35 FREE Things to do with Your Kids This Summer in Columbus

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Summer is the best time to get out and explore lots of fun things with the kids! Luckily for us, Columbus is full of lots of FREE things to do this summer! If you need some inspiration, here are 35 things you can do for free around town!

1. Climb aboard the train at Homestead Metro Park.

2. Check out a farmer’s market. See this list from Columbus Moms Blog, listed by day of the week!

3. Watch an outdoor movie. See this list from 614 Mom.

4. Have fun at KidX at Polaris Fashion Place.

5. Play at Commons for Kids every Friday.

6. Climb into the tree house at Inniswood Metro Park.

7. Win prizes in a Summer Reading Club. Register at your local library or take advantage of one of these national programs listed by Mission to Save.

8. Try out one of Columbus’ many festivals. Check out this list of free summer events from Columbus Moms Blog!

9. Try out a new park. I have some ideas here and here!

10. Follow the path of the Dublin Irish Fairy Door Trail.

11. Get wet at a local Splash Pad.

12.. Bowl for free with the Kids Bowl Free program! There are 3 locations in the Columbus area!

13. Attend the Hilltop Bean Dinner commemorating the role the Hilltop played in the Civil War! Admission is free and there is a huge car show, food vendors, arts and crafts and more!

14. Shop 100 local vendors at the Powell Street Market.

15. Visit a Little Free Library to borrow or donate books.

16. Attend one of the Cap City Nights Festivals hosted by Columbus Recreation and Parks!

17. Learn about nature at one of the Preschool Programs at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks.

18. Enjoy some music at Polaris Live every Thursday night.

19. Hear a story or two at the Storytime at Chic Fil A on Sawmill.

20. Enjoy a free concert at Celebration at the Station at Hilliard’s Station Park – Thursdays from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM.

21. Explore IKEA and get free childcare and free coffee for IKEA Family Members (rewards card holders).

22. Get artistic at Arts in Uptown on the Second Friday of each month!

23. Watch a free movie at Gateway Film Center! Admission to their Book to Film series is free with your library card!

24. Explore the new Blendon Woods Natural Play Area.

25. Attend Gallery Hop in the Short North on the first Saturday night of each month from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM! Enjoy street performers, special deals and treats and the shops stay open late!

26. Watch a movie and have fun at Bexley Main Event.

27. Get cultured at Pizzuti Family Days – you can enter for free on the 3rd Sunday of the month and there are special activities for kids!

28. Stop to smell the roses at Columbus Park of Roses.

29. Explore Columbus Museum of Art for free on Sundays.

30. Explore an ancient burial mound, Shrum Mound.

31. Take a ride on the CBUS. All rides are free and the buses go in a loop around the Short North, downtown, Brewery District and German Village.

32. Explore the new Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory for free on the 1st Sunday of each month! Residents of Columbus and Franklin County can enter for free with a valid ID from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM!

33. Beat the heat with a free indoor play area.

34. Enjoy music, activities and movies at Hoot Family Film Series – free with a non-perishable donation to the Open Shelter.

35. Do a craft, hear a story and listen to jazz music at PBJ & Jazz.

Feel free to share what kind of free activities your family likes to do around Columbus in the comments!

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ICYMI:  Franklin Park Conservatory’s Children’s Garden is Unlike Anything Else in Columbus

 


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What Should We Do This Weekend? October 20-22, 2017

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Before you start reading through this week’s list, you should know that in an effort to pare down the list of SO. MANY. EVENTS. happening this weekend, I did not duplicate anything that is already on my Halloween Events Around Columbus post! So make sure to also check out that post if you’re looking for family-friendly Halloween events happening this weekend (there are many)! 🙂

1. Haunted Maze at Hoover Gardens

When: Now through October 31, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 182 Sunbury Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-568-0603

The haunted maze at Hoover Gardens is free to walk through and kid-friendly! The maze is open during regular businesses hours and is appropriate for ages 7 and up!

2. Pumpkin Picking and Hayrides at Kuhlweins Farm Market & Deli

When: Now through October 31, 2017 (closed Wednesdays)
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 1859 Walker Rd., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-876-2833

Fall Fun at Kuhlweins Market and Deli includes a hayride, animal zoo, corn maze and pumpkin picking! Inflatables, pony rides, balloon twisting and face painting on the weekends!

3. Great Pumpkin Fun Center at Pigeon Roost

When: Tuesday-Sunday through October 31, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 4413 National Rd. SW, Hebron, OH 43025
Phone: 740-928-4925

Pigeon Roost features a pumpkin patch, farm animals and The Great Pumpkin Fun Center with giant slides, mazes, a fort, play areas, and tons more! Weekends include wagon rides, face painting, crafters and concessions!

4. Fall Fun Days at Circle S Farms

When: Thursday, September 28-October 31, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM Daily
Location: 9015 London Groveport Rd. Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-878-7980

Fall Fun Days start on September 28 and run through October 31, 2017. This farm is one of the few open during the week! Fall Fun Days feature hayrides, pumpkin picking, farm market, petting zoo, corn and sunflower mazes, bale cave and more!

5. The Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek

When: Friday & Saturday, October 13 & 14, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Location: 4147 County Road 114, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
Phone: 330-893-4200

For a little bit of a road trip this weekend, check out the last Fall Festival weekend at The Farm at Walnut Creek. These special days include special activities like a corn box, sheep shearing, basket weaving, horseshoeing, a pumpkin slingshot and more! See our visit to The Farm at Walnut Creek here.

6. Corn Maze at Lynd Fruit Farm

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until October 29, 2017
Time: Fri and Sat: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Sun: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 9851 Morse Rd. SW., Pataskala, OH 43062
Phone: 740-927-8559

At Lynd Fruit Farm you can pick your own apples and pumpkins and enjoy the farm market on its own or also head over to the giant corn maze where there is also a barrel train, fun zone, bounce house, wagons rides and more!

7. Fall Farm Fun at Leeds Farm

When: This Friday & Saturdays and Sundays through October 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 8738 State Route 36, Ostrander, OH 43061
Phone: 740-666-2020

Leeds Farm is open six weekends only through October 29 plus this Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, with hayrides, farm animals, farm pond, pumpkins and gourds! Back 40 Barn Pass admission includes Pumpkin Jumps, John Deere combine slide, mountain slides, Big Zip and mini zip lines, rolling tubes, straw forts, pig races, pedal carts, the biggest corn box in Ohio, and more! This weekend is the only Friday they are open during the season!

8. Storytime with Kara at ME and the MOON

When: Friday, October 20, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 15 N. Westmoor Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-570-1124

This week’s story time theme is Peek-A-BOO and includes stories, songs and games for the kids and tea and shopping for the parents! There will be a pop-up book shop immediately following the event.

9. Junior Library Guild Warehouse Sale

When: Friday & Saturday, October 20 & 21, 2017
Time: Fri: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Sat: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 7858 Industrial Pkwy, Plain City, OH 43064
Phone: 800-491-0174

This warehouse sale offers the opportunity to buy children’s and young adult literature for just $5. There will be food trucks onsite and free parking ! On Saturday, author, Nancy Roe Pimm will be onsite to sign copies of her book!

10. Fall Fun Festival at Dill’s Greenhouse

When: Weekends beginning September 30 through October 31, 2017
Time: Fridays: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 5800 Rager Rd., Groveport, OH 43125
Phone: 614-836-3700

Fall festivals are happening Friday nights and weekends, September 30 – October 31, 2017. Hayrides, corn maze, fire pit and hotdogs and s’mores for roasting (bring your own or purchase there), straw maze, sand box, pumpkins, games and activities! Friday dates are October 7th, 14th and 21st (weather permitting) from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

11. The MAiZE at Little Darby Creek

When: Fridays-Sundays through October 29, 2017
Time: Fridays: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Saturdays: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Sundays: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 8657 Axe Handle Rd., Milford Center, OH 43045
Phone: 937-349-4781

The MAiZE at Little Darby Creek features a huge corn maze plus a cow train, barnyard bouncer, petting zoo, kiddie maze, ball zone, slides, laser tag, pedal carts, kids fun barn, tether ball and more! Hayrides are also available! This weekend includes a costume contest!

12. Fall Festival at Freeman’s Farm

When: Saturday and Sundays through October 29, 2017
Time: Sat: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sun: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 6142 Lewis Center Rd., Galena, OH 43021
Phone: 740-548-7866

The Fall Festival weekends at Freeman’s Farm include hayrides, kettle corn, campfire foods, scarecrow making, a petting zoo and apple butter making! Admission is free, but there is a charge for some activities. See our visit to Freeman’s Farm here!

13. Fall Festival at Hidden Creek Farms

When: Saturdays and Sundays through October 30, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 581 S. Galena Rd., Sunbury, OH 43074
Phone: 740-815-9371

Festival weekends offer hayrides, pumpkin picking, pumpkin painting, fall decorations, food, pony rides, slide, kids play barn, corn pit, farm animals, straw maze, and more!

14. Fall Harvest Weekends at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm

When: Saturdays and Sundays through October 29, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 2920 St. Rt. 203, Radnor, OH 43066
Phone: 740-595-3207

There is a really long list of activities going on throughout all of the weekends now through October at this pumpkin farm in Delaware County! Activities include a corn maze, play barn, barrel rides, pumpkin picking and tons more! Visit the website for pricing and more info! This weekend The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will be visiting on Sunday from 3:00 PM -4:00 PM and the Buckeye Valley Alumni Band will perform at 4:00 PM. Click here to get a coupon for $1 off each admission! This week includes trick-or-treat!

15. Fall Fun Day at Dutch Mill Greenhouse

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 18443 State Route 4, Marysville, OH 43040
Phone: 937-642-0511 Ext 13

This family-friendly event includes free pumpkin decorating for kids, a tour of the Leo Berbee Bulb Warehouse, a food truck and more!

16. Puppy Adoption PARTY at Party Like it’s Your Birthday

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 7227 N. High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: ​614-468-1159

This party includes the opportunity to adopt a plush pup, paint it a house and make it a collar! While you’re there, cuddle with real adoptable puppies!

17. Fall Festival Weekends at Orchard and Company

When: Saturdays and Sundays through October 29, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 7255 US HWY 42 North, Plain City, OH 43064
Phone: 614-873-0510

Fall Festival weekends include apple picking, fishing, hay rides, corn pit, farm animals, barrel train rides, pedal car track, tire climb, zip line, gem mining and more! Read about our Plain City Apple Picking Adventures!

18. Disney Movie Saturday at Westland Area Library

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4740 W Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228
Phone: 614-878-1301

Enjoy a free Disney movie + popcorn! For ages 12 and under.

19. LEGO Club at Grove City Library

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 3959 Broadway, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-875-6716

Kids can work individually or in teams to complete a LEGO challenge! All ages are welcome.

20. Flashlight Cave Tour at Olentangy Indian Caverns

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM
Location: 1779 Home Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-548-7917

Tour the caverns with just a flashlight! Flashlights will be provided for these special tours and children must be at least 8 years old to participate.

21. Fall Fun Day Tram Rides at Blendon Woods Metro Park

When: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Bring the family for a tram ride to see the fall colors, jump in a leaf pile, roast marshmallows and make a craft!

22. Mother & Daughter Jewelry Stamping at Picassos

When: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 1974 N. Mallway Dr., Columbus, OH 43221
Phone: 614-354-1930

Local artist, Leah Doyle, will teach you how to make a cord necklace and charm with a stamped bar pendant. Moms and daughters can make these together at this event! All supplies included for $25. Add a sibling for $10. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

23. Harvest Festival: Family Day at the Orange Johnson House

When: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 956 High St., Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-885-1247

This family-friendly day includes pressing your own cider, tours of the Orange Johnson House, a hands-on area for kids, pioneer games and more!

24. Halloween Events in Columbus

There are several Halloween related events going on this weekend that I’ve left off this list because they are also listed by day on my last post: Halloween Events Around Columbus! So make sure to check that out, too! If you still need more ideas, check out Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals and Columbus Tip Sheet: October.


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ICYMI: 3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Malini Swank

*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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Five on Friday: Fall Farms

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A few weeks ago I published a huge list of Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals around Central Ohio, but for this month’s Five on Friday I’m featuring 5 farms we’ve actually been to! 😉 These 5 farms offer a variety of activities and experiences and we had a great time at all of them!

1. Leeds Farm

  • 8738 Marysville Rd., Ostrander OH 43061, 740-666-2020

Leeds Farm is the ultimate pumpkin farm experience! Corn bins, straw mazes, zip line, hay rides, petting zoo, pedal carts, paint guns, pumpkin jump, everything you could imagine or want is there! Besides the activities, they have a full menu in their cafe including sandwiches, desserts, donuts and apple cider slushies! Don’t miss the kettle corn popping on the back porch!

2. Lynd Fruit Farm

  • 9399 Morse Rd. SW, Pataskala, OH 43062, 740-927-8559

Lynd Fruit Farm has been one of our go-to spots for picking apples since we moved to Columbus almost 10 years ago! Most of my memories there are of being freezing cold! This year we got smart and went apple picking in September to get the Autumn Crisp apples. Warm weather and sweet apples made for a perfect trip! Lynd Fruit Farm also has a corn maze and other farm activities such as barrel train rides, a fun zone, bounce house and wagons rides. Don’t miss the large farm market and huge selection of pumpkins!

3. Orchard & Company

  • 7255 US HWY 42 N., Plain City, OH 43064, 614-873-0510

Orchard and Company offers a picturesque location for apple picking during August and September and weekends in September and October offer Fall Festival activities like wagon rides, a corn pit, hay barn, animals, pedal car track, tire climb, slides, zip lines and more! There is also a cafe and bakery.

4. Freeman’s Farm

  • 6142 Lewis Center Rd., Galena, OH 43021, 740-548-7866

Freeman’s Farm offers a more low-key Fall Festival experience. Activities include hayrides, scarecrow making, petting zoo, kettle corn and a campfire with hotdogs for you to roast yourself. Near the campfire area, you can also purchase chili, chips and beverages for a perfect outdoor lunch! There is no entrance fee to Freeman’s Farm so you can pick and choose the activities you would like to do with individual fees for things like the hayride, feed for the animals and scarecrow making.

5. Branstool Orchards

  • 5895 Johnstown Utica Rd, NE, Utica, Ohio 43080, 740-892-3989

We went to Branstool Orchards for peach picking, but you can also pick your own apples and pumpkins there at the farm, too! Pick a wagon and take the kids out to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin and have a picnic at one of the picnic tables throughout the orchard! Don’t miss the market which is full of local produce and Ohio made foods!

What’s your can’t-miss fall farm?

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ICYMI: Columbus Tip Sheet: October


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