill

When: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM
Location:175 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-456-1298

Children with special needs and their families can watch The BFG with the lights up and volume down. Kids can move around and talk as needed.  Kids are free and adult tickets are available at the “before-noon” price. Tickets available at the box office only.

10. Continent Fun Fest at the French Quarter

When: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 6200 Busch Blvd, Columbus, Ohio 43229

This family festival includes carnival rides, bounce houses, food trucks, face painting, live music and a meet and greet with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

11. PBJ&Jazz at Topiary Park

When: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 480 E. Town St., Columbus, OH 43215

This jazz concert in the park takes place after a story time at Main Library. Story time starts at 11:00 AM. Following the concert, from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, there will be an art activity. In case of rain, the concert will take place at the Main Library.

12. Critter Clues: Nature’s “Who Done It” at Emily Traphagen Park

When: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 5094 Seldom Seen Road, Powell OH 43065
Phone: 740-524-8600, ext. 6.

During this program, kids age 6-9 can join a park ranger to investigate a “crime scene,” look for clues and solve a mystery in the park!

13. Preschool Plus: Finding Dory at Sharon Woods

When: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Schrock Lake West Bulletin Board, 6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

This activity, for kids aged 3-8, includes decorating a t-shirt and fishing in Schrock Lake. Kids ages 15 and under can fish without a license in the lake and adults may assist. Limited bait and poles will be provided.

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ICYMI: 5Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Columbus PART 2

*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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