Most everyone can agree that fall is fantastic in Ohio with sweater weather, changing leaves, football, bonfires, fall events and so much more. Grab a date and enjoy the fall season with these great fall date ideas in Columbus.
Single? Don’t worry – these fall date ideas in Columbus would be just as fun with a friend or group of friends. Just trade in the cuddling for good conversation, and you’re all set. There’s always something new going on during the weekend, so check out our weekend calendar list first!
Fall Festivals in Columbus
Skip the restaurant and bar scene and hit one of these great festivals with a date! Columbus love food and drink, and is home to tons of great festivals celebrating them.
Fall festivals in September
Obetz Zucchinifest: August 30 – September 2. Entertainment, FREE concerts, food, beer garden, a cruise-in and motorcycle show, and a fantastic parade. Admission is free!
Greek Festival: August 30 – September 2
Marion Popcorn Festival: September 5-7
Lithopolis Honeyfest: September 6-7. Indulge on all things honey, experience a real life bee beard (it’s what it sounds like…here’s a picture) and save the bees. Honey Competition & Tasting, Honey Bake-Off, Mead & Wine Tastings, Honey Beer Garden, Honeyfest Queen Pageant, Bee Beard & Beekeeping Demonstrations
Columbus Oktoberfest: September 6-8. Try some delicious German food and beer at the Ohio Expo Center while listening to the musical performances on two stages and tons of events.
Slice of Columbus: September 11. Over fifteen area pizza shops will serve their most savory pies. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample pizza and vote for their favorite pie with the “People’s Choice Award.” Event includes children’s activities, craft beers and wine. Tickets are $15-$18, with family pass options available.
Country Living Fair: September 13-15. Meet the editors of Country Living Magazine and their guests, attend seminars and how-to’s, see artisan demonstrations, shop the Harvest & Gourmet Market, and get ideas for your own home.
Ohio Pawpaw Festival: September 13-15 If you’ve never tasted a Pawpaw, this is your chance! Most people find that they taste like a blend of papaya, banana, mango and pineapple – quite tropical considering its America’s largest native tree fruits and they grow in Ohio!
Delaware County Fair and Little Brown Jug: September 14-21 Last county fair in the area – get your fair food!
Annual Taste of Dublin: September 17 Enjoy fine food from 25+ Dublin-area restaurants at this upscale event
Jackson County Apple Festival: September 17-21 Apple everything in Hocking Hills
Germania Oktoberfest: September 20-22. The oldest and most authentic Oktoberfest in Columbus
Scarecrow Festival: September 20-22 in Washington Courthouse featuring fun food, family activities, beer garden, rides, food, 5k, car show, and free concerts and more.
Barnesville Pumpkin Festival: September 26-29 If you love pumpkin, take a 2 hour drive east for this fun festival
Columbus Mac and Cheese Festival: September 27. Samples all kinds of mac & cheese at Easton from restaurants around the city!
Stratford Ecological Center Fall Harvest Fair: September 28. Food, wagon rides, kids activities, live music, cider making, animals, and more. $5 per person, $15 for family of 4.
Harvest Festival, Columbus Commons: September 28
TWIG of Nationwide Children’s Pumpkinpalooza: September 28
Columbus Coffee Fest: September 28-29 Coffee is life. Find a new favorite local coffee!
Welcome to Fall Festival at Glacier Ridge Metro Park: September 29. Celebrate the season with hayrides, live animals, crafts and activities. Meet at bulletin board at picnic shelter.
Fall Festivals in October
Ohio Gourd Festival (Delaware County): October 4-6
Upper Arlington Fall Fest: October 6
Highball Halloween: October 11-12 Annual Halloween street party in the Short North with entertainment, costume contests, and more.
Columbus Italian Festival: October 11-13 Celebrate Italian food, entertainment, and culture
German Village Monster Bash: October 12 Adult trick-or-treat route, dancing and drinking, costume contest and more!
Circleville Pumpkin Show: October 16-19 The best of pumpkin everything at this awesome festival less than an hour from Columbus! Pumpkin donuts!!
Ohio Smoked Meat & BBQ Festival: October 18-19 Whether you prefer chicken, pulled pork, pork ribs and beef brisket, you’ll find the best of Ohio BBQ here! Take a ride on Stuart’s Opera House Fall Wine Express on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.
Van Wert County Apple Festival: October 18-19 Apple cider, apple pie, apple dumplings, apple butter, and so much more at this fall festival at this festival in NW Ohio.
There’s something for every weekend, or check out this huge list of Central Ohio Festivals for other options.
Fall fun and Fall date ideas in Columbus
Grab your sweaters and enjoy the fall weather!
Happy Hour! Let’s face it – happy hour is a great date any time of the year. Discounted food and beverage, a more relaxed and social atmosphere, and early hours that leave the rest of your night free – which is especially good if its a first date AND last date! This huge happy hour list is always being added to – I’d love to know your favorite!
Apple picking: Wander through an orchard for fresh air and juicy apples
Pumpkin patches: Grab a few pumpkins and some adorable selfie’s, and head home to carve or paint them.
Explore over 20 farmers markets around Columbus – fall is my favorite time of the year for farmer’s markets!
Haunted Houses around Columbus: Get scared together and cuddle up to comfort each other afterwards
Pick out an adorable or hilarious couple Halloween costume. Find ideas here or on Pinterest.
Bonfire (or firepit), s’mores, and your favorite beverages
Butler County Donut Trail: Head to Butler County and hit all of the delicious donut shops in one trip, or head back for the rest on another day.
Columbus Ale Trail: Travel the Ale Trail through Central Ohio and find a new favorite craft beer.
Skull Sessions before home Ohio State football games. Games are expensive, but the pep rallies are FREE before home games!
Learn to Curl! Columbus Curling Club offers instructional sessions to learn this fun ice sport – anyone can do it! You just need a pair of clean tennis shoes and you’re all set!
Go for a hike! Exercise releases feel-good hormones and the fall trees are the perfect backdrop. Pack a picnic and enjoy one of the Metro Parks around Columbus! Head out on your own, or join a guided hike or program!
Go on a drive to check out the fall leaves. Hocking Hills is a great option for this. Hike, grab lunch or dinner, and even stay the night in a cabin, bed and breakfast, or hotel. Check out our list of the best scenic drives to see fall leaves in Ohio.
If you really love nature, Fall is a great time for camping! Enjoy the the leaves, campfire, and a sleeping bag for 2!
Check out a different part of town with these monthly neighborhood days. Check out new shops, bars, and restaurants along the way, as many offer specials during these dates.
Franklinton Fridays: September 13 and October 11 (second Friday of the month)
The Moonlight Market on Gay Street: September 14 and October 12
Sunday Sunlight Market on Gay Street: September 22 and October 20 (typically third Sunday of the month)
4th Fridays in Uptown Westerville: September 27 (4th Friday of the month)
Short North Gallery Hop: September 7, October 5, November 2 (first Saturday of the month)
Powell Community Bonfire: October 19
Get scared with these fun Halloween activities
Make sure to check back as the list will be added to throughout the season.
Spooky Ghost Tours around Columbus: dates tba
Hitchcocktober Screenings at Gateway Film Center: Every day in October
Monster Bash: October 12. Fun Halloween party and adult trick or treat in German Village
Ohio 24 Hour Horror Marathon: October 12-13
Haunted Statehouse Tours: October 18, 19, 25, 26 Tickets sell out each year!
Highball Halloween: October 11-12. Huge, Halloween street party in the Short North with costume contests, runway shows, and more!
“Night Fright” Zip Tours for Hocking Hills Canopy Tours: Ghosts, zombies, witches, and Batman during these night tours (tba for 2019).
All Hallows Eve at Ohio Village: October 12 and October 19 Enjoy an evening of 1890s-style Halloween fun at All Hallows’ Eve, with a retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by the bonfire, pumpkin carving and strange characters roaming Ohio Village. Come revel in old-fashioned entertainment including fortune telling, crafts, games and more!
Halloween on the Hocking: October dates tba
Trauma 2019: October 30-November 2 This Halloween Fetish Party isn’t for everyone, but a highly anticipated yearly event for many!
Haunted Wine Cellar at the Wyandotte Winery: Late October date tba
Freaky Flights Tours with ZipZone zip line, costume party, Halloween festival: October 25-27
Halloween ComicFest: October 26 Comic shops around the world celebrate the season by giving away FREE comics to fans
Sips & Spirits at Camelot Cellars: date tba Halloween soiree for the grownups
Rocky Horror Halloween Show at Studio 35: October 26 The midnight cult-classic experience. The Tim Curry film will roll, and a live cast will perform in front of the movie. There is a pre show with costume contests and more. tickets are $10; will sell out.
Don’t forget to check out our 50+ Best Free and Cheap Dates for every season in Columbus!
Know any other fall date ideas in Columbus? Leave them in the comments or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.