Things to do in Ohio in Fall (2023)

I’m sad to say that summer is leaving us and the kids are starting school. However, autumn is a glorious season and there are many family-friendly things to do in Ohio in Fall.  Ohio is full of fall festivals and activities, and I’ve compiled a list of some of the best.

September

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

September 8-10, 2023

Marietta has been home to the Sternwheel Festival for over 40 years!  I’ve already been charmed by this river town so I can see why a free family-friendly event would make it even more desirable.

For more things to do while you’re visiting Marietta check out 5 Reasons You Must Visit Marietta, Ohio.

Things to do in Ohio during fall - Sternwhell Festival in Marietta

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Weekends September 2- October 29, 2023

Want to see a sword fight, joust, or a tale of Robin Hood without traveling back in time?  The Ohio Renaissance Festival is sure to delight kids of all ages through food, shows, and old-fashioned games.  The festival runs for nearly two months, on weekends only.  You can check out The Wandering Educator’s review HERE OR The Adventure Mom’s thoughts HERE.

Columbus Oktoberfest 

September 8-10, 2023

For over 50 years, the Columbus Oktoberfest is a free family-friendly event located at the Ohio Expo Center/Ohio State Fairgrounds.  The fall tradition hosts a men’s and women’s stone toss & cream puff eating competition (you had me at cream puff).  Over 10,000 feet of covered space guarantees that the festival will go on – rain or shine. Admission is free, but parking is $12.

Backwoods Fest 

September 15-17, 2023

Thornville’s Backwoods Fest is located near Buckeye Lake.  Situated in the woods of Perry County, the three-day festival is an arts and crafts extravaganza of over 300 vendors.  The food options are mouth-watering!  Kids aged 10 and under are free, but make sure if you take a stroller that it’s one with big wheels — it’s not called “backwoods” for nothing. 😉

Cedar Point HalloWeekends

Thursdays – Sundays, September 14 – October 29, 2023

America’s Roller Coaster Capital hosts a 7-weekend event geared for the Halloween enthusiast.  Daytimes are a kid-friendly Great Pumpkin Fest.  Once dark descends, though, so do the creepy ghosts and zombies.

HalloWeekends are included in the price of your admission – consider booking a package with a stay at the newly renovated Hotel Breakers.  Find out more on HalloWeekends from Adventure Mom’s post on how to survive if you don’t like the scarier stuff.

Check hotel rates at Hotel Breakers

Barberton Mum Fest

September 23-24, 2023

Lake Anna Park is host to the Barberton Mum Fest where nearly 17,000 chrysanthemums create nearly 1 MILLION mum blooms. It’s definitely a sight to behold!

If time doesn’t allow you to visit the festival, the mums will stay in place for a few weeks – just strolling through this display is wonderful. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Things to do in Ohio during fall- Barberton Mum Fest

The Swiss Festival

September 29-30, 2023

Sugarcreek, Ohio is home to the “Little Switzerland” of Ohio and it’s also the setting for Ohio’s Swiss Festival. The Swiss Festival is great fun – with a massive Grand Parade on Saturday showcasing many of the local businesses. After the parade, consider walking to the Fire House for wine and cheese samples! Bring cash.

If you’re a runner you may want to sign up for the “Cheese Chase 5k” that winds through downtown Sugarcreek.

things to do in Ohio in fall - visit the Swiss Festival in Sugarcreek Ohio

Prairie Peddler Festival

September 23, 24 & 30, October 1.

Arts and crafts, pony rides, AND live country music??! The best of all things fall is at the Prairie Peddler Festival in the hills near Mohican State Park. Local vendors and fun fair food (i.e. my favorite- kettle corn), make this a weekend for fun. Check out my full guide to the Prairie Peddler Festival, plus make a weekend of it, by hiking and enjoying the fall foliage and views in Mohican State Park.

prairie-peddler-festival - Things to do in Ohio in Fall

October

Bob Evans Farm Fest 

October 13-15, 2023

Fall festivals in Ohio are plenty- and this is one of the more popular! Did you know that the popular chain, Bob Evans, actually began in the hills of southern Ohio? Rio Grande, Ohio is home to this 3-day festival of crafts, kids’ activities, and musical entertainment- and of course, a Bob Evans food tent. Find out more in this post by Ohio Girl Travels.

Take a hike or a road trip to see fall foliage – mid-late October  

Ohio’s trees put on a show in the month of October.  Fall foliage varies greatly from the north and south ends of the state, but consider a road trip or a hike to enjoy the beauty of autumn.  Get started here:  The best hikes in Northeast Ohio OR Top 5 Hocking Hills hikes for kids. One of my favorite fall scenes was last year at Whipp’s Ledges in Northeast Ohio.

Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival 

October 14-15, 2023

Ashtabula County boasts the most Covered Bridges in the state of Ohio- 19 in total!  Come to celebrate all things covered bridges, and take a driving tour while you’re at it.  This is one road trip going on my Ohio Bucket List.

Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival

October 20-22, 2023

This Coshocton festival highlights apple butter including open fire demonstrations.  With family activities and over 100 vendors, this Roscoe Village event is sure to please. Don’t miss these other fun things to do in Coshocton.

Visit the mum tree at Kingwood Center Gardens

Typically late September – October

One of my favorite fall activities in Ohio is seeing the mum tree at Kingwood Center Gardens. Kingwood Center transforms the gardens with a beautiful array of pumpkins, gourds, mums, and corn stalks. It is a sight to behold!

While you’re in Mansfield, make sure to check out some of my favorite restaurants and things to do in Mansfield with kids. Malabar Farm is also beautiful in the fall!

things to do in fall in Ohio - see the mum tree at Kingwood Center Gardens

Circleville Pumpkin Show 

October 18-22, 2023

Over 100 years old, the Circleville Pumpkin Show is a staple of fall festivals in Ohio!  Test your taste buds on every pumpkin-flavored food imaginable.  Seven parades, a ride midway, and a giant pumpkin contest round out the fun.  Wanting more to do while in Circleville?  Look no further.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Ohio in the fall?

Looking for more fall fun?? Check out my post on Amish Country Traveler with things to do in Amish Country during the fall!

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4 thoughts on “Things to do in Ohio in Fall (2023)”

  1. My favorite way to enjoy fall in Ohio has always been to get outdoors and camp and hike. Though I would love to experience some of the festivals in Ohio this year. The Renaissance Faire has been on my list for ages! Last time my family attended, my kids were little and we all dressed up. It was a blast.

    1. That sounds like so much fun! We’ve been to Circleville a few times- this year I’d like to make it to the Bob Evans Festival and meet up with some old friends.

  2. Pingback: Fall Bucket List

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