It's getting close to summer vacation for school kids everywhere, and Columbus is filled with great opportunity for fun. COSI, the Center of Science and Industry, is consistently ranked among the best science museums in the nation, and with special exhibitions like it's current one, it's getting even better!

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 2.29.33 PMThe International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes puts you in the shoes of the famous investigator as you add clues to your notebook with the goal of solving a crime. You're transported to the dark and brooding landscape of Edwardian London, and presented with a series of interactive experiments that lead you to a surprising conclusion. Drag a pair of boots through the sand to see if the pattern matches that of a criminal dragging a body. Investigate poisonous plants to determine which toxins were used in the crime. Inspect the crime scene to see if your first assumptions were right. It's truly fun for kids and adults - but due to the crime theme, may not be appropriate for very young children.
Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 2.29.48 PMAt the end of the exhibition, fans of the various recent iterations of the Sherlock Holmes story have a special treat. Artifacts from the Robert Downey Jr. movies and Benedict Cumberbatch TV series are on display. You truly get a sense for how deeply the character has affected pop culture, even after more than a century since his origin.
In addition to Sherlock, COSI's permanent exhibits are a great way to spend a day - there are so many things to see and do that kids won't even realize they're learning. The Life gallery teaches kids about their senses through interactive experiments. The Ocean area has a remote controlled underwater rover, water cannons and even includes a submarine you can climb into! If you've got toddlers, the Little Kid Space is a true gem, with a kid-sized farmhouse and fruit stand to a constriction zone to water tables full of toys.
You can experience COSI at a discount through the Roar and Explore Family Getaway, which bundles a two-night hotel stay with tickets here and to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Zoombezi Bay. It's the perfect three-day getaway to bring your family on this summer. Sherlock Holmes: The International Exhibition runs through Sept. 1, 2014 . COSI is located near downtown Columbus, just across the Scioto River from downtown. There's ample parking, and For more information, visit