The ULTIMATE Halloween Activity Guide for Ohio

A list of some delightfully macabre events in Ohio to die for

pumpkins carved with scary faces

By

Katherine Bauer

on

Jan 21, 2021

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Main image courtesy of Board & Brush.

Last week, we talked about some great fall activities around the state, but this week, we’re talking all things spooky; it’s Halloween time, ghouls and gals!  From the tame to the terrifying, from family friendly to adult, costume-based to pumpkin based to scare based, we have a list here of some delightfully macabre events that are, well, to die for!  And what about those of you who may not like to or can’t go out for Halloween festivities this year? Well, we have some easy tips and tricks for you as well to make this Halloween season your most spooktacular yet!

You can check out everything from:

  • Variety Haunts and Activities
  • The Great Haunted Outdoors
  • Halloween at Home

One State, Lots of Variety in Many Different Cities

The following activities and attractions have multiple options for visitors.  Would you prefer to be inside or outside?  Participating in a costume contest? Walking through a haunted attraction, hearing ghost stories, or something entirely different?

Columbus

HighBall Halloween

Highball Halloween
Experience what it is like at the HighBall Halloween event in Columbus where you can check out some amazing Halloween costumes and couture! Image courtesy of GayTravel4U. 

405 Neil Avenue | Columbus | highballcolumbus.org

Are you a costume and fashion fanatic?  Do you start planning your Halloween costume for next year on November 1st?  Do you sew or craft?  Then the HighBall Halloween is definitely the event for you.  This costume couture party closes down High Street in Columbus on Saturday, October 23rd!

The local fashion scene is on full display with eight designers all presenting runway shows. This year promises to be even more of a spectacle as the event celebrates its 12th year! The public costume contest is on Saturday, and other events are dispersed over the two days.  

Best of all? The proceeds from the party go towards “clean and safe initiatives, promotions, holiday campaigns, public art installations, parking management and more in the Short North Arts District. In other words, HighBall Halloween makes the Short North Arts District even more incredible for all who live and visit.”

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

Sleepy Hollow Experience

5869 Marietta Road | Columbus | tecumsehdrama.com

We’ve mentioned the Sleepy Hollow experience before in our article on life in Chillicothe, but it’s worth mentioning again here! The Sleepy Hollow Experience will take place October 16th and on October 31st at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre. This outdoor, immersive theatrical experience will be sure to make heads roll with a performance in the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater, as well as an escape room, and a haunted trail/laser tag maze.  

The show follows a group of residents in Sleepy Hollow as their town is plagued by mysterious goings-on and culminates with both the characters and the audience coming face to face with the infamous Headless Horseman! If you can’t make it to the actual town of Sleepy Hollow during the month of October, this may be the next best thing.

Freaky Flights Zipline Tours

Freaky Flights Zip Line Tours
Do you love ziplining? Why not enjoy it in the dark and wear your Halloween costumes too at Freaky Flights Zipline Tours! Image courtesy of Zip Zone Outdoor Adventures. 

7925 N High Street | Columbus | zipzonetours.com

During the week of Halloween, ZipZone outdoor adventures offers the Freaky Flights: ziplining in the dark with a festive twist. With only the light of the moon (or should you be so unlucky, the lack thereof) to light your way, you’ll fly through the treetops while also participating in Halloween activities.  

Zipline riders are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes (that are safe to wear with a zipline harness!), and the guides will pick a “best costume” winner by the end of the night. During the tour, guests have the opportunity to “chuck a pumpkin” from the line to win prizes.

Halloween on the Hocking

Halloween on Hocking Hills
Enjoy lots of amazing Halloween outdoor activities, along with other fall festivities at Halloween on the Hocking! Image courtesy of Hocking Hills State Park. 

19852 OH-664 | Logan | thehockinghills.org

If you have a fear of heights or ziplining isn’t your thing, but you still want to experience some outdoor thrills and chills, then Halloween on the Hocking may be for you. This unique experience combines classic outdoor activities like canoeing, tractor rides, and s’mores making but with a Halloween twist. 

Guests at surrounding campsites can partake in the Hocking Hills Adventures Halloween Party, which is open to all campers and guests, which includes fireside ghost stories from a Native American storyteller, face painting, and a costume and cabin/campsite decoration competitions!  This activity is perfect for families and visitors who love camping and the great outdoors as much as they love old-fashioned spooks and scares.

Cincinnati

HallZOOween

Cincinnati
Check out HallZOOween at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden where you can trick-or-treat with the animals! Image courtesy of The Cincinnati Zoo. 

3400 Vine Street | Cincinnati | cincinnatizoo.org

Do you love going to the zoo? What about checking out the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for their annual HallZOOween event that they hold during the Halloween season? HallZooween is free with zoo admission on the weekends of October 16th, 23rd, and 30th from 12 pm to 5 pm on both Saturday’s and Sunday’s.

They have everything from trick-or-treat stations, a Hogwarts station to ride the Hogwarts Express and other Harry Potter related activities, take lots of autumn photos and enjoy caramel apples, pumpkin spice lattes, and caramel corn, watch Phil Dalton’s Theater of Illusion, enjoy fall-themed foods, and watch the animals reactions as they are gifted their own pumpkins too!

If you want to dress up with your children and come trick-or-treating at the zoo, or just come and see lots of exotic animals in a Halloween setting, make sure to check out HallZOOween at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden today!

Tricks And Treats Fall Fest at Kings Island

Tricks and Treats Fall Festival
Check out Tricks and Treats Fall Fest at Kings Island in Cincinnati for a family-friendly event that everyone in your family will love! Image courtesy of CityBeat. 

6300 Kings Island Drive | Mason | visitkingsisland.com

Are you looking for the perfect fall activity to get your family involved in? If you love dressing up, pumpkin patches, and lots more, make sure to check out the Tricks and Treats Fall Fest at Kings Island right in Cincinnati! This fun festival is family-friendly and perfect for all ages where you can easily enjoy the fall season, trick-or-treating, and much more!

Are you wondering what all you can do at Tricks and Treats Fall Fest? Well, you’re in luck because there is so much that you can participate! This fun festival features everything from trick-or-treating, fall-themed games, corn mazes, fall crafts, and they even have food and entertainment as well.

Costumes are strongly encouraged at the Tricks and Treats Fall Fest at Kings Island, so make sure to dress up in your spookiest and have fun! You can check out this festival any Saturday or Sunday starting from September 25th through October 31st of 2021!

Dayton

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins at Young's Dairy

Dayton
Are you looking to introduce your kids to pumpkin picking? If so, then you need to check out Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins at Young’s Dairy! Image courtesy of Dayton Parent Magazine. 

6880 Springfield Xenia Road | Yellow Springs | youngsdairy.com

There is nothing more immersive to do with your kids then picking out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch during the fall season. If you live in or around Dayton, Ohio and are looking for one of the best places to go to pick out pumpkins, then make sure to pay a visit to Young’s Jersey Farm for their Pick-a-Pumpkin event! This family-owned farm is the perfect place to choose a wide variety of pumpkins according to their size, shape, and it’s just fun to let your kids run around and choose which pumpkin they want too!

At Young’s Jersey Farm, there are plenty of pumpkins to choose from that all range in different sizes and prices too. They charge $9.50 per pumpkin, but they also feature special deals if you’re buying multiple pumpkins, such as three pumpkins for $26 or four pumpkins for $34. 

This Pick-Your-Pumpkin is extra special this year because they have planted more pumpkins and even more varieties of pumpkins too to make this year extra special for you! You can pick pumpkins any day through October 31st any time from 11 am to 6 pm.

Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror

Face Your Fears
Are you looking to face your fears in a haunted house in Dayton, Ohio? Don’t miss out on Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror today! Image courtesy of Dayton Local. 

1291 Cold Spring Road | Springfield | faceyourfearshaunt.com

There is nothing truly more terrifying than facing your fears in a haunted house, corn maze, or anywhere for that matter. If you’re looking for a truly frightening, yet fun time in Dayton, Ohio where you’re looking to be scared, make sure to pay a visit to Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror anytime in October!

We know that you will love this attraction because of all of the neat things that it features. From many new attractions where you walk around the supposedly haunted hotel, mazes, carnival rides, and even a food truck located right outside to enjoy a bite to eat before you go in to get scared.

You can go to Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror any Friday or Saturday night from 8 pm to 12 am and it’s only $20 to get in! It should also be noted that you are required to wear a mask to enter. Why not go now for a good scare and a good time too!

Cleveland

Hauntaquarium

Hauntedaquarium
Check out the Hauntaquarium event at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium for a fun and exciting time looking at sea animals in a spooky environment! Image courtesy of Kids Out and About. 

2000 Sycamore Street | Cleveland | greaterclevelandaquarium.org

Are you in Cleveland looking for a family-friendly event that you and your loved ones can enjoy? Why not check out the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s special event, Hauntaquarium right now! This is a non-scary event that you and your family can participate in where each animals’ tanks are specially decorated for the Halloween season! 

You can get dressed up and walk around and look at nature’s beautiful sea creatures, along with enjoy activities such as face painting, games, a dance party, read campfire stories, slime-making, and even enjoy some amazing fall-themed food and drinks as well!

This event only costs $12 for the general public, but if you’re a passholder at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, you only pay $10. Children under two are also free to get in, so make sure to wear your awesome costume and check out some sea creatures and more at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Hauntaquarium!

Bootanical Bash

Bootanical Bash
Want to enjoy a special October day dressed up in a Halloween costume looking at some beautiful flowers? If so, then make sure to check out the Bootanical Bash today! Image courtesy of Holden Forests & Gardens.  

11030 East Boulevard | Cleveland | cbgarden.org

There is nothing more fun than getting dressed up in a Halloween costume and doing something fun with your loved ones. If you are looking for a fun place to go to and even dress up for it too, make sure to check out the Botanical Bash at the Cleveland Botanical Garden today!

This incredible event is super fun for kids where they can dress up in their Halloween costumes on October 16th from 10am to 4 pm where they can trick-or-treat, dance at the dance party, do lots of Halloween-related crafts, and much more! 

This event is $5 for members of the Cleveland Botanical Garden, but for non-members, it is $5 plus the regular admission rate as well. This is a fun opportunity for your kids to get out, meet other kids, dress up, and just have fun, so why not enjoy a fun day at the Bootanical Bash today!

Toledo

Wauseon OH Haunting History Tours

Haunting House Tours
Do you want to potentially see, hear, or even feel a spirit? Why not check out the Wauseon OH Haunting History Tours and maybe even get spooked too! Image courtesy of Toledo Blade. 

225 Depot Street | Wauseon | facebook.com/hauntinghistorytours

Learn about the spirits that have been seen, heard, felt and smelled in the neighborhood surrounding the Wauseon Depot and the Fulton County Museum on the Wauseon OH Haunting History Tours. This museum was a former school and county hospital, and the railroad depot apparently has travelers who have never left the station!  The tours leave every 15 minutes and are very small, having no more than 12 people per tour group, and occur rain or shine.  

Each tour is guided by a storyteller, walks last approximately an hour, and the last two tours of each night are reserved for guests 18+; ordering tickets ahead of time is highly recommended, and the tours will occur every Friday and Saturday in October through November 4th.

Sandusky

Halloweekends at Cedar Point

Halloweekends at Cedar Point
Do you love roller coasters? Make sure to check out Cedar Point’s Halloweekends to enjoy some spooky rides and more! Image courtesy of WKYC. 

1 Cedar Point Drive | Sandusky | cedarpoint.com

For anyone familiar with amusement parks, Cedar Point is usually one of the best known as the roller coaster capital of America! But each October, it becomes one of the scare capitals of America! Each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from September 17th-October 31st, you can experience either The Great Pumpkin Fest, Haunt at Halloweekends, or both!  

Themed after the beloved Charlie Brown Halloween special, The Great Pumpkin Festival is great for families and kids of all ages. Some of the special activities include arts and crafts, Trick-or-Treat with Peanuts characters, The Great Pumpkin Parade, themed games, rides and attractions, and more! 

This year, they’ve also added three indoor mazes (without monsters!) to ensure that it’s a great time for small ones: no tricks, all treats! There are also outdoor mazes, like the classic cornstalk maze, and the Magical House at Boo Hill: a walkthrough attraction where all kids get a special surprise at the end!

In the evening, things become much less child-friendly with HAUNT, the adult-only horror overlay of the park.  Whereas the mazes are friendly and fun during the daytime, at night they become infested with monsters, creatures, and terrifying humans of all sorts that are out to get YOU with jumpscares and terror around every turn.  In addition to haunted attractions, there are live shows like “Eternal JAMnation” and other entertainment for when you need brief breaks from the fear.  

If you’d rather just run from one haunting to the next, you can explore scare zones such as “Cut Throat Grove” (full of ghostly pirates), “Fearground Freakshow” (a creepy carnival gone very wrong), the “Slaughter House” (a scarehouse full of chainsaws and butchers), and “Zombie High School” (exactly what you would expect).  New for this year are “Deprivation” (a scarezone where you must find your way in pitch blackness), “Trail of the Forsaken” (a town where people are becoming their own worst nightmares), and “Hexed: Lights Out!” (a maze in the dark where you have only a flashlight to find your way).  Oh, and did we mention you can still ride all the rides too?

Creating your own Halloween Fun

Enjoy some safe and fun indoors activities that you can enjoy with your family or friends!

Carving Pumpkins
Enjoy a lot of amazing indoor Halloween activities that are perfect for you and your family! Image courtesy of Full Heart Mommy. 

While all of these activities are great and generally budget friendly, we understand that sometimes it can just be too hard to get out to experience these in person.  If you find yourself stuck at home this Halloween season, might we suggest the following easy ways to make your home its own special haunt!

Embrace the dollar store

It’s possible to decorate your home with things you already own or can purchase cheaply (the dollar store and other bargain-bin stores can have great Halloween decor for 1/10th-1/100th of the prices that seasonal Halloween stores ask!)  If you have any old linens like towels, sheets, or curtains, draping these over furniture you don’t use much can easily give that haunted-house-vibe!  Plastic dollar store tablecloths are very versatile, and you can do things like cut out ominous eyes and faces in them before hanging them over windows and doors.

Work with your house and yard

Do you live in an old house?  Great! You can probably get that spooky vibe easier than a newer house. Do you have a great staircase?  Make it a spooky focal-point with cobwebs on the banister and black-paper silhouettes on the wall. Have a spooky yard?  Dig up a small spot of ground, leave a shovel and light of some kind nearby (lanterns are best but flashlights work too!) and put a homemade foam headstone nearby!  Or perhaps a “do not disturb” sign if you’re feeling like zombies that day.

Spooky Food

Spooky Food is always an easy and delicious way to add festive touches to your day.  If you carve a little face in an apple (think like a jack-o-lantern!) and then let it dry out, it looks like a little shrunken head!  A whole manner of sweet treats can be easily spookified by adding black or orange food dye.  Hot dogs wrapped in pastry strips rather than crescent rolls turn into little edible mummies. There are so many possibilities!

Make a Halloween Playlist

Whether it’s the theme to the Addams Family, the Great Pumpkin Waltz, the soundtrack to the Exorcist, or Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, there are many songs that are just inextricably linked to Halloween media and the season itself.  Play it through your house during a Halloween party or on Halloween night to set the mood or listen to it on your own media player throughout the day for that macabre mood anytime anywhere.  

As far as Halloween goes, all of this is only a glimpse of the activities you can do this season.  Use our guide here as a jumping-off point for finding your perfect haunt for the season. 👻

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