This Family Fun package includes your choice of hotel plus tickets to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay Water Park and COSI - Center of Science and Industry.
Getaway to Columbus this summer to see the country’s No. 1 zoo and science center along with the nation’s wildest water park – all for one low price. The Roar & Explore Adventure Getaway is your family’s chance to see three fabulous attractions for one amazing value!
Get up close and personal with stingrays in the new 18,000 gallon tank at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, named the No. 1 zoo in America by the USA Travel Guide. As the home to Jungle Jack Hanna’s newest TV series, Wild Countdown, you may even see the cameras rolling while you’re watching the polar bears or exploring the zoo’s other animal habitats.
During the summer months, splash and scream your way to fun at neighboring Zoombezi Bay, the wildest water park ever! Dare your friends to ride the Cyclone. With a 55-foot drop and speeds over 20 mph, it’s one of the largest rides of its kind in the world!
Experience water as you never have before at COSI, the No. 1 science center in the country according to Parents magazine. The fascinating Water: H20=Life takes a thought-provoking look at our world's most precious resource. And don’t forget all the other fun to be had at COSI. Ride a high wire unicycle, use sonar technology and get hands-on with countless activities that make science entertaining.
I had the opportunity to take my family to Columbus to review this package. It was a blast! We opted to pay to stay an extra day because we really wanted to do all we could in Columbus. We got in late the first day, so we checked into the Drury Inn and enjoyed some time at the hotel. At Drury Inn the "Extras aren't Extra!" Each morning is started with a hot breakfast (waffles, eggs, sausage, and so much more!). Each evening from 5:30 to 7:00, you can enjoy dinner with the "Kick Back" which includes a hot dog and potato buffet. There is free soda at this time as well. There are also drink cards which allow each adult to get three adult beverages. Then, from 7:00 to 10:00 you can enjoy popcorn and soda in the lobby (we brought it up to our room and enjoyed a movie). After a long day on the road, we certainly enjoyed a nice soda and popcorn...and relaxation!
Our first whole day there we went to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. I have to say...the zoo is huge! It's a lot of walking, but so much to see and do and worth every step! The zoo is divided into countries. We started at North America. The kids especially enjoyed the petting farm and the train. It was super hot that day, so the animals were pretty scarce. Either they were tucked away in the shade or sleeping. However, the zoo has so much to offer, that didn't keep us from having a great time!
Our next stop was Asia. This, of all the countries represented at the Zoo, was by far my favorite! I saw some very rare animals. There was a sun bear. I think that was the highlight of my trip! It was beautiful and seemed so gentle, curling up next to me at the window I was looking into. Of course, by the time I got my camera out, it disappeared! I did manage, however, to snap a picture of this Markhor Goat. There was a video they had set up when you walked into the building that featured this goat enjoying his new home when it was first built. He leaped and bound and it was amazing to see a goat be so active...I had never seen anything like it!
Then there was Africa, Australia, and the Aquarium that I need to mention. One of the neat features at the zoo is that you can actually hop with the kangaroos. There is a path where you are actually walking along with the kangaroos. They can cross in front of you and hop beside you. It was too hot, however, to witness anything except for them sleeping! Africa was quite amazing! My favorite was "Gorillas in the Round," which is a neat outdoor exhibit in which you get to check out gorillas from every angle! The Aquarium was a hit with the children! They got to touch many different kinds of sea creatures. The kids loved it! I loved the AIR CONDITIONING! It was a hot one out there!
After we left the zoo, we headed back to the Drury Inn for the 5:30 Kick Back and enjoyed some hot dogs, pretzels, potatoes, and soda. The kids went for a swim with their dad, while I stayed in the room and got the little man to sleep. It was a big day for a 20 month old!
The next morning we enjoyed breakfast...a GREAT breakfast featuring waffles, sausage, eggs, french toast, and MORE! YUM! After the hearty breakfast, we were off to Zoombezi Bay! We got there and found some chairs near the little kids area. This spot was perfect for our family! The older children could still enjoy this busy wading pool and the younger ones could explore on their own with us holding their hands! Unfortunately, we weren't able to get many pictures at the waterpark because we didn't want to get the camera wet and with four children and only two adults...you do the math ;) My husband did, however, get this shot of our three year old testing the water. At one point we saw the temperature...98 degrees! YIKES...the cold water was refreshing!
Zoombezi Bay was the favorite part of this trip for my two oldest, so I feel terrible I wasn't able to get more pictures. However, I will describe what we experienced...there was plenty for every age group! There were many waterslides with varying degrees of "excitability." There were quite a few different pool areas for everyone to explore. My children LOVED the "lazy river." I don't know that I would call it lazy, though...it's long and winding and no one is "lazing" around! There are children hustling and bustling through the water and adults chasing after the kids! But, it was my favorite part! Seeing my children swim through the water and enjoy taking all the different sights in...it was so much fun! It's also very difficult to get a tube there, unless you are willing to wait. That could have just been our experience because it was so busy that day, but it didn't matter to us anyway. The kids preferred running and chasing. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with us and we got caught in a bad thunderstorm. So, we had to leave the park and pack it up a little early that night. We went back to the hotel for dinner and drinks. The kids weren't able to swim for a while because of the rain (the pool is both indoor and outdoor).
The next morning was running around, packing the van, and off to COSI before we headed back for our 8 hour drive to Milwaukee. Yes, it was 8 hours, but we enjoy road trips and the kids enjoyed a nice long...sleep! COSI is a great science museum that has so much for everyone in the family!
I was so proud of myself when I was able to lift this car off the ground...yes, you read right...CAR! Using ropes and pulleys...it brought me back to my elementary science years. The children and I did a few different "scenarios" to see what worked the best to lift the car the highest without exerting that much effort. Very educational and fun for us all! COSI has something for everyone in the family. The little ones enjoyed "Little Kidspace." I would recommend checking that out first if your party consists of little ones (ages 5 and younger). That was one of the last places we checked out, but I think it was the favorite for my younger ones...there were a lot of tears as we left! My favorite part of COSI? Definitely "Progress!" Think Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum with a twist! VERY COOL! My daughter loved it because there were little shops from all eras and she was able to go into them and play! We were disappointed that we had to rush through much of COSI as it was packed and we had a limited time there. But, we did enjoy everything there. If you have a science fanatic in your family...this is a MUST! I have to admit, science was never a strong subject for me, but I even loved it! The Gadgets and Ocean area were equally as fun to explore as the rest! There is so much to see and do there...I would recommend giving your family at least four straight hours to explore there.
Is this trip worth the price? ABSOLUTELY! Would we go back? YES, please :) Very fun and educational...every day was an adventure. This trip was packed with memories we will cherish for a lifetime!