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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?

There are so many things that can only be done during the fall season and we love to take advantage of as many as we can! From pumpkin farms, to marching bands to model trains, 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!

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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 THREE weekends in October this year! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has added an additional weekend for 2019! The weekends in October are the 11-13th, 18th – 20th, and the 25th – 27th. 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! 🙂

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8. See Model Railroads at COSI

Mark your calendars for Model Railroad Days at COSI (Dates are not yet published for 2019.) 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!

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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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What Should We Do This Weekend? Sept 30-Oct 2, 2016

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If last weekend was the weekend of the fall festival, then this weekend officially begins pumpkin season! I got so excited just typing up this list! I love these fall activities and wish we could visit every pumpkin farm! So many hay rides, so little time! 😉 Happy Weekend!

1. Westgate Farmer’s Market

When: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: West Gate Masonic Lodge, 2925 West Broad Street, Columbus OH 43024

This Saturday’s market will feature one-day-only, fun flavors from Impossible Jams and Alice’s Aebelskabel’s and Pitabilities are the food trucks that will be featured! Also, Scott Brooks and his Trio of One will provide live music!

2. Ghost Story Writing Workshop at Whetstone Library

When: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 3909 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214
Phone: 614-645-2275

This event is specifically for kids in grades 4-6! The Thurber House will be hosting this writing workshop encouraging young writers to write spooky tales! They will also be telling the Thurber ghost story and helping young writers hone their craft! You must register by THURSDAY (9/29/16)!

3. Archaeology Day at Ohio History Center

When: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH 43211
Phone: 800-686-6124

This day is host to several educational sessions and events about archaeology, history, and art as well as hands on activities like creating a mural, making replicas of American Indian pottery, hands-on archaeology Fascination Stations, spear throwing demonstrations and more! See what else there is to do at the Ohio History Center here!

4. Hands on Heritage at Rocky River Nature Center

When: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 24000 Valley Pkwy., North Olmsted, OH 44070
Phone: 440-734-6660

If you’re looking for a road trip this weekend, the Cleveland Metroparks is hosting this free festival celebrating traditional handicrafts! Free activities include rug braiding, butter churning, cider pressing, pioneer toys, candle making and more! There will be a live folk music performance and other activities are scheduled throughout the day, see the website for more details!

5. Haunted Greenhouse Maze at deMonye’s Greenhouse, Inc.

When: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: Saturday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 2500 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-252-6046

This is a kid-friendly haunted maze recommended for ages 3-14 and is actually open the whole month of October! Kids get to pick a pumpkin, plant a pansy and make a witch’s hand with popcorn! Cost is $8 per child. See more details here or click on the link under the event on this page to see pictures of what to expect!

6. Fall Festival at Freeman’s Farm

When: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 6142 Lewis Center Rd., Galena, OH 43021
Phone: 740-548-7866

This weekend, and all the weekends in October, there will be 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.

7. Fall Festival at Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm

When: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Location: 2920 St. Rt. 203, Radnor, Ohio 43066
Phone: 740-595.3207

There is a really long list of activities going on throughout all of the weekends in October at this pumpkin farm in Delaware County! There will also be food, free hayrides from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and pumpkin picking! Admission is free but some activities have a cost. An all day activity band is $9.

8. Fall Festival at Young’s Jersey Dairy

When: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Phone: 937-325-0629

This year is the 40th Annual Fall Festival! Enjoy activities like making pumpkin holes and caramel apples, cow milking demonstrations, Cowvin’s Corny Maze and more!

9. Pumpkin Festival at the MAiZE at Little Darby Creek

When: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2016
Time: Saturday: 12:00 PM – Movie begins at 8:00 PM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 8657 Axehandle Rd., Milford Center, OH 43045

Besides the corn maze, this weekend there will be pony rides, balloon sculptures, face painting and the movie It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown will be shown on Saturday night!

10. Giant Pumpkin Carving at Leeds Farm

When: Sunday, October 2, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 8738 Marysville Rd., Ostrander, OH 43061
Phone: 740-666-2020

Leeds Farm offers fall fun every weekend throughout October, but this Sunday only there is a giant pumpkin carving! Visit the farm all weekend to see animals, pick pumpkins, zip line, take a hayride, go down mountain slides, ride pedal tractors and so much more!

11. Canta Brasil at the Harrison West Jazz Stage

When: Sunday, October 2, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: 575 W 1st Ave, Columbus, OH 43201

This is the final jazz concert of the season featuring a Brazilian jazz band! The Aromaku food truck will be onsite as well as J-Pops popsicles! This concert takes place in Harrison West Park where the playground is great for toddlers!

12. Old Time Harvest Day at Century Village

When: Sunday, October 2, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Fryer Park, 4185 Orders Rd., Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: 614-277-3050

Take part in mid-19th-century traditions like churning butter, leather tooling, rope weaving and blacksmithing! Visit the one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, general store and more on the property! There will also be actors in costume, demonstrating traditional music and cooking! This is a free event (also at another great park for toddlers)!

*Looking for more fall fun? You may want to check out these posts from Columbus Moms Blog: Family-Friendly Fall Festivals in Columbus, Columbus U-Pick Apple Orchards and Central Ohio Pumpkin Patches!

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*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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