10 Inexpensive Fall Activities in Central Ohio

10 inexpensive fall activities for the whole family - Fall Olentangy

Wondering what inexpensive fall adventures you can embark upon in Central Ohio? Autumn is here, with beautiful colors, abundant harvests, and gorgeous weather that makes most of us long to get outdoors and enjoy everything Central Ohio has to offer. Here’s a list of ten free and inexpensive activities to do in the area: try one, or be ambitious and do them all!

  1. Apple picking: Enjoy the pretty drive to Pick-ur-own farms such as Lynd Fruit Farm, and Hann Farms. Sites like PickYourOwn.org have a complete list of other U-Pick farms all over the area.
  2. Pumpkin Patches: Enjoy pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides, and lots of fall fun
  3. Do your own autumn colors tour: Prepare a batch of hot mulled cider, pour it into insulated cups, grab some cookies or trail mix, and jump in the car for a tour of our town’s beautiful fall foliage. If you drive by a Columbus Metro Park, consider adding number 4 to your trip.
  4. Take a walk in the woods! Central Ohio has 16 Metro Parks, with over 175 miles of trails, from easy strolls, to demanding hikes. It’s a sensory wonderland, with the crisp scent of autumn, the crunchy leaves, the cool weather, and the boost of energy you’ll get from the exercise.
  5. While you’re thinking about the Metro Parks, check into their programs. They’ve got everything from nature talks for little ones, classes about nuts or wildfowl…often on group hikes with a naturalist, to night-time lantern strolls.
  6. Visit a local food festival, and enjoy the harvest from farmers right here in Central Ohio…nothing could be fresher!
  7. Take the produce you find at one of those local food festivals and cook up a storm! Juicy apples can become homemade apple sauce, apple pie, or tarte tatin. Robust pumpkin makes wonderful curried pumpkin soup, or pumpkin ravioli. Don’t forget kale and spinach: These cool weather greens make fabulous kale soup, or spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.
  8. Take advantage of your memberships. You probably already belong to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, The Franklin Park Conservatory, COSI, the Columbus Art Museum, or any number of other Central Ohio attraction. Each of them offers programs, seasonal displays, or a special autumn feel that you’ll miss if you don’t go this season. Don’t forget to savor your old standbys and make your membership fees work for you!
  9. Speaking of memberships, don’t forget your season passes: King’s Island and Cedar Point both have seasonal hours and programs to make Halloween events more fun. (Even further afield, think about the passes you may have bought to attractions such as Williamsburg or Hershey Park. Those summertime purchases may allow you to explore autumn values now).
  10. Crafts are a perfect idea for chilly, rainy, autumn days. Plan ahead during your walks and outdoor fun, by collecting beautiful leaves and nuts, purchasing gourds and vines, and keeping an eye out for craft-worthy items. Then when the weather coops you up indoors, create fall décor, rubbings, Thanksgiving cards, and other autumnal crafts. Sites like family.Disney.comGood Housekeeping or Country Living can give you great craft ideas and instructions.