The Best Fall Events in Ohio to Get Involved in to Get Ready for Spooky Season

When the air cools down and the leaves start to change, there are lots of wonderful activities to do around the state!

Fall Truck

By

Sara Nuss

on

Jan 21, 2021

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Main image courtesy of Youngstown Live.

While we love all of the seasons, there is certainly a special place in our hearts for fall. There’s something wonderful about living in the northeastern part of the US and getting the only true fall season in the country. Leaves change to brilliant colors, temperatures cool, and fair and festival season slowly comes to a close while everyone takes a breather before the holiday seasons start. Some of our favorite fall things?

Pumpkins!

Fairs and Festivals!

Natural Scenery!

Fall food!

You know what state has all of these things? Ohio. Ohio is full of fun activities for families and people of all ages during this time of year, and here are just a few highlights we’ve picked out for you!

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Cincinnati

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Enjoy something new when it comes to fall festivals by checking out a renaissance fair!

Ohio Renassiance Festival
Do you love history and dressing up? Check out the Ohio Renaissance Festival on their themed weekends in October. Image courtesy of Instagram. 

10542 East State | Waynesville | renfestival.com

Are you a history buff? Do you enjoy wearing costumes? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at archery, axe throwing, or vegetable throwing? Or perhaps you’d prefer to browse over a hundred shops of handmade items before watching a joust. 

Whatever you prefer, the Ohio Renaissance Festival has something for you and all of your friends and family. With live entertainment, games, rides, food, crafts, and more, you have all of the classic fair amenities with the added fun of a historical setting! 

There are themed weekends, including Viking Weekend, Romance Weekend, Feast of Fools Weekend, and Tricks or Treats Weekends. The last three weekends of the event are themed as follows:

  • October 9-10: Viking weekend
  • October 16-17: Romance weekend
  • October 23-24: Feast of Fools weekend
  • October 30-31: Tricks or Treats weekend

Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

Do you love sauerkraut more than anything? If so, make sure to check out a whole festival for it!

Sauerkraut Festival
Try out some of the best sauerkraut among thirty different vendors to enjoy some great food and more at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

10B N Main Street | Waynesville | sauerkrautfestival.waynesvilleohio.com

There is nothing better than enjoying some sauerkraut during the fall season. If you are interested in an annual event that is based all on the love on it, make sure to check out the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival right now! This event serves over seven tons of sauerkraut every single year and usually has over 350,000 people come to enjoy it.

Whenever you step foot into this festival, you’ll be able to explore over 450 craft booths and then sample over thirty food booths with different kinds of flavors of sauerkraut for you to enjoy as well. This festival is one of the biggest in the United States and one that many people look forward to as well.

Don’t worry because this is a free event that the whole family can enjoy, but you should know that it is only happening on October 9th from 9 am to 8 pm and October 10th from 9 am to 6 pm. Come to the Historic Downtown Waynesville where you can enjoy some sauerkraut at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival right now!

Columbus

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Pick some pumpkins and get your pumpkin fix right in Columbus!

Pumpkin Show
Enjoy Columbus’s own Circleville Pumpkin Show where you can enjoy lots of pumpkin-related activities! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

159 E Franklin Street | Circleville | pumpkinshow.com

For many people fall=pumpkin, whether it’s pumpkin-carving for Halloween, colorful seasonal decorations, or pumpkin and pumpkin-spice-flavored-everything, these gourds are nearly synonymous with the season. So if you need your pumpkin fix, the Circleville Pumpkin Show is the place to do that! 

It’s one of the nation’s largest and oldest continual pumpkin festivals (dating back to 1903!), and we’re not kidding when we say you can get pumpkin everything there: pumpkin pies, ice creams, bread, drinks, and so much more. There is a pageant, seven parades, rides, games, activities, entertainment, and more. 

 Ready to pick the pumpkin that will become your Halloween jack-o-lantern? You can do that here, as well as buy any decorative varieties that can often last until Thanksgiving. Other activities include live music performances by both local and touring bands, various farm/fair-style contests, storytelling, races, and more.

Regardless of the many activities vying for your attention, you’ll always know what the gourd of the hour is.The emphasis begins early the first day with the Giant Pumpkin Weigh In on Main Street. If you’re thinking of bringing that nicely matured 80 lb. orange globe from your garden to enter in the competition, forget about it. These pumpkins are trucked in, usually one at a time, and off-loaded with heavy equipment. Behemoths weighing 400 to 500 pounds are as common as Thanksgiving pies, and Dr. Robert Liggett, who has won several times, set the record in 2004 with a prodigious contribution from his special patch tipping the scales at 1353 pounds. Holy jumpin Jehoshaphat!

In 1946, seeing that their fair was growing by leaps and bounds, the citizens of Circleville formed a non-profit corporation exclusively for the operation of the pumpkin show. The show is self-supporting, with all profits turned over to the city for community projects. Their mission statement—pointing proudly to the “no gate, no ticket” policy—can be summed up with intent to promote goodwill among Pickaway county residents and all who visit—of which the perennial success seems self-evident.

This event takes place on Tuesday, October 17th-Saturday, October 21st; The first day, festivities begin at 5pm when the rides and concession stands open, and times differ each successive day after that. Be sure to check their schedule online to make sure you don’t miss any events you’d like to see!

Fall Fun Days Harvest Festival

From pumpkin picking, to a petting zoo, and more, this is the perfect place for family fun!

Pumpkins
Check out the Fall Fun Days Harvest Festival in Grove City, Ohio where you can enjoy lots of fall festivities! Image courtesy of Instagram. The Ribbon in My Journal. 

9015 London Groveport Road | Grove City | circlefarms.com

We like Grove City on this blog , and every year, the Circle Farms host the Fall Fun Days Harvest Festival. This event runs from late September until October 31st and includes full days of fun. 

The festival features hayrides to a pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin, a huge six-acre corn maze, a (slightly) smaller sunflower maze, a Hay Barn with a fun center including slides, a Scarecrow Cave, Fodder Lane, petting zoo, weekend entertainment, and more! We don’t know what the Scarecrow Cave actually is, but we are intrigued! In addition, you can purchase fresh seasonal food and beverages at the farm market or at the Pumpkin Cafe on weekends. Private hayrides with bonfire parties are available. 

There is also a full service bakery with many tasty treats including freshly made donuts of all kinds. On the weekends the Pumpkin Cafe is open. Group reservations are requested and walk-ins are welcome.

Hours are from 9 am to 7 pm

Location: 9015 London Groveport Rd. in Grove City, Ohio

Fall Foliage Trains at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

Enjoy some time in Hocking Valley where you can enjoy seeing the beautiful fall leaves!

Fall Foliage Trails
Come explore the beautiful fall leaves at the Fall Foliage Train ride in Logan, Ohio for a fun fall event to partake in! Image courtesy of Fall Foliage Trains. 

33 West Canal Street | Nelsonville | hvsry.org

For this train ride, you make the 22-mile round trip to Logan, Ohio and back: a leisurely ride along the Hocking River and Appalachian foothills providing great family-friendly entertainment. You have the choice of riding in either a 1920’s commuter coach or open air cars. Like history? Maybe the commuter coach is a good idea, but the open air cars offer a slightly better view. 

There’s also first-class service in a restored B&O coach complete with air-conditioning. The most frequently used engine is a diesel locomotive built in 1952, and the interesting history of the area and the railway are highlighted by the conductor’s narrative as the train passes by a variety of uniquely Ohio locations including: canal lock, historic old company towns, and other landmarks while following the Hocking River through rolling hills filled with natural fall splendor.

During the trips, passengers have an opportunity to step off the train and back into time at Robbins Crossing. At this 1840s village, cooking from the nearby wood stoves wafts out to you, while clanking rings out from the fully-operational blacksmith shop. Ladies in period-dress are busy candle making and spinning yarn. Folks gather on porches for some old-fashioned Appalachian-style music dancing off instruments of Yesteryear. 

The Nelsonville Halloween Train ride is offered on October 30th at 6 pm where it departs from the Nelsonville Depot and is a two-hour trip full of fun and excitement! You will be boarding the Trunk or Treat train where you and your kids are encouraged to dress up and you get treats along the way! Make sure to make a reservation ASAP!

Location: The Depot in Nelsonville contains the ticket office, and it is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 33 and Hocking Parkway (Fulton Street), behind the Rocky Boots Outlet

Parks for Leaf Watching

Seeing the changing leaves in the state parks

Gaze at the pretty colors that come each fall to really take the season in!

Trees Changing Colors
See the fall leaves change colors right before your eyes at the Hocking Hills State Park in Columbus! Image courtesy of Inn at Cedar Falls. 

While all of these options are fairly cheap, we know that sometimes you just want to take a day away from everything while also saving some cash. So of course, there’s always the option to just take a stroll through the park to admire the leaves. Ohio is known for its parks, whether national, state, or municipal, and there are plenty of places to enjoy the beauty of nature. For this, we suggest any of the Scioto Way parks throughout Columbus for those who are located in or close to this city.

Some larger parks include Hocking Hills State Park (which you saw mentioned above with the train rides!), Harrison Lake State Park, and Pike Lake State Park. Because these are all state parks, they’re much larger, with many more trees/forest areas available to hike and sightsee, and best of all, they’re totally free! Take a day trip to your nearest park for fall in its most natural form. For a continually-updating list on the status of the leaves, you can check out this site!

Cleveland

Drink Seasonal Coffee or Beer

Indulge in the flavors of the fall season with these amazing places to crap a cup of joe or some delicious craft beer!

Lekko Coffee
Enjoy a seasonal coffee at Lekko Coffee in Cleveland, Ohio where you can enjoy a pumpkin spice latte! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

2529 Detroit Avenue | Cleveland | lekkocoffee.com

Do you look forward to the fall season every year for the pumpkin and apple flavors for drinks and food? If so, then make sure to consider trying out lots of different fall flavored coffee or beer this fall season in Cleveland! There are plenty of places to check out that feature lots of seasonal drinks on their menu, but where do you go is the next question.

If you’re more interested in coffee, then you need to check out places such as Six Shooter Coffee, Lekko Coffee in Ohio City, Brewella’s in Lakewood, and Rising Star where there you can enjoy some delicious pumpkin spice lattes, hot apple cider, and even a sweet potato latte too!

Are you more interested in craft beer, then we got the best places for you to check out. The places that you need to check out are Masthead Brewing Co., Forest City Brewery, Southern Tier Brewery Cleveland, Bookhouse Brewery, and much more. Almost all of them feature fall beers and you can come and try out too!

Quarry Hill Orchards

Pick-your-own-apples and enjoy some good ol’ hayrides for a fun day out in the fall weather!

Quarry Hill Orchards
Come pick-your-apples at Quarry Hills Orchards where you can pick from many different kinds of apples, pears, and more! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

8403 Mason Road #1 | Berlin Heights | quarryhillorchards.com

Are you thinking about getting out there and enjoying the beautiful fall weather? If so, then you need to check out what’s going on at Quarry Hill Orchards! This beautiful farm hosts many different events where you can come pick-your-own-fruit and in the fall. They feature a pick-your-own-apples event where you can choose from lots of different apples, get some apple cider, and lots more.

In October, there are a lot of apples that are in season to choose from, such as Northern Spy, Rome, Granny Smith, Winesap, Fuji, Jonagold, and lots more. You can also grab some fresh and tasty pears too and even enjoy a hay ride or two. 

Not only is this place perfect for families, but we think this is a great place to check out for a fun date with your significant other, and even enjoy a family adventure here. Come here anytime from 9 am to 6 pm to grab some apples, pears, apple cider, and enjoy a hay ride at Quarry Hill Orchards!

Rockin ‘R Ranch’s Old West Pumpkin Fest

Pumpkins, Pony Rides, and More Fun for the Whole Family at One Low Price

Rockin 'R Ranch

19066 E River Dr | Columbia Sta | clevelandhayride.com

Rockin ‘R Ranch is well-known for bringing an authentic dude ranch experience to the Cleveland area, but as the air gets colder and the leaves start to shift colors, things start to get spooky out on the range. The fields fill up with pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and skeletons. Families can enjoy hayrides, gem mining, photo ops, food, and fresh produce from the farmer’s market.

Open on Saturdays and Sundays all autumn, Rockin ‘R Ranch’s pumpkin patch is a great option if you’re looking for some affordable fall fun. Enjoy all-day activities and entertainment for one low general admission price, and tykes 2 years and under get in for free!

Dayton

Fall at the Fairgrounds Craft Show

Come to the Clark County Fairgrounds to enjoy a fun fall-related craft show!

Fall at the Fairgrounds
The Fall at the Fairgrounds Craft Show is perfect for anyone who loves shopping for new arts and crafts, goat soap, good food, and more! Image courtesy of Visit Fairfield County. 

4401 South Charleston Pike | Springfield | daytonlocal.com

Are you interested in some cute fall-related crafts to decorate your home with this fall? Why not check out some beautiful fall crafts at the Fall at the Fairgrounds Craft Show at the Clark County Fairgrounds! This event is only $2 to get in (and it goes to the Clark County Dog Shelter!) for hours of fun and the potential for you to spend a lot of money on some incredible creations galore.

This craft show has over one hundred crafters, farmers, artists, jewelry makers, authors, and lots more where you can purchase lots of amazing creations that are fall-themed. You can buy everything from metal art, goat soaps, jams, jellies, candles, ribbon wreaths, paintings, and so much more. You can even indulge in some amazing food here too from vendors that stop by. 

With so much to experience here, make sure that you check out the Fall at the Fairgrounds Craft Show in Dayton, Ohio!

Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru

Enjoy a good scare or two drive-thru and Halloween drive-thru that is also family-friendly!

Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru
Want to enjoy some minor scares with your family? Check out the Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru in Dayton, Ohio! Image courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit. 

936 South Tecumseh Road | Springfield | daytonlocal.com

There is no better fall activity than doing one where you can get scared. If you are interested in checking out a Halloween-related activity this fall season, check out the Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru that is 100% family-friendly and something that you will love! It takes place at the George Rogers Clark Park and is taking place on October 15th from 7:30 pm to 10 pm and October 16th from 8 pm to 10 pm.

For only $15 a carload, you can load your car up (any size!) with your friends and family and drive-thru the park where you can enjoy some frights along the way, but don’t worry, they promise to keep the scares at a minimum to make it enjoyable for kids too.

It is recommended that you get your tickets before you head on over to the George Rogers Clark Park and show your receipt at the gate. It is encouraged to come dressed up in Halloween costumes, enjoy Halloween treats, and much more. Make sure to check out the Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru in Dayton, Ohio today!

There are a lot of fun and festive fall events in Ohio that you can check out, so make sure to consider some of our favorite ones in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, and more to get truly prepared for the season!

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