Soon, the days will begin to get cooler and the leaves will change color as we approach the fall season. Autumn is my favorite time of year in Northeast Ohio. With the changes in season, the Akron area offers many opportunities to enjoy this beautiful time of year. Listed below are some ways to enjoy the fall activities which Akron offers. If you don’t live in Summit County or in Ohio, you could use this list as a springboard for ideas of how you can enjoy the fall season in your own community.
1. Take advantage of what Cuyahoga Valley National Park has to offer. CVNP offers some of the most colorful scenes of the changing leaves. While enjoying the scenic views, you can also enjoy the fun activities within the park:
- Explore the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park by either biking or hiking parts of it. There are 11 trailheads throughout the park within CVNP so you can access the Towpath trail from many points throughout Summit County. Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail
- Take one of the 1/2 day trips suggested on the park’s website: Half Day Visit. One of our favorite things to do is hike around the Boston Mills area and follow it up with ice cream at the Trail Mix store.
- Have your kids join the Junior Ranger program. Read more about it here: Junior Ranger program at CVNP. There is a Junior Ranger book you can download at this site, but many of the park offices/ visitor’s centers contain this literature. We got our book at the Boston Mills visitor’s center.
- Take a train ride. This is something I haven’t done with my family, but I have heard good things about it. They not only offer the regular schedule of rides, but they also have themed trains rides as well such as the Polar Express. The train schedule can be found here: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Calendar.
- Check out the schedule of events. I am amazed at the number of family activities at this park. Some of them have an admission price or are geared for adults, but there are many free family activities. See the fall schedule here: CVNP Fall Schedule.
2. Go to the Akron Zoo. Akron Zoo is open year-round and is always a fun trip for my family. But when my kids were younger, they really liked Boo at the Zoo. Boo at the Zoo provides a safe environment for the kids to get dressed up and use their “candy passport” to collect candy and other treats throughout the zoo. Tickets are on sale now and they suggest getting them early. You can purchase pre-sale tickets at the zoo or at your local Acme Fresh Market. Boo at the Zoo begins October 10th. See here for details: Boo at the Zoo. If you want a night out without the kids, you could go to Brew at the Zoo on October 7th.
3. Introduce your kids to some culture at the Global Village Festival. On September 13th, 2015, Lock 3 will present this multicultural festival. The festival features ethnic food, a market, and performances from ethnic groups throughout the community. Read more about it here: Global Village Festival.
4. Attend the Fall Family Fun Fair at the Summit County Fairground. On October 10, 2015, take your kids to the Fun Fair and enter them into the costume contest. You can pre-register online. The fair offers hayrides, crafts, food, a trick or treat maze, and more. I don’t know if there is an admission fee. Read more about it here: Fall Family Fun Fair.
5. Enjoy fall activities at the Harvest Festival at Hale Farm and Village. On October 3, 4, 10th, 11th, the Western Reserve Historical Society presents the Harvest Festival. Some of the activities include a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and various early American trade demonstrations.
6. Visit a local farm for some corn mazes and hay rides. Two of the farms offering autumn fun are both located in Peninsula and include:
- Heritage Farms: The season runs from September 27 through October 31. Check here for the schedule: Fall Schedule. They also offer special events such as Pumpkin Pandemonium and Haunted Hayrides.
- Szalays Farm: The corn maze runs from September 12 through October 31st. On the weekends, they also have outdoor huts where you can purchase food. Check it out here: Outdoor Huts.
7. Go see the mums at the Barberton Mum Fest. On September 26th-27th, you can see the floral display at the Mum Festival at Lake Anna Park. Admission to the festival is free and offers entertainment and arts and crafts for the family. Over 20,000 mums make up the display. Read about it here: Barberton Mum Fest.
8. Participate in the programs at the Summit County Metro Parks. Summit Metro Parks offers many programs which provide several free options for families.
- Fall Hiking Spree I have to admit that we start this almost every year, but we have never done more than two hikes per spree. I go in with great enthusiasm, but then life gets in the way. Maybe I’ll be successful this year, but I doubt it. It runs from September 1st through November 30th and you can jump in at any time. You must complete 8 hikes. After completing 8 hikes your first year, you earn a walking staff and shield. Each following year that you complete the 8 hikes, you will earn a shield to add to your stick.
- The park system also offers family events such as tot story time, family hikes, music, and family campouts. See Summit Metro Parks for the schedule.
9. Send your kids to cooking class. Now, this is a pricier option and something my family hasn’t experienced. The Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson offers cooking classes for kids and teens which have fall-related themes like Corn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Check out the schedule here.
10.Visit Stan Hywett. Stan Hywett is one of my favorite places to go in the Akron area. I love to see the change of seasons throughout the gardens. Fall is a particularly pretty time of year. They also offer a wonderful artisan mart in the Fall:
- Ohio Mart. Ohio Mart takes place October 1st-4th and features over 100 artists and exhibitors. It also has many activities for kids in addition to family entertainment and hot gingerbread! We love seeing the many unique crafts and artwork from the vendors. It is a great place to buy Christmas gifts if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind item.
As I read about all these possibilities, I realized that I could have continued with several other ideas. It seems that every town in Summit County has its own festivals or activities. Writing this also made me realize how much I love Summit County. There is always something to do on the weekends.
What will you this fall and what did I miss from this list? Please comment below.