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Thankyou Experience Columbus for sponsoring this post.
Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, my family and I had the chance to explore all the family fun that Columbus, Ohio has to offer. If you’re traveling to Columbus with the kids, COSI will definitely be the highlight of your trip.
COSI is Columbus, Ohio's dynamic Center of Science and Industry - named America's #1 science center by Parents Magazine!!! Definitely a destination hot spot you will not want to miss!!! Between seeing a real T-Rex, chillen in the Planetarium & playing scientists throughout the museum, your kids will never want to leave!
Here are a few helpful tips to consider before planning your first visit to COSI!
Just like most awesome places in the world, you will have to pay to park at COSI, so be prepared. COSI’s parking lots actually do not belong to COSI at all. They are owned by the City of Columbus, so the rates have nothing to do with COSI. On busy days, the lot managers will pre-collect the $5 parking fee (as you drive in). Otherwise, you pay as you leave the museum using a payment machine before heading to your car. There are metered parking spots on the streets around COSI if you’re really trying to keep to a certain budget, but they do not yet accept credit cards and tend to fill up when COSI opens in the morning.
You will be paying $20+ a person for admission into COSI. If you plan on visiting the Planetarium, there is an addditional charge. We went to COSI on a Saturday and boy was the place packed with family’s ready to learn! So plan extra time to wait in line for those tickets. Even if you have complementary tickets as we did, or purchase your tickets online, you still need to wait in line to exchange those tickets for a wristband. The fabulous news is, the willcall line is shorter than the other lines. If you’re on a schedule or have antsy kids, purchase those tickets ahead of time to save yourself time.
3. Pack Snacks
This is something I really wish we did! The one time I plan on actually spending my own cash on food, ughhh.... COSI is very limited in this department. They have vending machines throughout the museum and snack stands set up, but your selections are very limited. Unless popcorn,soda and soft pretzels are your fancy, pack those snacks. I was starving and had my husband stop at a CVS for some snacks for the hotel room on the way back.
4. Perfect Age
While I feel a child at any age can enjoy a museum, my recommendation would be wait for your kids to be a tad bit older before planning that COSI trip! My daughter turns 6 this month and I feel that she was the perfect age. COSI is definitely an educational learning experience not an amusement type of attraction. COSI does have an area upstairs exclusively for little ones called LittleSpace with play ambulances, train tables and baby slides. Even a few Elmo activities! My daughter was a tad bit on the older side for most of the activities in this play area, but she wanted to check them out anyway and did enjoy it. However, if you’re paying $20+ for admission and this is the only thing your child finds entertaining, you will be rather bummed.
5. How Much Time
Honestly, COSI is such a large museum with tons of awesomeness to explore that I would recommend spending the entire day at COSI! COSI is definitely not a place to rush through. We spent 5 hours at COSI, and I feel we still didn’t have enough time to do EVERYTHING. I recommend getting there as soon as they open so you can spend the entire day having good ole family fun. We will definitely be returning again soon because there was so much we did not have time to explore. We had such a great time that my daughter passed out on the way back to the hotel.
6. Must See Exhibits
This is the one question I have been getting nonstop from friends & family. Columbus is only a few hours away from us here in WNY, so EVEYONE who spotted our photos on social media have been buzzing about making their own trips to COSI & want our highlights.
While I really do suggest you plan enough time to explore the entire museum, I will tell you our favorite parts.
• Dinosaur Gallery ~ you can get up close to dinosaurs like the incredible T. rex and find out why these amazing animals never really vanished from the Earth.
• OCEAN ~ Mighty Poseidon reigns over a mythical playground symbolizing the ancient stories of the sea. Explore the physical nature of water through laminar streams, eroding sand, and energetic waves. Ocean’s sparkling world of water will delight all ages.
• The Planetarium ~ the largest in Ohio—features state-of-the-art digital technology that offers an unsurpassed glimpse of our incredible universe. The COSI Planetarium’s new Digistar 5 projection system and 60-foot dome will transport you to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, to undersea volcanoes and distant lands, and even into the human body.
• Space ~ Ride in a space capsule, test your skills as an “armchair” astronaut, or maneuver a rover through a Martian landscape. Explore the effects of gravity on different planets. Learn about life in orbit inside a mockup of the International Space Station or watch live NASA TV.
333 W. Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
614.228.2674 or 888.819.2674
COSI Operating Hours:
Wednesday through Saturday: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sundays: 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays (unless noted on their site, they are open on many Monday holidays).
COSI on Facebook
COSI on twitter
Have you had the chance to visit COSI? If so, what were your favorite parts of your trip?
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3/28/2018 10:23:00 am
How weird that this science museum (like pretty much every other one I can think of) DOES NOT HAVE DECENT FOOD OPTIONS! At least they let you bring snacks! I wonder if our reciprocal membership networks with the science museum memberships we have locally would include COSI? - bet they would!
3/28/2018 10:25:41 pm
What an awesome place ! I love dinosaurs and this place seems like such a fun and family friendly museum!
4/16/2018 02:33:27 pm
Thanks for the kind words and for visiting! COSI does have a cafe - it's a little tucked back behind the Atrium where the live shows happen but we promise it's there. It has burgers, pizza, sandwiches, soups and salads, and a cute area geared toward the kiddos called Bean Sprouts.
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