This weekend we surprised our four-year-old daughter with the news that we would be returning to Columbus this summer on vacation. She was so excited that she got up and grabbed the photo album from our trip last year and had my husband and I go through each of the photos with her. I was impressed with how much she remembered of our two-day visit and know that this year will be even more fun since she is a little older and knows what to expect.
I am sure if you live in Columbus you have been to COSI, the Zoo and Zoombezi Bay. If you are thinking about making a trip you will want to consider visiting all three and if you do there is no better way than with the Roar and Explore package. With this package you receive two nights accommodations at the Drury Inn as well as four tickets to each attraction. While I can not wait for this year's trip I would like to share a few highlights and tips from our vacation last year.
We stayed at the downtown Drury Inn where the staff was willing to do anything to make our visit special. Both nights of our stay we enjoyed the evening kick back which included drinks and dinner. The Drury also provided breakfast each morning and one of the most helpful things was their on-site washers & dryers (perfect for the wet towels you bring back from Zoombezi Bay)
On day one, we visited COSI, the Center of Science and Industry . COSI is ideal for the first day of your arrival because it is close to the Downtown Drury, and if you have traveled you will not feel rushed to get it all in before they close. Walking in the door for the first time can be a little overwhelming but in no time you are able to get on the right path. This year we are looking forward to Water which is the newest traveling exhibit. We are also hoping to take time to see a movie on the giant screen, Wild Ocean. There were a lot of hands-on activities that kept my whole family entertained. One of all of our favorite areas was the city street section which showed the changes through the decades. My daughter got to pretend she was a TV news anchor and go into a pay phone booth which was something she had never done before. She also enjoyed the area of water fountains which she said reminder her of one of her favorite princesses, Ariel and the undersea world of The Little Mermaid.
On day two, we headed out for the Zoo & Aquarium and Zoombezi Bay. Located together they are about thirty minutes from Downtown. Even with an entire day we still felt like we missed a few things. The Zoo is so expansive there are definitely areas we have planned on going to this year because we wanted to have plenty of time at Zoombezi Bay so we skipped them. The majority of the afternoon was spent at Zoombezi Bay which is a really fun outdoor water park. There are areas of the park for the entire family. My daughter found a lot of activities geared specifically for her including water slides, a beach area and the more shallow part of the wave pool. My husband was a bit more daring so he went off and took a few trips down the slides and tubes. There were several to choose from and he enjoyed them all. They have a large number of lockers so we were able to store our regular clothes, valuables and our stroller and not have to worry about hauling them around while we enjoyed the water park. One of the unique treats of having a zoo and water park connected to each other is that my daughter was walking with my husband and one of the animal handlers was walking through the park with a flamingo and they both got to see one up close and personal. We really had a good time at Zoombezi Bay and were impressed at how clean it was and how helpful the staff there was.
My entire family is definitely looking forward to visiting Columbus this year, in fact our daughter wanted to start a count down, but we told her it was still a little too early for that. This year we are also planning to add the Velvet Ice Cream's Ye Olde Mill tour. I am sure we are missing a few must see attractions, what do you recommend? Who knows we just may extend our visit by an extra day or two.