Fall is a great time of year for families to get outside and enjoy a variety of activities, whether that’s picking pumpkins, exploring a corn maze, shooting an apple cannon or collecting some candy and parading one’s Halloween costume.
An October tradition for many families is enjoying Boo at the Zoo. The event is bigger and better this year, running all five October weekends from Friday afternoons until 5 p.m. Sundays.
“We’re bringing back the treat stations this year,” said Jeff Glorioso, director of experiential marketing at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “There will be 13 treat stations, mainly in Adventure Cove, around Conservation Lake and in the Asia Quest region.”
Also in the Asia Quest area is a self-guided tour of Frogwartz Academy, where there will be more than 100 pumpkins carved with animal designs. Animal ambassadors Tommy C. Turtle and Manny Manatee will be roaming the zoo, and visitors can watch sea lion training or, on Saturdays, giant-pumpkin carving.
Most activities are included with zoo admission, though rides such as Sydnee Koala’s Candy Corn Carousel and the Zoo Boo Choo Choo require additional fees.
“People mark it on their calendars and come back every year,” Glorioso said. “It gives kids an extra chance to wear their costumes. Usually, you wear your costume around the neighborhood or maybe at school, but often do you get a chance to wear your costume at the zoo?”
Boo at the Zoo
The event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays throughout October at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Road, Delaware County. For Franklin County residents, admission is $16.99 for those 10 to 59, or $11.99 for those 60 and older and ages 3 to 9, free for younger than 3. For those who live outside Franklin County is $21.99 for those 10 to 59, $16.99 for those 60 or older and ages 3 to 9, free for those younger than 3. Parking costs $10. Guests younger than 13 and their guardians are encouraged to wear costumes for the event. For other costume regulations, please see the website. For more information, call 614-645-3400 or visit columbuszoo.org.
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Pick a pumpkin from the field, and then enjoy a hayride and a pumpkin doughnut. Circle S is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in October at 9015 London Groveport Rd., Grove City. Prices vary by activity and group size. For more information, call 614-878-7986 or visit www.circlesfarm.com
Take a hayride, munch on some fresh kettle corn, pet the farm animals, cook a hot dog over a campfire and browse the store from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays through Oct. 24 at the farm, 6142 Lewis Center Road, Galena. The store is also open on weekdays from noon to 7 p.m. through Oct. 31. Admission is free, hayrides are $3 for those 2 and older; snacks to feed the animals are a quarter. For more information, call 740-548-7866 or visit www.freemansfarm.com
Ever wonder just what is going on in the Statehouse? Find out on a lantern-lit haunted tour of the building. This year’s event features smaller groups and a new route through the dark building. Tours start every half-hour from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 15-16, 22-23 at the Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square. Tickets, which must be bought in advance, cost $13,or $7 for those 12 to 17. The tour is recommended for those 12 and up. For tickets or more information, call 614-728-9234 or visit statehouseshop.com
Make your way through an intricate corn maze, and then treat yourself to one of a vast supply of pumpkins and mums from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in October at Hendren Farm Market, 14595 Johnstown-Utica Road, Johnstown. Admission to the corn maze is $5, with kids 3 and younger free. For more information, call 740-325-7224 or visit www.thehendrenfarmmarket.com
Explore a free haunted maze and then pick out a black, white, brown or yellow pumpkin (or one of each) to take home from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through October at Hoover Gardens, 182 N. Sunbury Road, Westerville. For more information, call 614-568-0603 or visit www.hoovergardenswestervilleoh.com
Get your fall activities all in one place at Kuhlwein’s, where visitors can enjoy a corn maze, a straw maze, a petting zoo, a hayride and a pick-your-own pumpkin experience. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays at 1859 Walker Road, Hilliard. Admission of $8 per person on weekdays and $10 per person on weekends includes all of the activities as well as one pumpkin. For more information, call 614-876-2833 or visit the Kuhlwein’s Farm Market Facebook page
For a farm extravaganza, check out Leeds Farm, which, besides the usual activities, offers pig races, a tractor-tire tower, a combine slide, a Holstein train ride, tube rolling and a box filled with 200 bushels of shelled corn in which to bury oneself or one’s siblings, and many other activities. Leeds Farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October at 8738 Marysville Road, Ostrander. Tickets should be purchased online before visit. Tickets cost $15 for those 3 to 54, or $5 for those 55 and older, free for those 2 and younger. For more information, call 740-666-2020 or visit www.leedsfarm.com
Lehner’s promises “over forty weekend activities guaranteed to wear your kids out,” and it doesn’t sound like an idle promise. Adventures include two corn mazes, barnyard golf, jump pillows, a mini zip line, a climbing wall, pumpkin bowling and many more activities. The farm is located at 2920 Route 203, Radnor, and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October, except for Oct. 30-31, when it will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farm will also be open on select weekdays and weeknights. Admission is $12 for those 3 to 59, and free for those 2 and younger and those 60 and older. For more information, call 740-595-3207 or visit lehnerpumpkins.com
Take a hayride out to the pumpkin field to pick your own pumpkin, and then browse the store for crafts and food while kids play in a haystack or crawl along a long row of round hay bales. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October at 15632 Route 56 SE, Mount Sterling. Cost of the hayride and one pick-your-own pumpkin is $8 per person. For more information, call 740-869-4208 or visit www.lohstrohfamilyfarms.com
Make your way through the 8-acre Seven Seas Corn Maze during the day or after dark, or stick to a kiddie-sized maze. Take a wagon ride and pick an apple, or, take a turn at the apple cannon. The mazes are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through the end of October at 9851 Morse Road, Pataskala, while the apple cannons are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The mazes cost $11 per person, the wagon ride is $3 per person and apple cannon prices run from $5 for three shots to $15 for a large bucket of apples. For more information, call 740-927-1333 or visit lyndfruitfarm.com
Explore a Jack Nicklaus-themed 8-acre corn maze and let the kids play on a low-ropes course, jump on a barnyard bounce or take unlimited rides on the cow train from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays through the end of October at the Maize at Little Darby Creek, 8657 Axehandle Road, Milford Center. Online daytime tickets cost $11 for those 3 to 59, $5.50 for those 60 and older, and free for those 3 and younger. On-site tickets cost an additional $3. At night, the Maize converts into a “Field of Fright” full of scary characters. Tickets for those staying after dark are an additional $7. For more information, call 937-349-4781 or visit www.mazeandberries.com
Take a hayride out to the fields to pick out a pumpkin, and enjoy of the play area and petting barn from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays through October at Miller’s Country Gardens, 2488 Route 37 West, Delaware. Admission and parking are free. For more information call 740-363-5021 or visit millerscountrygardens.com
All of the Oakland Nursery locations will be holding fall festivals on Oct. 9- 10, with a large range of events and activities. Nurseries are located at 1156 Oakland Park Ave.; 25 Kilbourne Road, Delaware; 4261 W. Dublin-Granville Road, Dublin; and 5211 Johnstown Road, New Albany. For hours and event schedules, visit www.oaklandnursery.com
Return to the 1890s for a Halloween celebration featuring storytelling, kids’ activities, a straw maze, a bonfire, fortune-telling and more. The event will take place from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays in October at the Ohio Village, Interstate 71 and East 17th Avenue. Pre-registration and timed entry are required. Tickets cost $16, or $12 for kids 4 to 12 and free for kids 3 and younger. For more information, call 1-800-686-6124 or visit www.ohiohistory.org
Kids take center stage at Orchard & Co, which offers hayrides, jump pillows, a tire climb, a hill slide, a pedal-car track and plenty of animals from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October at 7255 Route 42, Plain City. (The farm closes at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31.) Admission costs $12 for adults and kids, $5 for senior citizens and free for those 2 and younger. For more information, visit www.theorchardandcompany.com
If you are looking to spread out, Pigeon Roost Farm includes 20 acres of activities, among which are a corn maze, pumpkin-vine zip lines, an enchanted forest obstacle course, Skee-ball, a creepy tepee crawl and giant saucer swings. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays in October at 4413 National Road SW, Hebron. Admission costs $9 for those 2 and older and free for those younger than 2. Credit cards only. For more information, visit www.pigeonroostfarm.com
For those who can’t get enough of finding their way, Van Buren Acres features not only two corn mazes — the large one Dolly Parton-themed — but also a soybean maze as well. Relax afterward with a cider slushie, play some putt-putt golf or watch the duck and pig races. Van Buren Acres is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays in October at 5066 Keller Road, Hebron. Admission costs $9, or free for kids 2 and younger. For more information, call 740-404-8656, vanburenacres.com