The leaves are changing, the air is brisk: it’s fall! Fall is a busy time of year in Cincinnati, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of options for family fun. We’ll give you the lowdown on fun fall activities to explore with your family, so you can make the most of this wonderful season.
Here are 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Fall in Cincy:
There’s just something special about picking your own produce, and fall brings plenty of U-Pick opportunities at local apple orchards. Iron’s Fruit Farm in Lebanon is one of the finest in the tristate; their U-pick season runs into October and features Paula Red, McIntosh and Gala varieties. Meanwhile, east-siders will tell you that while A&M Farm Orchard is a bit of a trek, this Midland gem is well-worth the trip.
Go for a hike
Take advantage of fall’s cooler temps by going on a family hike. Between the Great Parks of Hamilton County, Cincinnati Parks and Cincinnati Nature Center, there are tons of kid-friendly treks around town. Need extra motivation? September 28-29 is Green Umbrella’s Great Outdoor Weekend, which features over 100 FREE outdoor activities in the tristate.
Visit a pumpkin patch
Watching your kids trudge across an orange-speckled field of pumpkins is a parental rite of passage. Shaw Farms, Burwinkel Farms and Brown’s Family Farm all boast a beautiful selection of fall’s unofficial mascot. And if you’re up for a drive, Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs has one of the most picturesque pumpkin patches in Ohio!
Do a fall festival
It just isn’t fall without festivals. Local favorites include Fall Fest at Neltner’s Farm, Gorman Farm’s acclaimed Sunflower Festival and the Renaissance Festival, which this year celebrates 30 seasons of medieval merriment. Sit down with your family calendar and plot out your fall festival fun!
Conquer a corn maze
While you’re planning your fall festival circuit, be sure to include a couple of corn mazes. Blooms & Berries has two: a 7-acre labyrinth that takes an hour to conquer and a smaller, more kid-friendly, 15-minute maze. Over in Milford, Shaw Farms boasts a 15-acre maze that’s not for the faint of heart.
Enjoy the local colors
Ohio is at its most beautiful in the fall. Red, orange, yellow and gold — you’ll see all the colors of the autumn rainbow! And there’s no better way to take in fall foliage than aboard a train. Lebanon-Mason Monroe Railroad’s Turtle Creek Flyer runs through October and will take you through the picturesque countryside of Southwest Ohio, while Whitewater Valley Railroad’s Valley Flyer takes patrons on a tour of Indiana’s Historic (and beautiful) canal town, Metamora. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Take a hayride
Speaking of rides, hayrides are a necessary part of fall. Neltner’s Farm takes guests on one of the most beautiful wagon rides in the tristate, and the covered wagon rides at Bonnybrook Farms are about as charming as it gets. And if your kids prefer horseback rides to hayrides, Nation Road Horse Rental in Oxford takes guests on a picture-perfect trek through the trails of Butler County.
Decorate for fall
Pick up some autumn mums, find the most bizarrely shaped gourds or get a little fancy by making your own scarecrow. Station Road Farm in West Chester and Montgomery’s Pipkins Market each boast a bounty of fresh fall produce, blooms and décor. For West Siders, Brown’s Family Farm Market in Hamilton is known for its impressive selection of fall produce and notions: corn stalks, gourds, mums, pumpkins – they have it all!
Carve a pumpkin
Embrace the mess and get your kids involved in scooping out pumpkin guts! Whether you prepare your pumpkins days before Halloween or the night of, be sure you “carve” out time for this festive tradition.
Go trick-or-treating before Halloween
Cincy kids have it pretty great — there are tons of opportunities to trick-or-treat before the big night. HallZOOween at the Zoo and Tricks or Treat Weekend at the Ohio Renaissance Festival are two fan favorites; meanwhile, history buffs definitely need to check out Heritage Village’s Haunted Village, which features trick-or-treating in a festive, just-spooky-enough setting.