1. Franklin Park Conservatorypark
The Franklin Park Conservatory takes visitors on a tour through different climate zones on earth, from rainforest to the desert. Each room on the walking tour is dedicated to a different climate, its vegetation, and even some of its wildlife. Visitors view over 400 species of plants and a special collection of work by glass artist Dale Chilhuly. The Conservatory hosts special exhibitions throughout the year and has a toddler play room located near the entrance. Popular annual exhibitions at the Franklin Park Conservatory are The Orchid Forest, Blooms and Butterflies, and Holidays at the Conservatory. No matter what time of year, things are always lush at the Franklin Park Conservatory. These are a few of the best family friendly attractions in Columbus, Ohio. Whether you live in Columbus, are planning a vacation to Columbus, or are just passing through, Columbus has plenty of fun things for children and their parents to do.
More at: www.fpconservatory.org
2. Columbus Zoo & Aquariumzoo
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium allows families to enjoy a wide variety of animals and marine life, both indoors and out. The zoo regularly holds special events throughout the year, some of the most notable being Boo at the Zoo during Halloween and WildLights during the holiday season. Families with younger children will enjoy stopping in at the petting zoo and the Stings, Wings, ‘n Play Things park, a giant network of tubes and slides that will keep little ones entertained for hours. For a small additional fee, visitors can ride the carousel and take pony, train, and boat rides located throughout the zoo. Located next door to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is Zoombeezi Bay, an outdoor 22.7-acre waterpark featuring wave pool, body slides, rapids, interactive water pool, individual and family raft slides, and a Little Tykes area.
More at: www.columbuszoo.org
3. Wexner Center for the Artswaxarts
The Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State University’s multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, screenings, performances, artist residencies, and educational programs, the Wexner Center acts as a forum where established and emerging artists can test ideas and where diverse audiences can participate in cultural experiences that enhance understanding of the art of our time. In its programs, the Wexner Center balances a commitment to experimentation with a commitment to traditions of innovation and affirms the university’s mission of education, research, and community service. The Wexner Center opened in November 1989, named in honor of the father of Limited Brands founder Leslie Wexner, who was a major donor to the Center.
More at: www.wexarts.org
4. COSI (Center of Science and Industry)cosi
COSI is a science museum dedicated to hands-on learning for all ages. Its seven permanent exhibits feature family-friendly experiments and education about space, science, the ocean, human history, the life cycle, machines and technology. COSI also features traveling exhibits and special shows like rat basketball and the electrostatic generator show. The “little kidspace” area of COSI is an enclosed area for children ages 6 and under to learn through play and exploration in a children’s museum-type environment. A special “hang-out room” is provided for older siblings with age-appropriate toys and materials. Visitors to COSI can explore the outdoor science park, ride a high wire bike two stories above the ground, and watch 2-D and 3-D movies on COSI’s 7-story extreme screen. COSI offers a variety of educational workshops and daycamps for kids of various ages.
More at: www.cosi.org
5. Ohio Expo Center Coliseum
The Ohio Expo Center Coliseum is a 7,000-seat multi-purpose arena located at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairground in Columbus, Ohio. It was built in 1918. Nicknamed “The Barn,” the Coliseum has become a legendary and traditional High School Basketball venue. It continues to be home to the OHSAA central district and regional playoffs in boys’ High School hoops. It was also once home to the Ohio State University men’s basketball team, Columbus Thunderbolts Arena Football League team, and the Columbus Stars and Columbus Chill ice hockey teams. The Barn was renovated in 2005 to include new scoreboards, the addition of shot clocks above the backboards, a fresh coat of paint, and new rest rooms.
More at: www.ohioexpocenter.com
6. Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resortwaterpark
Welcome to Fort Rapids in Columbus, Ohio! We are central Ohio’s first indoor water park resort and conference center. You’ll find Fort Rapids is the perfect destination whether it be for business, pleasure, social groups or even a unique corporate outing. Fort Rapids is the perfect leisure travel solution where 60,000 square feet of wet and wild fun is waiting for the whole family. Come relax and unwind in one of our family villa suites, then zip and splash down 12 unique water rides, win big at the Gold Rush Arcade or dine at the Branding Iron Grille. Whether for corporate and association meetings or that perfect wedding reception, the Fort will cater to your needs. Our flexible meeting space and ballroom can accommodate groups of up to 500 for almost any type of event.
More at: www.fortrapids.com
7. Goodale Parkarena
Goodale Park is a public park in the Victorian Village area of Columbus, Ohio. It was donated to the city in 1851 by Lincoln Goodale. During the Civil War, it was a staging area for Union troops. ComFest, a large, free, non-corporate, music and arts annual festival, is held in the park in June. Located immediately north of downtown Columbus, the park is bordered by Goodale Avenue on the South, Park Street on the East, Buttles Avenue on the North, and Dennison Avenue on the West.
More at: www.friendsofgoodalepark.org
8. Santa Mariasanta
THE WORLD WAS FOREVER CHANGED when, in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail searching for a direct trade route to the Indies. Carrying him was the Santa Maria, a 98-foot wooden “nao”, or typical cargo ship. More than 500 years later, you can tour the world’s most authentic, museum-quality replica of Christopher Columbus’ flagship. Guided tours dramatize the daring and determination it took for these explorers to set out on their mission. Fascinating displays show the far-ranging impact of the encounter of two worlds that existed in 1492.
More at: www.santamaria.org
9. Arena Grand Movie Theatrearena
Grand Movies. Grand Experiences. Welcome to the top movie theatre in Columbus, Ohio, according to readers of Columbus Monthly!* Garage parking for $1. Easy and convenient! Get directions.
* View the Box Office for movie times, tickets and movie descriptions.
* Reserve your plush balcony seats.
* Buy Gift Cards and Dinner & A Movie!
* Check out our special events!
More at: www.arenagrand.com