Things to Do in Columbus Ohio in October

Photo courtesy of Ohio Expo and State Fair.

Columbus is packed with things to do in October. Hockey has started, and fall festivals and soccer are still in high gear. There’s music and theatre and football. And there are lots of Halloween events in Columbus – so many that they have their own schedule.

(BTW, Columbus and many suburbs hold Beggars's Night Thursday, October 29, 2009.)

Want me to add an event? Send me the info.

Broadway Across America -- Cirque Dreams Illumination
A fantasy cityscape of beauty, balance and a unique way of looking at things.

When: Sept 29-Oct 4
Where: Palace Theatre, 34 W. Broad Street between High and Front Streets, next to the LeVeque Tower.
Time: varies
Cost: varies. Ticket information.

Cocktails at the Conservatory
Music, cocktails, and a cool LED installation glowing gently in the Palm Room makes this a great place to chat with old friends and make some new ones.
When: Thursdays
Where: Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus
Time: 5:30-10 p.m.
Cost: no cover; free parking; drinks cost

All American Quarter Horse Congress
The All American Quarter Horse Congress is the World's Largest Single-Breed Horse Show. More than 8,500 registered American Quarter Horses will prance, trot and side-step across the show rings.
When: Oct 2-25
Where: Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus (the State Fair grounds)
Time: varies
Cost: $25 per vehicle per day. $70 for the entire event.

Buju Banton
Opener: New Kidz, Gramps Morgan, Roots High Power Sound-System
When: Oct 3
Where: Lifestyle Communities Pavilion,405 Neil Ave (Arena District)
Time: doors open at 9 p.m.
Cost: $25 presale; $27 day of show.

Buy tickets.

Central and Southern Ohio SCBWI’s Scarlet and Gray Writer’s Conference
Chat with editors and writers at this annual Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators conference. Guest editors, writers and agents include Kaylan Adair, associate editor-Candlewick Press, Ruta Rimas, assistant editor-Balzer & Bray, Shelley Pearsall, agent Erin Murphy, Cinda Chima, Jenn Stark, Constance McGeorge, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, and Joe Kovach.

Limited to 120 participants.
When: Oct 3
Where: University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, 3110 Olentangy River Road, Columbus
Time: 7:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Cost: varies. Online registration.

Salsa @Martini Park
Salsa dance lessons start at 8 p.m. Then enjoy a full night of great dancing and drink specials all night long.
When: Tuesdays
Where: Martini Park, 4040 Easton Station, Columbus (Easton)
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $7

Echoes in Time Theatre: "Wining the Realm of Reason, as told by Ambrose Bierce”
Bierce was an Ohio-born American newspaper columnist, satirist, essayist, short-story writer, and novelist-an enigmatic figure, who disappeared in the Mexican Revolution. His fate is still a mystery. Come listen to the Poe-like short stories written and told by Bierce, portrayed by Mike Follin of Chesterville,
When: Thursdays
Where: Ohio Historical Center/Ohio Village, 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus
Time: two shows: 7 and 8 p.m.
Cost: free entrance and parking for members of the Ohio Historical Society; non-members: Adults: $8; Seniors: $7; children 6-12: $4; parking: $4

CATCO – Murderers
The most unlikely secrets come out at the Riddle Key Luxury Senior Retirement Living Center and Golf Course...including murder.

When: Sept 30-Oct 18. Sunday afternoon performances include discussions with the actors or play advisor.
Where: Studio 2, Riffe Center, 77 S. High St. (NW corner of High and State downtown Columbus)
Time: varies
Cost: varies. Ticket info.

Thurber House Author Talks: Erin McGraw and Andrew Hudgins
It’s an OSU two-fer! Meet OSU English professors Erin McGraw and Andrew Hudgins and listen to excerpts from their latest books.
When: Oct 1
Where: Thurber Center, 91 Jefferson Avenue
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Contact the Thurber House for ticket info.

Shadowbox – Bad to the Bone
Evidently this show features sketches and rock songs that unveil the cast’s dark, rebellious side. You have been warned…
When: Thursdays-Saturdays, Sept 3-Nov 14
Where: Shadowbox,164 Easton Town Center, Columbus
Time: Thurs: 7:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Cost: General admission: $30; seniors and students: $20 at the door.

Columbus Landmarks Walking Tours -- Village of Riverlea
Riverlea is a lovely village carved out of the center of Worthington. Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to walk a lot.
When: Oct 3
Where:TBA. Call (614) 221-0227 for more info.
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Cost: $7 for members, $15 for non-members. Buy tickets.

Short North Gallery Hop
Halloween may be weeks away, but the costumes willcome out for this monthly art extravaganza.
When: Oct 3
Where: Short North
Time: about 5-10 p.m.
Cost: free

Carolina Chocolate drops
There’s something startling about the sound of a string band based in the . Fiddles, banjo, guitar, jug, and harmonica – somehow they balance the heritage of the antebellum South with the currents of today.
When: Oct 7
Where:Linoln Theatre
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $25

B.B. King
B.B. King has been delivering blues hits like “The Thrill is Gone,” and “Ridin’ with the King” with Eric Clapton, and “When Love Comes to Town” with U2. He and his trademark guitar “Lucille” have places of honor in both the Blues Foundation and the Rock and Roll Halls of Fame..
When: Oct 8
Where: Palace Theatre
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $40-$50

Experience Columbus Days
Celebrate Columbus Day with 50 percent off local attractions like COSI, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Wilds AND 25 percent off many area restaurants.
When: Oct 9-12
Where: throughout central Ohio
Time: varies
Cost: varies

Os Mutantes
Formed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1966, Os Mutantes blends English rock, American psychedelic and traditional Brazilian music. Truly mutant. Truly exhilarating.
When: Oct 10
Where: Capitol Theatre, Riffe Center
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $25

more October events

Columbus Italian Festival
Live entertainment, open-air markets, Italian dancing, Bocci, Zona Bambini (children’s area) and great food. (Is Italian food anything but great?)
When: Oct 9-11
Where: Corner of Lincoln and Hamlet in Italian Village, Columbus
Time: Fri.: 5-11 p.m.; Sat.: noon-11 p.m.; Sun.: noon-8 p.m.
Cost: $5; children under free when accompanied by an adult

Fall Festival
Crafts, food, farmer’s market, kids’ activities.

When: Oct 10
Where: downtown Worthington and Village Green (corners of High and Dublin-Granville)
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: free

Columbus Landmarks Walking Tours – Ohio Village
Stroll the streets of this recreated 19th century village at the Ohio Historical Society. Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to walk a lot.
When: Oct 11
Where: TBA. Call (614) 221-0227 for more info.
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Cost: $7 for members, $15 for non-members. Buy tickets.

Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Günther Herbig leads the Symphony in its 2009-2010 opening program with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Choral.
When: Oct 11-13
Where:The Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. between Third and High streets.
Time: TBA
Cost: varies.

Thurber House Author Talks: Julia Glass
Julia Glass, who won the National Book Award in 2002, read from her latest, I See You Everywhere. Margaret Quamme, book reviewer for the Columbus Dispatch, will lead the discussion and Q&A.

When: Oct 15
Where:Columbus School for Girls, 56 S. Columbia Avenue
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Discounts for students and seniors. Contact the Thurber House for ticket info.

Apple Butter Stirrin' Festival
Step back in time at this invitational crafts fair (the crafters really do compete to get in!) Enjoy canal rides, kids’ activities, old-time blue-grass music and serious apple-butter makers.

When: Oct 16-18
Where: Historic Roscoe Village, 600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton directions
Time: Fri.-Sat.: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun.: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $3

David Sedaris
David Sedaris (Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day) is back in town. The last time this witty, irreverent “literary rock star” was here, people packed the Palace Theatre.
When: Oct 17
Where: Palace Theatre
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $46.50-$66.50

Pourings and Pairing (Wines and the foods that go with them)
Wines from Kobrand’s Italian Selection are paired with a multi-course dinner and dessert.
When: Oct 21
Where: Smith & Wollensky, 4145 The Strand West at Easton.
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Varies and seating is limited. Call (614) 416-2400 for reservations and pricing.

Circleville Pumpkin Show
Going to this celebration of all-things-pumpkin is a fall tradition for many folks in central Ohio. There are parades, crafts, every sort of pumpkin-flavored goodie imaginable (and some that should never have been imagined). And, of course there are the mutant vegetables and fruits. Some of the pumpkins are so big that Cinderella could have used one as her carriage.
When: Oct 21-24
Where: streets of downtown Circleville – you can’t miss it
Cost: free.

Genealogy Workshop: Introduction to Columbus Metropolitan Library's Genealogy Collection
Discover the genealogy resources at Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Resources include Ohio and other states and some special collections such as the Palatines to America (German) and Huguenot (French) collections.
When: Oct 22
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Columbus Metropolitan Library, 96 S. Grant Ave., downtown Columbus
Cost: free, advance registration required

Zac Brown Band
Don't try to pigeonhole this group -- Unless you want to say they're exciting, superb musicians who've worked with Sugarland, ZZ Top, Travis Tritt, Etta James, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Willie Nelson and BB King.
When: Oct 23
Where: Value City Arena/Schottenstein Center, Columbus. (614) 292-3231.
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: $27.50. Buy them at the Schottenstein box office, 555 Borror Drive, Columbus, and save on service charges. Also available at

Columbus Crew
Support “America’s hardest working team” against the New England Revolution.

When: Oct 25
Where: Columbus Crew Stadium, One Black & Gold Blvd, Columbus
Time: 5 p.m.
Cost: adult: $16-$39; youth: $10-29; ticket info

Broadway Across America: Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks’ classic-turned-musical, just in time for Halloween.
When: Oct. 27-Nov. 1
Where:The Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. between Third and High streets.
Time: varies
Cost: varies. Ticket information.

Thurber House Author Talks: Rita Mae Brown
Novelist, Emmy-nominated screenwriter and poet Rita Mae Brown writes bestselling mystery novels, including the Sister Jane Foxhunting series and the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries. She’ll read from her memoir, Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small.
When: Oct 28
Where: Columbus Performing Arts Center—Shedd Theatre, 549 Franklin Avenue
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Discounts for students and seniors. Contact the Thurber House for ticket info.

Halloween events in Columbus Ohio.

I try to keep this accurate, but make no guarantees.