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The Ultimate Fall Bucket List for Families in Columbus

Columbus is hopping in the fall from apple picking to pumpkins, fall festivals, Buckeye fever, and more.

It’s a great season to live or visit Central Ohio, especially for families. Use this fall bucket list as you make your plans the next few months – you will not want to miss these events.

Apple Picking

Apple Picking is a classic for fall. Apple picking is fun while doing it and at home while making homemade applesauce, apple pie, and more.  To make your apple picking experience even more enjoyable remember to pack the following; closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, and snacks.

Cherryhawk Apple Orchard (check the website daily for hours)

Branstool Orchards (Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4pm)

Lynd’s Fruit Farm  (weekends 9am-6pm weather permitting)

Nature Walk


Go outside and enjoy a Nature Walk! Highbanks Metro Park, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, and Slate Run Metro Park are all great options for this.  Look and collect the different types of leaves, hunt for animal tracks and guess which animal was here before you, see if you can find pine cones, ant hills, birds nests, worms, and more on your nature walk.  You could even make it a scavenger hunt with an ice cream treat at the end.

Fall Festivals


Enjoy a Fall Festival – We did a whole post on fall festivals here at Columbus Navigator but a few quick ones worth pointing out…

Harvest Fair at the Columbus Commons on September 29 – this festival is always a hit complete with hayrides, pumpkins, animals, food, and more.  

Chalk the Block at Easton Town Center, September 29,30. This two-day event features artists from all over decorating the Town Square at Easton.  Watch as they develop their masterpiece, listen to live music, and enjoy the many food options Easton has to offer.

Old Hilliard Haunt – October 20 from 9:30am-noon I’m a fan of Hilliard and the events put on for the community.  The Old Hilliard Haunt is a newer event but never disappoints. Year after year they bring quality entertainment to the community and encourage citizens of neighboring communities to join in on the fun.  

The Columbus Italian Festival October 5th-7th This one is a Columbus staple for sure.  Experience the Taste of Italy, Parade, Bocce Ball Competition, Kids Activities, and so much more. I mean, I go just for the food!

Creepside – October 27, 2018 11am-3pm. In my opinion, this is the best Halloween event around town for families. Creepside is well organized, fun, and the crowd control is on point.  Kids can dress up in their costumes while trick or treating with local businesses. In addition to the candy there is also live music, inflatables, face painting, pumpkin painting and food for purchase.  

Celebrate Fire Prevention Week by visiting a local firehouse.  On October 13th, every firehouse in Franklin County will be hosting an open house from 10am-2pm. They will have different activities, coloring books, and of course the heroes themselves on standby to answer questions, visit, and take photos with the community.

Visit a Corn Maze


The Maize at Little Darby Creek is the perfect place to check this activity off the list.  Every year the theme changes and the 2018 theme is ‘Let’s Celebrate Heroes’.

They are open Friday 5pm-10pm Saturday noon-10pm and Sunday noon-6pm

Base admission for ages 3-69 is $9.50

Ages 60+ $4.50

2 and under – FREE

More info can be found on their website.

Fall Farms


Leeds Farm, Lynd’s, Pigeon Roost, Jacquemin Farms, and Lehner’s are all great fall farms that offer pumpkin picking as well as hayrides, corn boxes, small rides, and more.

Visit Hocking Hills

Take a drive to see the fall colors. We love you so much we made it easy to know which routes to take. Use this guide to help you know which direction to go and pay attention to the fall foliage guide to see when the leaves will be changing. 

via Odot/Flickr

Other Fun Stuff…


Visit the Columbus Zoo for Boo at the Zoo, Fall Fest or Cartoon weekend

Trick or Treat at the Franklin Park Conservatory.  They also have an extensive events calendar so be sure to check out other events that may interest you – like the glass blowing, Herbology, and more.  

Watch the Buckeyes and make buckeyes! I love using this time of year to make one of my favorite treats.  Is there anything better than the chocolate/peanut butter combo that is a Buckeye?

Run a 5K! This is perfect weather for running.  Some of the fun ones I recommend in the fall are the Donut Run, OSU 4 Miler, Run Like a Girl, Safari 5K + Frog Jog at the Zoo, and of course the Columbus Marathon.  These all have fun runs for kids so it’s the perfect activity for the whole family.

Paint Pumpkins

Jump in a Pile of Leaves

Make Caramel Apples (or just eat one because making them is a lot of work) 

Get family photos taken. The change in the leaves, the autumn colors, and the cool air makes for the perfect time to have family photos taken.

Take a bike ride

Have a cook-off with friends – chili, soups, comfort food…all of it.  

Have a backyard camp out – or if you’re like me send your husband and kids to the backyard and enjoy the house to yourself.

Make a pine cone bird feeder.  This one can get messy so make sure to head outside with a jar of peanut butter, bird seed, and pine cones.  The directions are easy: Step 1 – Coat the pinecone in peanut butter Step 2 – Dip pinecone in birdseed Step 3 – add string and hang up outside (preferably by a window) for the birds to enjoy.  Step 4 – Watch from your window as the birds enjoy the treat you made them

Now get out there and enjoy the season!

via GIPHY


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