The days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn those brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. You know what that means: fall is here! There’s nothing quite like Autumn in Ohio, and we want to be out exploring and enjoying the weather as much as possible over the next couple months. In case you have that same desire, here’s a list of some inexpensive and fun outdoor experiences in and around the Central Ohio area:
Pumpkin patches: Is it even fall if you don’t make it to a pumpkin patch? We’re not so sure. We have it on good authority that one of the best pumpkin patches in the state can be found north of Columbus in Ostrander, Ohio at Leed Farms. The farm offers about 20 acres of pumpkins, gourds, and squash, so if you’re looking to own the biggest carving jack-o-lantern on the block or a fun-sized pumpkin for every room of your house, they’ve got it for you. During peak season (September 23-October 29), Leed Farms is open Saturday & Sunday only from 10am-5pm.
Apple picking: Just off S.R. 161 in Pataskala, Ohio lies Lynd Fruit Farm, currently in its 8th generation of apple farmers. This beautiful location is just one of many reasons why the family farm has thrived for so many years - and it even has a corn maze and wagon rides. Lynd’s offers pick-your-own apple and pumpkin options, so you can find the perfect addition for your front porch (or kitchen table) from Friday-Sunday. This is a really popular local spot, so we suggest arriving early and giving yourself plenty of time to walk the farm and grounds.
Walks and hikes: We promised some inexpensive options for this list, and Central Ohio’s trails and parks offer it. With 16 Metro Parks and over 175 miles of trails, you can be surrounded by all the beauty of the season faster than you can say, “fall is the best time of year.” While you’re searching for a Metro Park near you, watch for upcoming programs and events. They typically host everything from informational classes to nature talks, group hikes and more.
Local Memberships: If you don’t already belong to COSI, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium or The Franklin Park Conservatory (to name a few), now’s a pretty good time to start. Each offers special programs, seasonal activities, or one-time events to help usher in the fall weather. Sometimes, you can even find discounts or special pricing based on the season. One obvious call-out is Boo at the Zoo. Held on select weekends in October, this popular seasonal event should go on your must-see list.
Ohio State Tailgating: As any good Columbus native knows, there’s nothing quite like college football season. Here in the land of the scarlet and gray, we appreciate Saturday mornings and all the opportunities a big game day has to offer. That’s why tailgating before an Ohio State football game had to make the list. Don’t worry about a formal tailgate party invitation, either. You can sport your OSU apparel and simply head towards campus to get in on the action. Numerous restaurants and bars near the stadium will be geared up and ready for fans, and you can always find a good spot to watch the game. Part of the fun is just being there with others and feeling the excitement and buzz of the day. LC hosts a big tailgate each season and started the year off with a celebration on opening weekend (and the Buckeyes won. which made it even better!)
When it comes down to it, we’re really just scratching the surface of what’s available to you this fall in Ohio, but hopefully, you can gather a group and experience more of the season while it’s here. What else to you have on your must-do list? Tag us in your favorite activities on Instagram or Facebook, @lifestylecommunities.