By Ohio.org Staff
Posted On: Sep 7, 2020
There's no season more amazing in Ohio than fall – it's the perfect time to create new memories. Here are the top 100 things to do in Ohio this fall. So get out, explore and adventure!
NOTE: Check directly with the places before your visit to stay up to date on all safety precautions and learn more about the guidelines surrounding COVID-19 here.
Discover Ohio's 75 State Parks with ODNR's State Park Passport.
Check out the fall foliage and stunning views on the Scenic Route Road Trip.
Go on a Fall Color inspired adventure! Get the full color report, courtesy of ODNR, here.
"Hang out" among fall foliage at these seven best places to hammock in Ohio.
Inspire your future outdoorsiness with these fall hikes and camping spots. For more family-friendly fall hikes – perfect for backpackers young and old -- check out these campgrounds with the best fall color too.
Roast sweet marshmallows at one of Ohio’s perfect destinations for a bonfire.
Snag the perfect apples for your next fall recipe. Click here for Ohio’s best you-pick farms.
Go aquatic at Ohio's Scenic Rivers.
Taste pumpkin spice and everything nice at these local coffee shops serving up fall flavors.
Embark on your next foodie adventure with the Foodie Fill-Up Road Trip.
Sip some seasonal suds from local craft brewers.
Sample some of the best wines from Ohio’s Wine Country.
Pair your wine with Ohio cheese. Get a slice from fave spots like Guggisberg Cheese in Millersburg or Grandpa’s Cheesebarn in Ashland. If you’re looking for more than a slice, check out the Ohio Cheese Guild’s "Cheese Trail."
Savor the season’s best flavors at local breweries like Devil’s Kettle Brewing in Athens or Taft’s Brewing Co. in Cincinnati (where you should try their new Frisch's Pumpkin Pie Ale). Maybe you want something more spooky? Then check out Phoenix Brewing Company in Mansfield, housed in the haunted remains of what used to be a funeral home and mortuary back in the early 1900s.
Get in the spirit with Ohio’s top distilleries.
Bee adventurous and try one of Ohio’s local meaderies – like Brother’s Drake – for a glass of mead (aka honey wine).
Showcase your Ohio pride (and appetite) by touring the Buckeye Candy Trail. Sample the best buckeye candies the state has to offer!
Stuff your pie-hole with a piece from the best places to get pie in Ohio.
Sample fresh cider at MacQueen’s Apple Barn & Cider Mill in Holland.
Reap the benefits of the harvest by picking up produce from local farmers markets.
Eat your way through history at these historic restaurants perfect for any foodie-inspired road trip.
Photo courtesy of Cedar Point
Festivals and Entertainment
Open the door to history – literally! Ohio Open Doors is going virtual this year and you can uncover unique history from Sept. 11-20th.
Stream the silver screen with outdoor movie showings. Like in Columbus at Green Lawn Abbey (Sept. 11 and 25th) and The Crest Gastropub (“Mars Attacks” on Sept. 20th). Or try your luck at the Hidden Drive-In. Although nothing is as good as a classic drive-in, so be sure to catch a screening (every Friday in October) at the Ohio History Connection with their "Sleepy Hollow Drive-In."
Treat your ears with music. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra hosts Community Concerts throughout September. Also be on the look for CSO (Cincinnati Symphony Orchesta) In Your Neighborhood and their Live From Music Hall, a mix of CSO and Pops streamed concerts (available Sept. to Dec.).
Celebrate Pride with Cleveland’s virtual celebrations (on Sept. 12 and 25th) or join Columbus’s Virtual Pride Parade on Oct. 3rd. You can keep the celebrations going by checking out these Ohio LGBTQ-owned businesses.
Add some java to your day with the 5th Annual Columbus Coffee Festival. This year, enjoy the festival from home with a "Curated Take Home Experience Box." Oder your box by Sept 27th (a drive-thru pickup date will be announced in October at POP Columbus).
Get comical at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. The comics, art and animation festival features some amazing guests (like Tara Booth who has an exhibit at Columbus Museum of Art) at this year’s virtual event from Oct. 1-4th. If you’d like to flip into comics earlier, then check out SOL-CON on Sept. 10 and 11th at OSU.
Celebrate Day of the Dead. All month long, share in the art, history and performances surrounding the holiday known as Día de Muertos. In Columbus, as part of a collaboration with Latino Arts for Humanity, the Columbus Museum of Art is hosting a series of events, an art show with Greenlawn Cemetery and Global Gallery will take place, as well as an exhibition at ROY G BIV Gallery from Oct. 9 - Nov. 7th.
Join the best Halloween traditions with your little ones with Boo at the Zoo at Columbus Zoo & Aquarium (weekends of Oct. 16-18, 23-25 and Oct. 30 - Nov. 1st). Or check out Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s HallZOOween (Oct. 17-18 and 24-25th). Perhaps you’d be over the moon with Akron Zoo’s Howl-O-Ween (Saturdays & Sundays Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25 and 31st from 11 AM to 7 PM. Member-only times are Fridays, Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 4 to 7 PM).
Raise a glass for the virtual Ale-O-Ween! The Ohio Craft Brewer’s Association annual event will feature a limited-edition shirt and a virtual costume contest.
Dress to impress with Columbus’s iconic Highball Halloween (this year’s virtual event takes place on Oct. 31st).
Take a look it’s in a book at the Buckeye Book Fair. From Nov. 6-15th, 100 Ohio writers and illustrators will share all things literary and bookish through different virtual events and videos. The best part? It’s all FREE!
Stay the night, if you dare at these haunted getaways.
Descend into fear as you take on the Sandusky County Dungeon Tours– a nighttime adventure that uses technology to track the spirit world at the 1840’s Dungeon and Gallows Exhibition Hall.
Listen to stories of the past at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, where ghosts of dead soldiers will rise with the tales of years-gone-by during a frightfully fun stroll through the grounds. Or chase your fears at Camp Chase in Columbus, the site of a former Confederate prison and two-acre cemetery. A hotbed of ghostly sightings, it serves as the final resting place for more than 2,000 soldiers.
Be grave at these Ohio cemeteries.
Have a terrifyingly a-maiz-ing time in the Field of Fright at The Maize at Little Derby Creek. Open Friday and Saturday nights from Oct. 9-31st.
Time travel to the 19th century western town. But beware, there’s more lurking at "Terror Town" then what meets the eye.
Get spooked along The Ridges Trails near Ohio University in Athens. You’ll be able to spot the Athens Lunatic Asylum (which operated between the 1870’s to the 1990’s) or stroll along the Ridges Cemeteries Nature Walk.
Take a walk on the spectral side with the Marietta Ghost Trek. While public tours are cancelled, you can book a private tour.
Have a ghoulish time on haunted walking tours like those put on by Columbus Ghost Tours and Haunted Tiffin Ghost Walks. Or try the "Queen City is Haunted" tour from American Legacy Tours in Cincinnati.
Indulge your morbid curiosity at the Peoples Mortuary Museum in Marietta.
Wander to wonderfully wacky museums like the Dittrick Medical Museum and the National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame.
Get witchy and learn about Ohio’s only witch trial (in 1805). For more witchcraft, check out the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick in Cleveland. Or shop for all your witchy needs at spots like WitchLab in Columbus, Brewing Intuition in Hilliard and Diamyn’s Crystal Bar in Cincinnati.
Enjoy a creature feature at Hayes Presidential Library & Museums’s special exhibit “Ohio: An Unnatural History." The exhibit, which extended its run through Oct. 31, 2021 showcases Ohio’s cryptids – animals of questionable origin (and existence), like the Lake Erie Monster or Mothman.
Search for Bigfoot in one of Ohio’s State Parks – click here for inspiration.
Listen to spooky Ohio podcasts like "Ohio Folklore" which explore the state’s folk legends or "Ohio Mysteries" which covers everything from true crime to cryptids and even UFO encounters.
Find the perfect pumpkin at an Ohio pumpkin patch. Click here for inspiration.
Experience family-friendly thrills on Halloween drive-thrus, like the one at Farmpark put on by Lake Metroparks (open on Oct. 9-11, 15-18, 22-25 and Oct. 29 - Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM). Or venture to The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow Drive-Thru (Oct. 21-25 and Oct. 28-Nov. 1) for a night of illuminated carved pumpkins.
Fill your trick-o-treat bags with candy from Ohio companies, like Doscher’s Candy Co.
Reach for the stars at John Glenn Astronomy Park, a new addition in the Hocking Hills equipped with a huge sundial and telescopes for your budding astronomer.
Visit your old stomping grounds and head back to your favorite Ohio college town. Click here for a list of our favorites that are perfect for a fall-color inspired road trip.
Swing away at Top Golf, a sports entertainment complex with a high-tech golf game that everyone can play. Now in Columbus, West Chester and Cleveland. Or add some whimsy to your golf game at these places to putt putt golf in Ohio.
Arts and Culture
Speak in the "royal we" when you visit these 12 Ohio castles.
Step back in time when you visit Sauder Village’s 1920s Main Street.
Hitch a ride on an authentic riverboat queen along the Ohio and Muskingum rivers on the Valley Gem Sternwheeler in Marietta.
Brush up on your history with Ohio’s Painted Barns. Featuring portraits ranging from Annie Oakley to Tecumseh.
Marvel at Ohio’s historic homes and estates.
Get an idyllic look at what it's like to live and play in Ohio on the Charming Towns Road Trip.
Spark your imagination at the Decorative Arts Center in Lancaster. The admission? Free. The Memories? Priceless.
Frame a trip to one of Ohio’s many art museums or galleries. Whether you’re visiting virtually (like the Riffe Gallery’s Paper Routes: Women to Watch 2020 exhibit) or attending a social-distanced event (like Thursdays in Garden at the Columbus Museum of Art, now through Oct. 1st), you’re sure to find artwork that’s inspiring.
Enjoy your Sunday morning cartoons at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Columbus.
Stretch your legs on one of Ohio’s best walking tours.
Motorcycle along the Three Rivers Ride in Coshocton County.
Drive into your next adrenaline rush with an off-road ATV tour at R Adventure Park in Logan.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Search for fossils at Caesar Creek State Park near Waynesville. The trilobite is Ohio’s state fossil and a highly prized find! Be sure to stop in and get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers at the park, then you can hunt away. Or head to the Olander Park System in Sylvania for more fossil hunting adventures.
Follow the clues on local scavenger hunts from groups like Urban Adventure Quest in Columbus or bring the adventure inside with Let’s Roam’s In-Home Scavenger Hunts. For more, try your hand at the Lancaster, Toledo and Akron Scavenger Hunts (check out all of their Ohio offerings online).
Get a unique perspective by visiting Ohio’s oddest attractions.
Get away from it all with these fall-inspired trips.
Pour your own candle and create fall-scented magic at Petals & Wicks in Hamilton. Or get crafty in Columbus at Makers Social (a full service bar and DIY shop), learn to crochet with tutorials from TLYarnCrafts and journal with Scribble’s illustrated activity cards.
Don’t get board this season! Lots of local libraries let you check out board games, like Bexley Public Library or Mentor Public Library. For a more digital experience, you can check out a video games from Clark County Public Library, the Stark Library or the Columbus Metropolitan Library. If you’d like even more game time, shop board games with Columbus’s Kingmakers, play the card game Medium (designed by two Columbus locals) or go classic with a round of UNO -- who's inventor, Merle Robbins, is from Ohio!
How many things can you check off your list this fall?