Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Cost: $14.99/adult; $9.99/child – they participate in the AZA reciprocity program so if you have an annual pass for another participating zoo then you’ll be able to get in for half price
Columbus Zoo is fabulous. They are regularly named as one of the top zoos in the country (Parent Magazine has named them #1 in the past couple years). Here’s why I love the Columbus Zoo:
- You can experience the animals rather than just stare at them through a fence. Get super up-close to a kangaroo, feed a lorikeet, ride a camel or feed a stingray. And the list goes on!
- They have rides (boat ride, carousel, etc.) and playgrounds to give children a break from seeing animals.
- They allow outside food and drink! We always bring a picnic and find a shady spot to observe some animals while we eat.
- They have an aquarium too. It’s small but my boys love it and it gives you a nice break from the heat.
- There are a lot of indoors exhibits which are really great if it is very hot or raining outside. In fact, I think the indoors exhibits are probably the best ones. Our favorite is Asia Quest – cool huge bats!
- Columbus Zoo attempts to immerse you in a land/culture in addition to just showing you some animals. We especially love their new Heart of Africa exhibit. We fed giraffes, rode camels and took in the view of the safari. The atmosphere of Heart of Africa (and the 90+ degree weather that day) made us feel as if we had stepped into an African village.
The one thing I don’t like about this zoo is the crowd. We hardly ever visit on the weekend. If a Saturday is the only day for us to visit as a family then we’ll brave the crowd, but I avoid it if at all possible. If you must go on a Saturday, then get there early and start at the back of the zoo and work your way forward. During the week, crowds are low and we have a lovely experience every time.
Well, I’ve already blogged extensively about Holiday World and I can’t say enough good things about it. Go to Holiday World!!