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Halloween weekend events to enjoy with the whole family


Pumpkin patches make great photo backdrops.

Halloween weekend is fun for young and old, but enjoying it as a family is a real treat. Central Ohio offers a wide variety of family-friendly Halloween events that you and your family won't want to miss.

1) Pumpkin Patches

Visiting a local pumpkin patch is a great way for the whole family to enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery, get some fresh air, and spend the day together. Many pumpkin patches offer family-friendly Halloween activities this weekend, including hay rides, pony rides, apple bobbing, face painting and pumpkin slingshots. And don't forget your camera ... a pumpkin patch makes a beautiful backdrop for pictures!

2)  Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo is the delightfully haunting Halloween celebration at the Columbus Zoo.  This year’s activities include treat stations sponsored by local businesses and organizations, an “Operation Green” show featuring Iron Man, Spiderman, Green Goblin and Captain America, special Halloween rides and attractions, and the notorious Pumpkin Smash Animal Enrichment.  Children are welcome to dress in costume.  However, only adults accompanied by a child or children under 13 years of age are permitted to wear costumes on zoo grounds.  Open Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st from 9am to 9pm.

The 2009 corn maze at the MAiZE at Little Darby Creek.

3)  The MAiZE at Little Darby Creek

Many pumpkin patches offer a fun corn maze experience, but if you and your family want a real Halloween challenge, you need to experience the daunting turns and dead ends at the MAiZE at Little Darby Creek.  This year's nine-acre maze pays tribute to Lebron James, giving visitors the opportunity to twist and turn their way around the Cleveland Cavalier's dunk shot.  For a spooky corn maze encounter, visit after dark when the corn maze becomes the "Field of Fright".  Open Friday, October 30th from 5-10pm, Saturday, October 31st from 12-10pm, and Sunday, November 1st from 12-6pm.

4)  Marcy's Clayground

For a creative way to celebrate Halloween weekend, take a trip to Marcy's Clayground, a contemporary paint your own pottery studio located in Powell.  Your family is sure to enjoy painting one of owner Marcy Kuehl Freed's crazy monster creatures.  Just as exciting, the final product can be enjoyed for many years to come.  Open Thursday, October 29th and Friday, October 30th from11am to 9pm, Saturday, October 31st from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday, November 1st from 12-6pm.

The Mel Brooks classic playing at the Ohio Theatre

5) Garrison Ghost Walk

The Ohio Historical Society offers a unique Halloween experience this weekend at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg. From 7-9pm on Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st, visitors of all ages will have the chance to take a 'spirited' stroll through the fort with an 1812 tour guide. Guests will enjoy tales from the past and encounter the spookier side of the historic fort. The stories change each year, so you're guaranteed to have a unique experience.

6) The Haunted Ship at the Santa Maria

Once a year the Santa Maria, a full-size replica of Christopher Columbus’ flagship in Downtown Columbus, turns into a haunted pirate ship. Visitors of all ages will have a great time touring the eerie boat, where they will meet merry pirates on the fore deck, discover that rats and spiders have taken over the hold, and find a pirate skeleton who is watching over the ship's treasures. They will also encounter ghosts walking the decks and a sea monster waiting in the waves. Open Thursday, October 29th, Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st from 7-10pm.

7) Broadway Across America: Young Frankenstein

Just in time for Halloween comes Mel Brooks' classic-turned-musical, Young Frankenstein. This wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (aka Fronkensteen) as he attempts to create a monster, but not without scary and hilarious complications. Audience members will enjoy all their favorite moments from the classic film, plus brand-new show-stopping numbers for the stage, including "Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and “Puttin' on the Ritz." Show times are Thursday, October 29th and Friday, October 30th at 8pm,Saturday, October 31st at 2 and 8pm, and Sunday, November 1st at 1 and 6:30pm.

8) Metro Parks Halloween Events

Columbus Metro Parks offer two exciting nature events that will be fun for the whole family. The Halloween Tram Ride will take adventurers through Slate Run Metro Park, where they will look for spiders, bats, coyotes and other creepy critters of the season. Following the tram ride, guests will enjoy a campfire as the sun goes down. Families can also enjoy the Bump in the Night Campfire at Blacklick Woods Metro Park, where they will learn about bats, owls and other creepy critters of the season during a not-too-spooky Halloween campfire program. Both events are Saturday, October 31st at 6:30pm.

9)  Spooky Science Weekend at COSI

Visit COSI in costume on October 30th during Family Friday Night from 6-8pm or on Saturday, October 31st from 11am-1pm and explore the spooky science of Halloween with COSI's "Pumpkin Patch" Science Show, "Pumpkin Patch You Try It" Family Workshops, trick-or-treat stations, spooky cart activities, face painting and magicians. A real treat for the whole family!

10)  Columbus Children's Theatre - How I Became a Pirate

AARRRRGH! Who doesn’t want to be a pirate? Based upon a multi-award winning book, join Braid Beard and his crew of pirates as they invite young Jeremy Jacobs aboard on their trip to bury treasure! Jeremy lives the dream of every young boy and learns all about being a pirate: how to sing chanteys, to throw food across the table and his manners to the wind! A heartwarming comedy of adventure and finding one’s own heart - a path that can’t be found on a treasure map. Show times are Thursday, October 29th and Friday, October 30th at 7:30pm, Saturday, October 31st at 1, 3 and 5pm, and Sunday, November 1st at 1 and 3pm.

Whatever you and your family decide to do this Halloween weekend, be safe and have fun!


  • Sharon P. 5 years ago

    All these activities ... what a great city we live in!