The Go-To Guide: Fall Family Fun in Central Ohio

Jim Fischer
Columbus Parent
Lehner's Pumpkin Farm

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

There's no need to go out of your gourd looking for fall activities to do with your family, nor be haunted by what to do (besides trick-or-treating, of course) for Halloween.

Central Ohio has a veritable cornucopia of events to get your crew outdoors in this most beautiful time of the year.

Here's a roundup featuring some of the most popular and time-tested celebrations for family fun, plus a few of our personal favorites. (Of course, hikes to admire the fall foliage and playing in the leaves are highly worthwhile, too.)

Check out additional seasonal activities in “Event Spotlight,” “The Fam Five” and our “Out & About” calendar, in print and online at

To suggest an addition to our list, send an email to

Through Oct. 28

Freeman's Farm

6142 Lewis Center Road, Galena;

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

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

Through Oct. 28

Hidden Creek Farms

581 S. Galena Road, Sunbury;

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

Visitors to Hidden Creek's Fall Festival can check out hayrides, games, a kids play barn, slides, a corn cannon and a straw maze. Families also can meet 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. 28

Leeds Farm

Leeds Farm, 8738 State Route 36, Ostrander;

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (plus Friday, Oct. 19)

This family-owned farm opens on fall weekends for activities such as hayrides, paintball, farm animals, pig races, zip lines and farm-themed 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. 28

Lehner's Pumpkin Farm

2920 State Route 203, Radnor;

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (and Friday, Oct. 19)

Pumpkins are the order of the day, but fall also brings a corn maze, tire pyramid, barnyard golf and more. All activities are included in the price of admission, which is $9, free for ages 2 and younger.

Through Oct. 28

Lynd Fruit Farm

9399 Morse Road SW, Pataskala (corn maze is at 9851 Morse Road SW);

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

While hardly in a galaxy far, far away, Lynd Fruit Farm celebrates fall this year with a “Corn Wars” maze. Other activities include a barrel train, Fun Zone, inflatables and wagon rides. All this is in addition to Lynd's ongoing “pick your own” fruit and a seasonal pumpkin patch. Prices are based on activities chosen.

Through Oct. 28

The Maize at Little Darby Creek

8657 Axe Handle Road, Milford Center;

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

Celebrating heroes of all kinds, from superheroes to first responders, the 17th annual Maize at Little Darby Creek is a longtime Union County fall fun spot. In addition to the 9-acre corn maze, activities include a ball zone, a pumpkin blaster and 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. 28

Miller's Country Gardens

2488 State Route 37 W., Delaware;

9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

A pumpkin patch, hayrides and a corn maze are part of the fall fun at this family farm operation. Admission is free.

Through Oct. 28

The Orchard & Co.

7255 U.S. Route 42, Plain City;

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

The annual Fall Festival features a host of activities, includingwagon rides, a corn pit, pedal cars andahay barn. Admission is $10, free for ages 2 and younger. Some activities have an extra charge.

Through Oct. 31

Pigeon Roost Farm

4413 National Road SW, Hebron;

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

PumpkinFest returns to Pigeon Roost with its numerous play areas, a corn maze, obstacle courses, farm animals and wagon rides on weekends. Admission is $8, free for children younger than 2. There is no charge to enter the pumpkin patch.

Oct. 14

Upper Arlington Fall Fest

Fancyburg Park, 3375 Kioka Ave., Upper Arlington;

1-5 p.m.

Activities at this city event include pumpkin carving, hayrides, apple cider pressing, a petting zoo, inflatables, live music and food vendors. New this year is a doughnut-eating contest sponsored by Duck Donuts. Admission is free, but there is a charge for some activities.

Oct. 16-18

Golden Bear Scare

Smith Nature Park, 1340 Fishinger Road, Upper Arlington;

6:30-9 p.m.

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. 17-20

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Downtown Circleville;

One of Ohio's greatest fall traditions, this four-day festival, which started in 1903, draws an estimated 400,000 visitors. Activities include plenty of pumpkin-related contests, parades, pageants, rides, live music and more. Admission is free.

Oct. 18

Dublin Spooktacular

Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road, Dublin;

3-8 p.m.

This annual family event is sponsored by the city of Dublin. Come in costume for all sorts of fall festivities, including hayrides, a Haunted Trail, the Turtle Lady and the Bug Man. Local children's band The Shazzbots will perform. Admission is free. Tickets are required for the Trunk or Treat Trail in Coffman Park.

Oct. 19-21, 26-28

Boo at the Zoo

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Road, Powell;

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

The zoo bills this annual event as a “merry-not-scary” time. The venue itself also “dresses up” for the holiday, and this year welcomes some of your kids' favorite superheroes. Other highlights include special shows, hayrides and pumpkin carving. Children can dress up and collect candy from treat stations. Free with zoo admission.

Oct. 19-27

Haunted Statehouse Tours

Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus;

7-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Meet figures from the past as you follow conductors with lanterns through the darkened hallways and chambers of the Statehouse.This historical tour is spooky but appropriate for all members of the family.Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $12 adults, $6 children 12 and younger.

Oct. 20

Autumn Community Bonfire

Village Green Park, 47 Hall St., Powell;

6-8 p.m.

Nosh on hot dogs and roasted marshmallows, courtesy of the Powell Police Department and Liberty Township Fire Department.

Oct. 21

Halloween Pet Parade & Fall Festival

Fenlon Square, Easton;

Noon to 3 p.m.

Bring your pet—in costume—for this annual kid-friendly event. In addition to a costume contest and pet parade, children's activities are planned. The event is free.

Oct. 21

Trick or Treat Trail

Gallant Woods Park, 2151 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware;

1-4 p.m.

Children attending this free, 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.

Oct. 27

Candy by the Carload

Powell Municipal Building, 47 Hall St., Powell;

4-6 p.m.

Local businesses and organizations set up booths and car trunks filled with candy, toys and other Halloween goodies for costumed children at this free annual event.

Oct. 27

Creepside Festival

Creekside Park & Plaza, 117 Mill St., Gahanna;

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The city of Gahanna's annual all-ages event allows participants to go trick-or-treating along Mill Street. A Dino Exploration, inflatables and a Not-So-Scary Trail are also featured at this free event.

Oct. 27-28

Trick or Treat at the Conservatory

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

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Children can wear their costumes and visit indoor and outdoor trick-or-treat stations. The event, which is expanded to two days this year, is included with conservatory admission. While you're there, check out the annual Harvest Blooms display, which runs through Oct. 28.

Oct. 30

Pickerington Haunted Village

Olde Pickerington Village, Center and Columbus streets;

6-8 p.m.

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