The leaves are changing, that familiar fall chill is starting to return to the air and pumpkin is appearing on menus everywhere. Fall is here, which is an occasion worth celebrating here in Columbus! Fortunately, there are plenty of local events and festivals to look forward to over the next few months.
Whether you’re looking to experience the bountiful autumn harvest, get scared at a horror film festival or peruse a craft fair—you’ll find something on this list worth marking on your calendar. Have fun this season!
September | October | November
Where: Ohio Village
When: September 13-15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Country Living Fair from Stella Shows on Vimeo.
This massive fair showcases hundreds of vendors from more than 25 states selling antiques, vintage items, handcrafted goods, arts, furniture, home decor, clothing, jewelry, specialty foods and so much more. Meet the editors of Country Living Magazine and HGTV superstars, attend seminars and how-tos, see artisan demonstrations, and shop the Harvest & Gourmet Market. There’s no better place or time in Columbus to get inspiration for your home decor!
Where: Lake Snowden, Albany
When: September 13-15, Friday 4 p.m.-Midnight, Saturday 10 a.m.-Midnight & Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is a fun-filled and educational community event that celebrates one of America’s largest native tree fruits: the pawpaw. The annual three-day event highlights the rich history and future possibilities of the pawpaw through delectable foods, fantastic entertainment, unique arts, crafts and local vendors. This year, you can expect a full lineup of presentations and activities that will provide fun for your whole family, including a Best Pawpaw Competition, a Pawpaw Cook-off, a Pawpaw Eating Contest and much more.
Where: Downtown Hilliard
When: September 14, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
This street fair takes place in Downtown Hilliard on Main Street each fall, usually the second Saturday in September. Throughout the day, you can peruse vendors from all over the area, including local businesses, organizations and artists. After you’ve shopped your heart out, you can enjoy some live music, great food, games, a sunflower show, a car show, kids’ fair and much more.
Where: Downtown Washington Court House
When: September 20-22, Times TBA
Welcome autumn in style at this annual festival in Downtown Washington Court House! The family-friendly weekend will be full of live music, delicious food, rides, games, craft vendors, a 5K walk and run, classic cars and so much more. Make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what the full lineup of activities will be!
Where: The Stratford Ecological Center, Delaware
When: September 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Harvest Fair is the Stratford Ecological Center’s biggest event of the year, featuring plenty of tractors, farm animals, a horse-drawn wagon and so much more! Don’t forget to bring the best of your bounty, which you can display to the rest of the fair, and some good walking shoes so you can traverse the nearby hiking trails while you’re there. Tickets are $5 per person and children under the age of 3 are free.
Where: Emswiler Farm, Pataskala
When: September 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Presented by TWIG of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Pataskala’s annual Pumpkinpalooza is a can’t-miss event this season. This year, enjoy exploring a huge barn full of food and activities; pick out a perfect pumpkin from the pumpkin patch; take a hayride around the farm; and bounce around in a bounce house—the possibilities are endless! You can purchase advance tickets on their website. All proceeds will benefit the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Where: Lawrence Orchards, Marion
When: September 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Lawrence Orchards
This old-fashioned autumn event gives you and your whole family the chance to explore Lawrence Orchards, a local institution since 1921. Explore the orchard on a horse-drawn carriage, let the kiddos ride a pony, traverse the hay maze, take a train ride and, of course, eat a lot of apples! The event will feature plenty of fresh apples, caramel apple bars, apple pie and homemade apple cider that you’ll want to take home gallons of.
Where: Young’s Jersey Dairy, Yellow Springs
When: October 5-6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Celebrate the fall season at Young’s Jersey Dairy this year with the Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival! There you’ll be able to take your picture with Humongous Gus; taste freshly made pumpkin donut holes; take a tour of their cheese making facility; and go pumpkin bowling. This event is entirely free, so bring the whole family out to have some autumn fun!
Where: German Village Meeting Haus
When: October 12, 7-11:30 p.m.
This annual event at the Historic German Village offers endless Halloween fun for kids-at-heart. The festivities start with an adult trick-or-treating route at 7 p.m., followed by dancing and drinks at the Meeting Haus at 9:30 p.m. There will be a photo booth, dancing and a costume contest, so come dressed in your Halloween finest! You can even grab a s’more and try a delicious concoction from Middle West Spirits.
Where: Oakland Nursery, Dublin
When: October 12-13, 12-4 p.m.
Come celebrate all things autumn at this family-friendly festival! There will be tractor-pulled hayrides, make n’ take crafts, a pumpkin bounce house, apple cider pressing, a giant pumpkin carving demo and much more—all of the ingredients needed for a perfect fall fest.
Where: The Drexel Theater
When: October 12-13, Noon-Noon
Sharpen your wooden stakes and stock up on silver bullets because Columbus’s terror tradition is back to haunt your nightmares! This 24-hour horror marathon is held at the Drexel Theater and will feature a lineup of several terrifying films. In addition to watching a few movies, you’ll also have the chance to meet Michael Gornick, the legendary director of photography for Creepshow, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Knightriders and Martin!
Where: Ohio Village
When: October 12 & 19, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of 1890s-style fun at the historic Ohio Village. All Hallows’ Eve will feature a retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by the bonfire, pumpkin carving and strange characters roaming the village. Revel in old-fashioned entertainment for all ages, including fortune telling, crafts, games and more!
Where: East Franklin Street, Circleville
When: October 14-19, Times Vary
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Any Ohioan will tell you, fall means the Circleville Pumpkin Show! The 113th Circleville Pumpkin Show is just south of Columbus and attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year. Check out the parades, rides, entertainment and every kind of pumpkin-flavored treat that you can think of. Be sure to stop by and see the largest pumpkin pie, measuring at 14 feet in diameter, along with all of the massive pumpkins on display around East Franklin Street!
Where: The Ohio Statehouse
When: October 18-19 & 25-26, 7-9 p.m.
See the iconic Ohio Statehouse from a different perspective this Halloween season as you embark on a haunted tour of the building—if you dare! Combine history and legend in this special family-friendly haunted tour, which travels through dimly lit limestone corridors by lantern. This spooky tour features recently found evidence of paranormal activity and is most appropriate for children ages 9 and up. Purchase your tickets for this unique historic tour with a Halloween twist!
Where: The Columbus Zoo
When: Weekends October 11-27, Fridays 5-9 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m. & Sundays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
This “merry-not-scary” Halloween event is a must for little ones of all ages! Go on a trick-or-treating adventure at the Columbus Zoo on the weekends leading up to Halloween, stopping by various treat stations scattered throughout the zoo. Make sure you catch the animals smashing pumpkins, which is a favorite amongst guests each year! Admission to Boo at the Zoo is included with your membership or paid admission to the zoo.
Where: Easton Town Center
When: October 20, 12-3 p.m.
Make sure your fur baby isn’t left out of the fall fun! Dress your dog in their best costume and head to Easton Town Center for a special Halloween Pet Parade and Fall Festival. Costumes will be judged and awards are given based on a number of categories, including Best Group, Best Duo, Cutest, Funniest, Most Creative and Scariest. Free registration begins at noon and the parade kicks off at 2 p.m.!
Where: Short North, Columbus
When: October 11-12, Times TBD
Head to the vibrant Short North Arts District for a Halloween party unlike any other! HighBall Halloween is considered one of the nation’s most elaborate costume parties, bridging runway style with the culture of this lively area. This festive weekend attracts over 40,000 costumed participants in a celebration of costumes and creativity. The party is taking place along High Street between Goodale Street and Nationwide Boulevard.
Where: Creekside Park & Plaza, Gahanna
When: October 19, 11 a.m-3 p.m.
Don’t miss the annual Creepside Festival two Saturdays before Halloween! This event is free and appropriate for all ages with a number of kid-friendly activities, including live music, games, a haunted trail, escape rooms, character interactions, pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating with local organizations, and more. Head to Creekside Park & Plaza in Gahanna for this exciting community event!
Where: Hollywood Casino Columbus
When: November 15-16, Friday 6-10 p.m. & Saturday 12-7 p.m.
Kick-off your holiday shopping spree at one of the most popular craft fairs of the year! At the annual Ohio Made Holiday Market, over 80 vendors will be selling handcrafted, artisan goods as well as an assortment of wonderful gifts. VIP ticket holders will gain early access the market along with exclusive deals, drink specials and a raffle! You can purchase a ticket, and learn more about the participating vendors, here.
Where: 333 West Broad Street
When: November 30, 8:30 a.m.
Give back to a cause you care about and get a free doughnut while you’re at it! Don’t miss the Columbus Hungry Turkey 5K a 10K, a running and walking event that takes place in the streets of downtown Columbus. All proceeds go towards supporting the Humane Society of Delaware County. And if that wasn’t enough to get you to join in—a few famous Buckeye Donuts will be waiting for you at the finish line!
What about you?
Let us know how you plan to celebrate the season in the comments!