The Go-To Guide: Fall Family Fun

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Trick or Treat at the Conservatory

Editor’s note: For the most up-to-date version of this list, go to

Crisp air, changing leaves and trick-or-treating are just a few of the reasons why autumn is such a fantastic season. And Central Ohio has a lineup of fall events as abundant as pumpkins in mid-October, so there are lots of chances to get outdoors and enjoy it.

We've compiled a roundup featuring some of the most popular and time-tested celebrations for family fun, plus a few of our personal favorites.

Beyond these suggestions, don't forget seasonal staples such as apple and pumpkin picking, playing in the leaves or just admiring the fall foliage. Check out additional events in “The Fam Five” column as well as our Out & About calendar, both in print and online.

To suggest an addition to our list, send an e-mail to

Through Oct. 29

Corn Maze

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays

Lynd Fruit Farm, 9399 Morse Road SW, Pataskala (corn maze is at 9851 Morse Road SW)

Lynd Fruit Farm celebrates fall with a corn maze, a mini maze and family activities including a barrel train, Fun Zone, inflatables and wagon rides. This year's theme is “The Music Maze.” Prices vary based on activities chosen.

Through Oct. 29

Fall Festival

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Hidden Creek Farms, 581 S. Galena Road, Sunbury

Visitors can check out hayrides, games, a kids barn, slides and a straw maze and also get close to some farm animals. Admission is $7, free for ages 2 and younger. Pony rides and pick-your-own pumpkins are available for an extra charge.

Through Oct. 29

Fall Festival

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

The Orchard & Co., 7255 U.S. Route 42, Plain City

This venue offers an assortment of children's activities, including hayrides, a corn pit, barrel train, hay barn and fishing. Admission is $10, free for ages 2 and younger. Some activities have an extra charge.

Through Oct. 29

Leeds Farm Weekends

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (plus Friday, Oct. 13)

Leeds Farm, 8738 State Route 36, Ostrander

During the fall, this family-owned farm opens on weekends for activities such as hayrides, paintball, farm animals, pig races, zip lines and play areas. Admission is $10 adults, $12 children ages 3-18, free for ages 2 and younger. There is an additional charge for some activities.

Through Oct. 29

The Maize at Little Darby Creek

5-10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays

The 16th annual Maize at Little Darby Creek pays tribute to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In addition to the 9-acre corn maze, families can participate in various play areas, ride pedal carts and a barrel train and compete in laser tag. Base admission is $9, free for ages 2 and younger. Additional activities, including pumpkin picking and hayrides, are available for a fee.

Through Oct. 31


10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays

Pigeon Roost Farm, 4413 National Road SW, Hebron

This annual fall event includes numerous play areas, a corn maze, obstacle courses, wagon rides on weekends and farm animals. Admission is $7, free for children younger than 2. There is no charge to enter the pumpkin patch.

Sept. 22-24

Columbus Oktoberfest

5 p.m. to midnight Sept. 22, noon to midnight Sept. 23 and noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 24

Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus

Columbus Oktoberfest will celebrate its 52nd year in 2017. The event features live entertainment, food and beverage vendors and crafters. The Kinderplatz hosts family activities such as arts and crafts and inflatables. A children's parade is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 24. Parking is $10. Admission is free.

Sept. 23

Harvest Fair

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stratford Ecological Center, 3083 Liberty Road, Delaware

This family event is one of Stratford's biggest of the year. Visitors can take a wagon ride, climb on a tractor, go hiking, feed the chickens and get their faces painted. Admission is $5 per person, $15 per family.

Sept. 23 to Oct. 29

Fall Festival

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays

Freeman's Farm, 6142 Lewis Center Road, Galena

The farm opens for six weekends to visitors, who can take a hayride, see scarecrows being made, pet farm animals and, on select days, view apple butter demonstrations. Admission is free; there is a charge for some activities.

Sept. 30


10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Emswiler Farms, 13329 Morse Road SW, Pataskala

The ninth annual Pumpkinpalooza, organized by TWIG of Nationwide Children's Hospital,is a family event with entertainment, games, crafts, bounce houses, face painting and hayrides. Admission is $5 to $8 for ages 3-12; all others are free. Proceeds benefit the hospital's inpatient rehabilitation unit.

Oct. 3-31

Halloween Exhibit

Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus

The Statehouse will host a free exhibition of artifacts related to the 19th century Spiritualism movement.

Oct. 8

Fall Fest

1-5 p.m.

Fancyburg Park, 3375 Kioka Ave., Upper Arlington

Activities at this city event include pumpkin carving, hayrides, apple cider pressing, caramel apple making, inflatables, music and food vendors. The Huffman's Market Chili Cook-off gets underway at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but there is a charge for some activities.

Oct. 17-19

Golden Bear Scare

6:30-7:30 p.m. for elementary-age children, 7:30-9 p.m. for middle schoolers

Smith Nature Park, 1340 Fishinger Road, Upper Arlington

A Scare Ranger leads groups through the woods and explains the history of the “haunted” park, where visitors encounter ghosts, witches and zombies. Admission is free.

Oct. 18-21

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Downtown Circleville

This four-day festival, which started in 1903, is an annual favorite that draws an estimated 400,000 visitors. Activities include plenty of pumpkin-related contests, parades, pageants, rides, music and activities. Specific hours and events had not been announced as of press time. Admission is free.

Oct. 19

Dublin Spooktacular

3-8 p.m.

Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road, Dublin

The city hosts this “fun, not scary” event whose centerpiece is a treat trail for costumed kids. This year's activities include the Turtle Lady, Bug Man, pumpkin carving, crafts and visits from pirates and princesses. Admission is free.

Oct. 20-21, 27-28

Haunted Statehouse Tours

7-9 p.m.

Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus

Conductors with lanterns guide visitors through darkened Statehouse hallways and chambers on this somewhat-spooky tour, recommended for ages 9 and older. This year's theme includes reported paranormal activity in the building. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $12 adults, $6 children 12 and younger. Check the website for tour times and tickets.

Oct. 20-22, 27-29

Boo at the Zoo

5-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Road, Powell

The zoo bills this annual event as a “merry-not-scary” time. Children can dress up and collect candy from treat stations. Other highlights include special shows, hayrides, pumpkin carving and meet-and-greets with Batman, Wonder Woman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Free with zoo admission.

Oct. 21

Autumn Community Bonfire

7-9 p.m.

Village Green Park, 47 Hall St., Powell

Listen to live music while roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, eating doughnut holes and drinking apple cider, courtesy of the Powell Police Department and Liberty Township Fire Department.

Oct. 21

Creepside Festival

1-5 p.m.

Creekside Park & Plaza, 117 Mill St., Gahanna

The city of Gahanna hosts this annual all-ages event, where participants can go trick-or-treating along Mill Street and check out music, activities, games and a haunted trail. The event is free.

Oct. 22

Halloween Pet Parade & Fall Festival

Noon to 3 p.m.

Fenlon Street, Easton Town Center

Shoppers are encouraged to bring their pets for the costume contest and parade. The 18th annual event is free and also offers children's activities.

Oct. 22

Trick or Treat Trail

1-4 p.m.

Deer Haven Park, 4183 Liberty Road, Delaware

Children attending this all-ages event can dress in costume and collect treats from characters along the trail. Visitors also can take a hayride, decorate a pumpkin and vote for their favorite scarecrow. The event is free.

Oct. 28

Candy by the Carload

4-6 p.m.

Powell Municipal Building, 47 Hall St., Powell

Children in costume can go trick-or-treating in the parking lot, where local organizations will pass out treats from decorated booths and car trunks. The event is free.

Oct. 28

Trick or Treat at the Conservatory

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus

Children can decorate a treat bag and visit trick-or-treat stations. The event is included with conservatory admission.

Oct. 30

Haunted Village

6-8 p.m.

Olde Pickerington Village, Center and Columbus streets

This annual family event features hayrides, ghost tours, music, trick-or-treating at Olde Village businesses, a haunted house and food vendors. The event is free.

Halloween events at Ohio's state parks