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Safe Halloween Fun in Central Ohio

Updated on October 22, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

In many ways, music saved my life, and I have the most famous director of the USMC bands to thank for it!


Central Ohio offers many things to see and do for a safe holiday. Check your own city for similar opportunities for fun in October!


1) Ohio Historical Center and Ohio Village

This comprehensive museum and living history complex is located near the Ohio State Fairgrounds at the 17th Ave. Entrance for Highway I-71 in Columbus. The address is 800 E. 17th Ave. Columbus, OH 43211. Call (614) 297-2300 to confirm program dates. The following are long time favorites:

A 19th Century All Hallows Eve - Annually

October - Middle two weekends • 5:30–9:30PM : Dance the Dance of Mystery, attend an Irish Wake, and help dig a grave if you like. Dozens of other activities for you to enjoy as well.

Many other activities and events happen October, November, and December.

If you celebrate Halloween or if you do not, enjoy the Ohio Village tradition. They present an 1800s family style Halloween with a special children's area, a Museum of Oddities, related games, and arts and crafts. Around a bonfire, village re-enactors read Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. During the fireside reading, the Headless Horseman appears. Some Saturday Nights in Octobers. Call (800) 686-1541 for information.

War of the Worlds

Every Saturday in October at Noon and 2:00 PM, a re-enactment of Orson Welles' historic radio broadcast of War of the Worlds is presented for family entertainment. In the 1930s. this broadcast frightened listeners into the belief that the story was real and the earth doomed to Martian destruction. See the rest of the museum and historic Ohio Village before and after the presentation.

Fees: For Historical Society/Ohio History Connection Members: Adults $8, Seniors $7, ages 6-12 $4, Parking Free. For Non-members: Adults $12, ages 6-12 $9, Parking $4. For advanced ticket sales and to confirm events, please call (800) 686-1541.

Ohio Historical Center, 800 E. 17th Avenue, Columbus OH:
800 East 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211, USA

get directions

Just a few blocks east of The Ohio State University.

Downtown Screams

2) Santa Maria Museum Ship

Docked in Downtown Columbus on the Scioto River, the Santa Maria Museum Ship is haunted every October.

The HAuNtED SHiP at the Santa Maria! -The boat is filled with surprise in the form of lifelike spiders, rats, and pirate attacks. Skeletons and other visitors may appear as well.

Dates and Fees: October 25, 26 & 27th with ticket sales from 7:00PM-10:00PM. Adult (ages 12 & up) Admission is $5.00, Youth 3-11 $3.00. Call (614) 645-8760

3) The Haunted Statehouse

Corner of Broad and High Streets in Downtown Columbus; Saturdays in October.

A 40-minute walking tour runs through the vaulted marble passages of the 146-year-old Ohio Statehouse, by lantern light only. The reincarnated relic room is full of spirits of Ohio History. Stories come to life via re-enactors in period costumes.

Tours depart every 30 minutes from 7-9 PM, closes at 10PM: Limited to 40 individuals per tour. Tickets are available at the link or by calling the Statehouse Museum Shop at (614) 728-9234


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Boo at the Zoo - Merry, not Scary!

New since 2012 - A tiny Boo Mansion for the youngest children!

Many cities and towns hold Halloween parties on the zoo grounds with refreshments, concessions, and retail areas, with arts and crafts areas for the kids. Free Candy! It's a fun, safe way to avoid street Trick or Treating.

Check with any of your USA zoo and museum memberships to see if they are in reciprocal agreement with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and other local facilities when you are in the Columbus area. This is an affordable way to visit zoos across the Untied States and take advantage of special events.

First in-Zoo born Gorilla in 1956, this is Colo at Columbus Zoo in 2009. Probably judging costumes at Boo at the Zoo in this photo. Now deceased, she has many tribute displays..
First in-Zoo born Gorilla in 1956, this is Colo at Columbus Zoo in 2009. Probably judging costumes at Boo at the Zoo in this photo. Now deceased, she has many tribute displays..
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium:
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, 4850 W Powell Rd, Columbus, OH 43215, USA

get directions

Party for Pets and People

Saturday nearest to October 31 every year.

The Highball Halloween begins at 3 PM.

The event starts with the Mini-Masques Children's Costume Contest (ages 2-12) and the evening is full of live music, tunes by a DJ, a fashion show, a pet and pet/owner costume contest, and adults' costume contest, and a final costume parade. The kids' contest has 5 categories, including my favorite: Best Alice in Wonderland Character.

The fashion show is a presentation in a 60-foot runways down the middle of High Street. by well known Columbus fashion designers, with a $1,000 top prize. A number of large cash prizes are awarded for best costumes, including a best Cirque de Soleil style category.

Particular fun is the pet costume contest, in which owners and their pets may compete together. This party is safe not only for kids, for for your cat, dog, and ferret as well. Parrots sometimes show up dressed as pirates!

For registration information and directions, see the link below. Held outside, the event is guarded by the Columbus Police Department and volunteers. The two blocks of High Street involved are blocked off and everyone keeps an eye on the kids.

Highball Halloween in the Short North

High Street and 2nd Ave. Columbus OH:
N High St & E 2nd Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA

get directions

High Street and 4th Ave. Columbus OH:
N High St & W 4th Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA

get directions

A Frightfully Fun Bloodbath

The Broadview Bloodbath

5313 Broadview Road, Columbus, Ohio 43230

Example Schedule:

  • October 27, 2010 - Bloodbath Lite, 6PM to 8PM (Suitable for children)
  • October 29, 2010 - Bloodbath, 6PM to 11PM (Teens and adults)
  • Yearly presentations will be at the end of October on similar dates.

This is the annual haunted yard of a creative Columbus homeowner. He loves this event and employs actors and animatronics among his gimmicks. He does it 100% for charity (like the Columbus Dog Connection) and donates his time, money, and yard on Beggar's Night and hopes folks will drop by rather than to walk the streets for treats.

However, it's so popular, he stays open a second night. All donations go to Columbus Dog Connection canine rescue organization.

Especailly since 2010, 25 actors portray characters in 9 different scenes and the events increases in size each year. A haunted house and a visit to the Dr. Thrombosis Vein Harvesting Clinic yield the goodies.

5313 Broadview Road, Columbus, OHio 43230:
5313 Broadview Rd, Columbus, OH 43230, USA

get directions

Bloodbath is just off Cherry Bottom near Morse Road

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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