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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!

smith-farm-market

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

boo-at-the-zoo

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! 🙂

columbus parks

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!

Huntington Train

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

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


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Ohio Road Trip: Springfield

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Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Ohio, Springfield makes an easy day trip or a fun weekend trip for families!

Thanks to Greater Springfield Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for partnering with us on this post.

In mid-June my family took a trip to Springfield, Ohio to discover some new family-friendly activities and explore a city that was new to us! We were pleasantly surprised to find that Springfield is only 45 minutes from Columbus, which makes this trip an easy day trip or an overnight trip where you won’t spend a huge chunk of your time driving!

Here are 6 things to do with your kids in Springfield, Ohio plus where to eat and where to stay during your trip!

Family Friendly Things to do in Springfield, Ohio:

1. Champion City Guide and Supply

137 E Main St.

Coffee Cup at Champion City Guide and Supply

Champion City Guide and Supply is a combination of local victor’s bureau and shop for local goods. Its modern design makes you want to hang out and learn more about the Champion City. Springfield is called the Champion City as a reference to the Champion Farm Equipment brand once manufactured there. It’s a great first stop where you can pick up some info on the city and any t-shirts or locally made goods you may want to take home!

2. Hartman Rock Garden

1905 Russell Ave.

Hartman Rock Garden

Hartman Rock Garden

If you’re in Springfield, Hartman Rock Garden is a definite can’t miss! It’s smaller than I expected, but there’s still so much to see! There are carefully curated Biblical scenes, events in history, small villages and more! The garden began as a resident’s private work of art and it is set in the middle of a regular neighborhood.

Hartman Rock Garden

The garden is open from dawn to dusk, daily, and is free to enter. Donations are accepted at a donation box on the property.

3. Springfield Farmer’s Market

117 S. Fountain Ave.

Springfield Farmers Market

Springfield Farmers Market

The Springfield Farmers Market takes place in the open space adjacent to the Heritage Center in downtown Springfield. There are 35 vendors offering fresh flowers, produce, baked goods, coffee, tea, eggs, meat and more! . When we were there we grabbed an ice tea from Just Organic Tea, an egg sandwich from Whitters Wings. and finished off breakfast with a pastry from Blue Oven Bakery!

Egg sandwich outside Springfield Farmers Market

The market is open Saturdays, June through September from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

4. Springfield Museum of Art

107 Cliff Park Rd.

Outside of Springfield Museum of Art

Boys drawing on chalkboard at Springfield Museum of Art

The Springfield Museum of Art is a fun, kid-friendly spot. The museum houses a few permanent artists and a few changing exhibits as well. There is a kid’s art-lab that offers hands on, artistic activities for kids. When we were there, kids could cut and paste buttons and ribbons on a community art piece, draw their own masterpieces, complete portraits of famous people and trace art work that was on display in the museum using an overhead projector.

Boy working on artwork at Springfield Museum of Art

Admission is $5 for adults, children are free.

5. Snyder Park

1900 Park St.

Playground at Snyder Park in Springfield, Ohio

If you’re looking for a spot for the kids to get out some extra energy before bedtime or the car ride home, Snyder Park is a great playground and park area! Within the park you will find the Springfield Rotary Centennial Playground and Bethie’s Sprayground. Both the playground and sprayground are ADA compliant and accessible to all children!

Playground at Snyder Park in Springfield Ohio

6. Ohio Caverns

2210 E. State Route 245, West Liberty

Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns is about 40 minutes north of Springfield and 1 hour from Columbus. Ohio Caverns can be a day trip on it’s own! We headed to Ohio Caverns on Saturday afternoon after spending Friday night in Springfield and came home to Columbus from there.

Inside Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns is the largest of all the caves in Ohio. There are several tour options available to see the caverns. My family took the Natural Wonder Tour which took about an hour. Afterwards we did gem mining! The caverns are so fascinating! It is just amazing to me what is hidden below our sight that we may never know about!

Boys gem mining at Ohio Caverns

Where to Eat in Springfield, Ohio

1. Seasons Bistro and Grille

28 S. Limestone St.

Seasons Bistro and Grille in Springfield Ohio

Boy eating grilled cheese at Seasons Bistro in Springfield, Ohio

A mid to upscale dining option for families. There are kids meals available and dress is business casual.

2. Winans Coffee and Chocolates

32 N. Fountain Ave.

Inside Winans Coffee shop in Springfield, Ohio

Inside Winans Coffee Shop in Springfield, Ohio

A great stop for coffee and chocolates. There are Winans locations around Columbus, of course, but this has to be one of the coolest!

3. Mike and Rosy’s Deli

330 W. McCreight Ave.

Deli Counter at Mike & Rosy's Deli in Springfield, Ohio

Boy seated in booth at Mike and Rosy's Deli in Springfield, Ohio

An authentic mom and pop deli and sports bar. My kids loved all the sports memorabilia on the walls!

4. Snow Cove

117 S. Fountain Ave.

Boys eating ice cream at Snow Cove in Springfield, Ohio

If you’re looking for a cold, sweet treat to cap off an evening or to cool off on a hot afternoon, try out the Snow Cove, which is  in the same area as the weekly farmer’s market. Offerings include hand dipped ice cream and shaved ice!

Ice cream at Snow Cove in Springfield Ohio

Where to Stay in Springfield, Ohio

Courtyard Marriott Springfield

100 S. Fountain Ave.

Fountain outside Courtyard Marriott in Springfield, Ohio

My family was hosted at the Courtyard Marriot in Springfield. It was a great location! Many of the activities listed here are walkable from the hotel and it is directly across the street from the farmers market! There is an indoor pool and fitness center and a restaurant on site!

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Just 45 minutes from Columbus, Springfield, Ohio makes an easy day trip or overnight road trip! In this post you will find 6 family friendly things to do in Springfield, Ohio plus where to eat and sleep!

 

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Easterseals Recommended Accessible Parks, Playgrounds and Trails in Central Ohio and Surrounding Area

ICYMI: Easterseals Recommended Accessible Parks, Playgrounds and Trails in Central Ohio and Surrounding Area

 


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Fun for the Whole Family at EnterTRAINment Junction

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EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester, Ohio makes an awesome day trip or weekend get away for Columbus families!

This post is written in partnership with Visit Butler County!

If anyone in your family loves trains, EnterTRAINment Junction should be on your list of road trips this summer! What a fun place to explore!

EnterTRAINment Junction

model train

First of all, the model railroad display is amazing – in fact it is the world’s largest train display! The trains run on 2 miles of track and takes a journey through the history of railroads. Beginning in the 1860’s, the display takes viewers through the Civil War, into the Middle Period in the 1940’s and 50’s and into the Modern Period including subways!

kids looking at a model train

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

The display is so lifelike, it’s almost like you could step right into the city and walk the streets and wait for the subway.

Model Train

Model Train

kids watching a model train

This isn’t just for little kids. My kids loved this display, of course, but my husband loved it too! It’s a display that I believe has something for all ages!

model train display at EnterTRAINment Junction

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

Upstairs, there is a separate model depicting Cincinnati’s Coney Island Amusement Park in it’s glory days (1965)! This is a 1000 foot, handmade replica that includes a roller coaster, ferris wheel, haunted house, arcade games and more! There are also interactive portions of the exhibits! You can press buttons on the exhibit that make the rides move, buildings light up and more!

Coney Island display at EnterTRAINment Junction

Coney Island display at EnterTRAINment Junction

You can’t miss Imagination Junction, a play area for kids! There is a large climbing structure, small model train displays, a train to ride on and an area for toddlers to play, too! Socks are required to play here and are available for purchase if you forget!

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Toddler play area at EnterTRAINment Junction.

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

There are also two outdoor rides that are available Memorial Day through Labor Day. We didn’t get to experience these but friends have told me this was the best part!

Also inside EnterTRAINment Junction is the A-Maze-N Funhouse which resembles a circus midway. (Admission to this exhibit is separate.) There are various exhibits to enter and experience! Some of the exhibits were a little too stimulating for my kids, but they liked running through the mirror maze!

hall of mirrors at EnterTRAINment Junction

A-Maze-N Fun House at EnterTRAINment Junction

Last, but not least (certainly for my kids), were the amazing toy and gift shops! Honestly, I had to drag my kids out of the toy store to go see the exhibits! haha! There is a huge LEGO section, so I don’t think I need to explain myself! 😉

toy store at EnterTRAINment Junction

Toy store at EnterTRAINment Junction

We try to pick out a new Christmas ornament every year when we go on vacation. Our 2018 ornament will be from EnterTRAINment Junction! 🙂 Get your souvenirs in the gift shop and almost any toy you can imagine in the toy store!

There is also a cafe on site and the space is available for birthday parties!

lobby at EnterTRAINment Junction  Cafe at EnterTRAINment Junction

This attraction is well worth the drive! We’ve had this one on our list for a long time and I’m so glad we finally did it! We spent about 2 hours here and the kids probably could have played longer in the play area if I had let them! But either way, that means you still have time for the Butler County Donut Trail!

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat before or after visiting EnterTRAINment Junction, check out Bagger Dave’s, which is close by! They have lots of Kids Meals to choose from and the restaurant is very family-friendly!

hamburger at Bagger Dave's

 

Know Before You Go:

7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, OH 45069
513-898-8000
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

  • EnterTRAINment Junction is running a special April 2nd through May 25th, 2018 where if you buy one Do-It-All ticket you will get a return visit for free! Get it All tickets are currently $14.95
  • In addition to your admission ticket ($13.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids 3-12), the outdoor rides are $3 and the Funhouse is $9.95. Check the website for group rates, senior pricing and other upgrades! Kids 2 and under are free.

EnterTRAINment Junction

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