Fall in Columbus is a beautiful time of year — the leaves on the trees are bright and colorful, the weather is cool and perfect for your favorite sweater, and there are tons of activities to keep you busy.
The Best Fall Activities in Columbus, Ohio
1. Go Apple Picking
Apple picking is one of my favorite things to do in Columbus in the fall! As soon as I am in the orchard, I feel like I’m ready for boots, sweaters, and pumpkins galore.
There are lots of places to pick apples in Columbus. Many locations also have other activities in addition to apple orchards so you can make a whole afternoon out of it.
Here are some great places for apple picking in Columbus:
- Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala
- The Orchard and Company in Plain City
- Cherry Hawk Farm in Marysville
- Branstool Orchards in Utica
2. Visit A Pumpkin Patch
You can’t get more fall than spending an afternoon at a pumpkin patch, and Central Ohio has no shortage of them. There is something amazing about a pumpkin patch in the midwest — the colorful leaves on the trees, drinking apple cider, and enjoying “sweater weather” — it’s all so festive!
Here are a few pumpkin patches to check out this fall in Columbus and surrounding areas:
- Circle S Farms in Grove City
- Leeds Farm in Ostrander
- Lehners Pumpkin Farm in Radnor
- Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala
- Pigeon Roost in Hebron
For a full list of things to do in Columbus at any time of the year, check out my ULTIMATE Guide to Columbus, Ohio.
3. Go On A Columbus Scavenger Hunt
Here’s a unique and fun activity to try out in Columbus — a scavenger hunt. Explore landmarks and hidden gems in downtown Columbus during this walking tour/scavenger hunt. This activity is suitable for up to 10 people in a group and lasts about 2 hours.
Starting point: 233 South Civic Center Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Tickets: Order here
4. Nightlight 614 Movie Series
Enjoy a movie under the stars along with local food trucks, live music, craft beer, and wine. These events are 21+ only and tickets can be purchased here.
- September 14, 2023 – Everything Everywhere All at Once
- September 21, 2023 – Legally Blonde
- September 28, 2023 – Black Panther
- October 12, 2023 – Hocus Pocus
- October 13, 2023 – The Sixth Sense
Location: Genoa Park, next to COSI
5. Check Out COSI’s New Exhibits
COSI has 2 awesome new exhibits opening this fall in Columbus.
Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence: Opens October 14, 2023
Barbie You Can Be Anything: The Experience: Opens October 24, 2023
6. Visit A Columbus Metro Park
The fall season in Columbus comes with some gorgeous days — blue skies and crisp, autumn air. It’s a great time of year to visit one of the 19 metro parks in Columbus! This park system includes more than 230 miles of trails and over 27,700 acres of land across 7 counties.
In addition to activities like hiking and biking, you’ll find special events for the whole family. More information can be found here.
Columbus Metro Park Locations:
- Battelle Darby Creek – Galloway, Ohio
- Blacklick Woods and Blacklick Woods Golf Course – Reynoldsburg, Ohio
- Blendon Woods – Westerville, Ohio
- Chestnut Ridge – Carroll, Ohio
- Clear Creek – Rockbridge, Ohio
- Glacier Ridge – Plain City, Ohio
- Heritage Trail Park – Hilliard, Ohio
- Highbanks – Lewis Center, Ohio
- Homestead – Hilliard, Ohio
- Inniswood Metro Gardens – Westerville, Ohio
- Pickerington Ponds – Canal Winchester, Ohio
- Prarie Oaks – West Jefferson, Ohio
- Quarry Trails – Coming Soon!
- Rocky Fork – Westerville, Ohio
- Scioto Audubon – Columbus, Ohio
- Scioto Grove – Grove City, Ohio
- Sharon Woods – Westerville, Ohio
- Slate Run and Slate Run Historical Farm – Canal Winchester, Ohio
- Three Creeks – Groveport, Ohio
- Walnut Woods – Groveport, Ohio
Explore More: If you want to do some more hiking, take a quick drive to nearby Hocking Hills in Logan, Ohio. You’ll find some of the best hiking and scenery in the state! You can even stay overnight in a private cabin.
7. Do the Short North Gallery Hop
The Gallery Hop is a long-standing Columbus tradition that happens the first Saturday of each month on High St. in the Short North Arts District. You’ll find a mix of gallery exhibitions, street performers, special events, food, drinks, and more. Festivities run from 4-10 p.m.
Fall 2023 Dates:
- September 2, 2023
- October 7, 2023
- November 4, 2023
- December 2, 2023 (Holiday Hop)
8. Explore the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Fall is a great time to visit the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. The weather isn’t too hot or too cold, so a walk around our fantastic zoo will be a delight. You’ll quickly learn why the Columbus Zoo is one of the area’s most popular attractions.
There are lots of special events happening, too. Here is just some of what you’ll find at the Columbus Zoo this fall:
- Rwandan Fete: September 30, 2023
- Zombiezi Bay Horror Park: Weekends from September 22, 2023, through October 29, 2023
- Sensory Friendly Character Meet & Treat: October 1, 2023
- Fall Quiet Hours: October 1, 2022
- Boo at the Zoo: Weekends from October 6, 2023, through October 29, 2023
- Slothvasana – Yoga with Sloths: November 4 and 5, 2023
- Sensory Friendly Light Stroll and Santa Experience: November 14, 2023
- Wildlights Member Night: November 16, 2023
- Wildlights: November 17, 2023, through January 7, 2024
9. Experience Columbus Fashion Week
Yeah, you read that right. Columbus is actually kinda a big deal when it comes to fashion (too bad it wasn’t really this way back when I was a fashion designer!!) Columbus Fashion Week will take place from September 24, 2023, to September 30, 2023.
10. Visit a Comedy Club
The Funny Bone Comedy Club, located in Easton Town Center, is a great place to relax on a cool fall evening. Here is what’s coming up at the Funny Bone in the fall of 2023:
- DC Curry: September 1, 2023
- Todd McComas: September 6, 2023
- And Then We Had Sex Podcast: September 7, 2023
- Christopher Titus: September 8-9, 2023
- Darren “Big Baby” Brand”: September 13, 2023
- Josh Pray: September 14, 2023
- Ali Siddiq: September 15-16, 2023
- Lucas Zelnick: September 17, 2023
- Josh Sneed: September 21, 2023
- Joe “Mr. D” Dombrowski: September 22, 2023
- Trae Crowder: September 23, 2023
- Cody Woods: September 24, 2023
- Megan Gailey: September 26, 2023
- Ed Bassmaster: September 27, 2023
- Bill Bellamy: September 29-30, 2023
- Mike Goodwin: October 1, 2023
- Page 7 and Wizard & The Bruiser: October 4, 2023
- Troy Bond: October 25, 2023
- Nick Mullen: October 6-7, 2023
- Cindy Kaza: October 10, 2023
- My Cousin Tiera: October 11, 2023
- Jeff Leeson: October 12, 2023
- Dusty Slay: October 13-14, 2023
- Ryan Davis: October 15, 2023
- Will Burkart: October 19, 2023
- D.L. Hugley: October 20-24, 2023
- Xxxtreme Comedy Hypnosis with Rich Guzzi: October 24, 2023
- Heather Shaw: October 25, 2023
- Marlon Wayans: October 26-28, 2023
- Morgan Jay: November 1, 2023
- Phil Hanley: November 2, 2023
- Anjelah Johnson: November 3-4, 2023
- Majah Hype: November 5, 2023
- Steve Hofstetter: November 6-7, 2023
- Gary Owen: November 9-12, 2023
- Kevin James Thornton: November 15, 2023
Looking to get away for the day? Check out these great day trips from Columbus — all within a 2-hour drive.
11. Haunted Woods at Shawnee Hills
The Haunted Woods at Shawnee Hills is an almost mile-long walk on a spooky trail through the forest. Admission is $15 per person or $20 per person for front-of-the-line VIP access. All proceeds benefit Adaptive Sports Connection.
Location: 6000 Harriott Drive, Powell, Ohio
Dates: October 2023
12. Jack O’Lantern World
Thousands of custom jack-o’lanterns — including one of the largest in the country weighing in at over 1,000 pounds — will line a 3/4 mile immersive exhibition at Jack O’Lantern World. This family-friendly event would also make a fun and unique date night. Tickets are available here.
Location: Franklin County Fairgrounds | 4051 Northwest Pkwy, Hilliard, Ohio
Dates: September 29, 2023 to October 29, 2023
13. Boo at the Zoo
Boo at the Zoo is an annual Halloween event at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. This family-friendly event is held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings throughout October.
Location: Columbus Zoo | 4850 W. Powell Rd, Powell, Ohio
Dates: October 6 to 8, October 13 to 15, October 20 to 22, October 27 to 29, 2023
Curious about what to do in Columbus this week? Here are some of the best fall festivals and events in Columbus in 2023.
Greek Festival | September 1 to 4, 2023 | Goodale Blvd at High St.
Columbus Caribbean Comminity Day | September 16, 2023 | Franklin County Fairgrounds
Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival | September 4, 2023 | Northam Park
Old Hillardfest Art & Street Fair | Canceled in 2023 | Downtown Hilliard on Main Street
Columbus Oktoberfest | September 8 to 10, 2023 | Ohio Expo Center/Ohio State Fairgrounds
Central Ohio Fall Home Show | September 8 to 10, 2023 | Ohio Expo Center
Hot Times Community Unity | September 8 to 10, 2023 | 51 Douglass Street
Columbus Coffee Festival | September 23 to 24, 2023 | Ohio Village at the Ohio History Connection
Jack O’ Lantern World | September 29 to October 29, 2023 | Franklin County Fairgrounds
Rwandan Fete |Septmeber 30, 2023 | Columbus Zoo
Festival For Good | September 30, 2023 | Grandview Ave. in Columbus
Jack O’Lantern World | September 29, 2023 to October 29, 2023 | Franklin County Fairgrounds
Columbus Fall Brew Fest | October 13, 2023 | Huntington Park
Ohio Gourd Show and Festival | October 6 to 8, 2023 | Delaware County Fairgrounds
Columbus Italian Festival | October 6 to 8, 2023 | 168 E. Lincoln Street, Columbus
Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence | Opens October 14, 2023 | COSI
The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow | October 19 to 23, 2023 | Heritage Park
Barbie You Can Be Anything: The Experience | Opens October 24, 2023 | COSI
Highball Halloween | October 28, 2023 | Short North Arts District
Ohio Made Holiday Market | November 17 to 18, 2023 | Hollywood Casino
If you’re visiting Columbus another time of year, check out my detailed activity and festival guides: