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 Fun 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.
Delaware County Fair and Little Brown Jug: September 18-25, 2021
Jackson County Apple Festival: September 21-25, 2021 Apple everything in Hocking Hills
Barnesville Pumpkin Festival: September 23-25, 2021 If you love pumpkin, take a 2 hour drive east for this fun festival
Powell Community Bonfire: September 25, 2021
Ohio Gourd Festival (Delaware County): October 1-3, 2021
Hops & Vines Fest, Gahanna: October 2, 2021. Craft beer and wine tasting event hosted by Gahanna Parks & Recreation Foundation at Creekside Plaza
Chalk the Block, Easton: October 2-3, 2021. Check out amazing chalk art creations at Easton! Watch the artists create on Saturday and see the winner, or check them all out on Sunday!
Columbus Italian Festival: October 8-10, 2021 Celebrate Italian food, entertainment, and culture
Van Wert County Harvest Happenings: October 15-16, 2021 Apple cider, apple pie, apple dumplings, apple butter, and so much more at this fall festival at this festival in NW Ohio.
Circleville Pumpkin Show: October 20-23, 2021 The best of pumpkin everything at this awesome festival less than an hour from Columbus! Pumpkin donuts!!
Ongoing Date Night options
Second Saturday of July, August, September and October from 7 pm – 10 pm. Chihuly Nights are an amazing way to see the conservatory after hours in a new light. The 19 Chihuly installations will be illuminated with the botanical gardens as a backdrop. Check out the biomes in the conservatory and the historic John F. Wolfe Palm as it’s illuminated by James Turrell’s Light Raiment II.
The Conservatory food truck will serve a limited food menu, beer and wine. Botanica Gift Shop and Chihuly Gift Store will be open as well. Special admission is $12-$22 for non-members, and $6-$11 for members. It’s a great date night idea!
- September 11, 2021
- October 9, 2021
Don’t miss fall favorite Pumpkins Aglow starting October 13 from 5-9pm. Experience the magic of the harvest season at the Conservatory under the stars, surrounded by glowing pumpkins and enchanting scenery. Enchanting decorations throughout the gardens include larger than life spiders created by Tork Collaborative Arts, Inc., a foggy creek and skeletons and ghosts. Two Pumpkin Houses stand ready to welcome guests this year.
Pumpkins Aglow includes exhibitions, gardens and collections, and Botanica Gift Shop and Greenhouse. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden will close at dusk. Guests will also enjoy food trucks, live entertainment, and more.
Buy tickets now! With limited ticket sale in 2021, make sure you get yours early! Tickets are $22/adults, $19/seniors and college students, $12/child ages 3-12, free under 3. Members qualify for discounted rates.
Dates: September 15 – November 30, 2021
Go on a pumpkin adventure through Grove City with the Annual Grove City Pumpkin Trek. Print out or pick up a “Trek Guide” at any of the 27 participating businesses. Enjoy the sights, scents, and flavors and earn a stamp for each purchase.
Once you collect 16 stamps on the Trek Guide, redeem it for a limited edition tee at Grove City Guide + Gear. Use #GCPumpkinTrek and #pumpkintrek as you set out on your Grove City pumpkin adventure.
The Licking Parks District and Explore Licking County want you to get active in the parks this fall! All you need to do is Hike, Bike, and/or Paddle for 30 minutes in Licking County Parks and Waterways to earn prizes. Do one activity for a Licking Park District tree cookie. Do two activities for a commemorative patch. Do all three for a patch and an event specific t-shirt. Check the challenge page to see where to hike, bike, and paddle in Licking County!
Columbus Coffee Fest: September 25-26, 2021. Coffee is life. Find a new favorite local coffee! Columbus Coffee Festival is held outside and occurs rain or shine. If there is inclement weather, some activities may be moved or cancelled. Sample sizes of coffee range from 3 – 4 ounces each. There will be lots of fun activities and vendors at the festival too!
Head to Fairfield County to the Trail of Scarecrows! Named “The Scarecrow Capital of Ohio,” Fairfield County has 14 communities displaying fantastic scarecrows during the entire month of October. Visit them all, vote for your favorite, and share your pics by using #FCScarecrows. This self-guided experience is free and no reservations are necessary or required. Find a detailed map of scarecrow locations in various communities here.
Fall Fun in October
Saturdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2021 from 5:30–9:30 p.m.
Enjoy a traditional 19th Century Halloween celebration with All Hallows’ Eve at Ohio Village. These family-friendly haunted events feature pumpkin carving, fortune telling, crafts, games, and Halloween traditions from the 1890’s. But beware… the Headless Horseman will visit during a bonfire reading of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow each night.
Admission: $16/adults, $12/youth (ages 6-12), $11/Ohio Historical Society adult members, $7/OHS youth members. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 7.
Grandview Heights Fall Fest: Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 4 pm – 7 pm in at Ray DeGraw Park 850 First Ave. Celebrate all things fall! This is a family friendly festival with bounce houses, food trucks, yard games, music and more!
Highball Halloween: Saturday, October 23, 2021
Annual Halloween street party with entertainment, costume contests, and more. Event is being held at EXPRESS LIVE! for 2021
Fall fun and Fall date ideas in Columbus
Grab your sweaters and enjoy the fall weather!
Pumpkin patches: Grab a few pumpkins and some adorable selfie’s, and head home to carve or paint them.
Free or cheap events this weekend in Columbus There’s ALWAYS something going on in Columbus when you are looking for something to do on the weekend.
Sunflower Fields in Columbus Most sunflowers bloom sometime between August and September, and there are a few fields that will still be in bloom through September (weather-depending)
Nature walks and scenic hiking trails in Columbus Take a walk in the crisp fall air (or Indian Summer heat) on one of these awesome trails.
Best Places for Canoeing and Kayaking in Columbus Get a double kayak or canoe and work together, or float side by side and soak up the fall.
Drive in Theatres in Ohio Go back to the classic-style dates with a drive-in movie!
Planetariums and Astronomy: Best places to see the stars in Ohio Bundle up and check out the stars together at one of these planetariums or observatories. Check for closures or visiting restrictions.
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! Clinics book up FAST!
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!
Explore over 20 farmers markets around Columbus – fall is my favorite time of the year for farmer’s markets!
Bonfire (or firepit), s’mores, and your favorite beverages. Easy but awesome.
Fun and Tasty Adventure Trails in Ohio Take on a challenge together and aim to complete a few of these adventure trails. From beer trails, wine trails, donut trails, coffee trails, food trails, art trails, and more….these will be a blast to work through together (and make date-planning easy!) Some even come with a prize at the end when you complete it!
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.
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 or one of these highlighted hiking trails!
Enjoy the fall colors! 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 10, October 8, November 12 (second Friday of the month)
The Moonlight Market on Gay Street: September 11 and October 9
Powell DORA: Shop, dine and explore in the Powell Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). The DORA is in effect from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. The DORA allows licensed liquor establishments in the designated area to sell alcohol at special times that can be carried out of their establishments in specially marked cups.
North Market Outdoor Night Market: Enjoy the “carnival-like” outdoor market inspired by traditional street fairs in Europe and Asia. Enjoy a wide array of hand-made and locally grown products for sale, music, and Sip and Stroll with drinks from The Barrel & Bottle. It’s free to attend, and drink tickets can be purchased for beer, wine, or cocktails.
- Friday, September 17, 2021
- Friday, October 15, 2021
Sunday Sunlight Market on Gay Street: September 19 and October 17(typically third Sunday of the month). Shop and brunch on Gay Street.
4th Fridays in Uptown Westerville: cancelled for 2021 at this time (4th Friday of the month)
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: So many chances to get scared with these Ghost Tours in Columbus and surrounding areas!
Haunted Statehouse Tours: October 15-16 and 22-23, 2021
German Village Monster Bash: October 16, 2021 Adult trick-or-treat route, dancing and drinking, costume contest and more!
Haunted Houses around Columbus: Get scared together and cuddle up to comfort each other afterwards. Most haunted attractions have reopened for 2021, and there are even a few new ones to scare you!
Plan your costumes! Pick out an adorable or hilarious couple Halloween costume. Find ideas here or on Pinterest.
TRAUMA – Halloween Fetish Party: Thursday-Saturday, October 28-30, 2021 This Halloween Fetish Party isn’t for everyone, but a highly anticipated yearly event for many!
Rocky Horror Halloween Show at Studio 35: October 2 and October 30. 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. Typically held the 1st Saturday of the month, plus a special near-Halloween event!
September 30 – October 31, 2021
Catch classic scary movies at Gateway Film Center this October during the Annual Hitchcocktober Screening. Enjoy movies by Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, everyday through the month of October at GFC. Screenings are every day at 7:00PM, with a 2PM matinee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
October 21 – 24, 2021
Premiere screenings from exceptional new voices, including The Scary of Sixty-First, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, the World Premiere of The FP 3 – Escape from Bako, and a live orchestral score of James Quinn’s Ivory Wave presented on 35mm film. Full schedule coming soon.
The ultimate way to experience our celebration of genre cinema, NFF VIP passes offer the holder a guaranteed seat in every round of films, access to the VIP bar and lounge, and in-and-out privileges throughout the fest. Individual tickets will go on sale in mid-October.
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.
Find more upcoming Fun for Adults in Columbus!
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Monday, October 25, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Past events for 2021
Obetz Zucchinifest: September 3-6, 2021. Entertainment, FREE concerts, food, beer garden, a cruise-in and motorcycle show, and a fantastic parade. Admission is free!
Greek Festival: September 3-6, 2021
Marion Popcorn Festival: September 9-11, 2021
Lithopolis Honeyfest: September 10-11, 2021. Indulge on all things hone 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 events There are multiple Oktoberfest events around Columbus in 2021
Ohio Pawpaw Festival: September 17-19, 2021 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!
TBA for 2021
Slice of Columbus Pizza Passport Discount and Program: Details still being determined for 2021!
The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow: TBA for 2021 at Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave. The park will transform into a fall wonderland featuring a drive-thru trail aglow with of artfully created scenes made from thousands of etched and carved pumpkins with whimsical lighting effects. Admission is $15 per vehicle. Book in advance!
Haunted Wine Cellar at the Wyandotte Winery: Late October date tba
Freaky Flights Tours with ZipZone zip line, costume party, Halloween festival: tba for 2021
Scarecrow Festival: Cancelled for 2021 in Washington Courthouse featuring fun food, family activities, beer garden, rides, food, 5k, car show, and free concerts and more.
Stratford Ecological Center Fall Harvest Fair: Cancelled for 2021. Food, wagon rides, kids activities, live music, cider making, animals, and more. $5 per person, $15 for family of 4.
Harvest Festival, Columbus Commons: tba for 2021
TWIG of Nationwide Children’s Pumpkinpalooza: tba for 2021
Welcome to Fall Festival at Glacier Ridge Metro Park: tba for 2021. Celebrate the season with hayrides, live animals, crafts and activities. Meet at bulletin board at picnic shelter.
Ohio Smoked Meat & BBQ Festival: cancelled for 2021 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.
Halloween on the Hocking: October dates tba