My sister and I try to take a quick getaway for a few days each summer with our daughters. The requirements for the trip are that the location be drivable from Metro Detroit and have fun and family friendly activities that tweens and teens will love. We both have two daughters and they range in age from 11 to 14 years old. Experience Columbus, the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, invited us to check them out and we were surprised by how much the area has to offer. When people heard we were going on mini vacation to Columbus Ohio, they were surprised and wondered would we really have a good time. Well …. I can tell all of those people and any of you out there that we had a fantastic time! Columbus is a great location for a getaway for families or for couples. In fact, there was so much to do that we wished we had more time.
Planning Your Trip to Columbus
Map Out the Attractions You Wish To Visit
The Experience Columbus website is a great resource for planning your trip. They list and describe many Columbus attractions. After perusing the site, we determined that we wanted to visit the following attractions. There were many more places we would have loved to visit but we only had two full days in Columbus so we had to make some hard choices.
This post lists our vacation plan and then I will be sharing more pictures and tips for having a great visit at each of these attractions in an upcoming post. If you would like more information from Experience Columbus, you can check out their facebook page, twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel. This information will help you plan your best trip!
Also be sure to check out the Columbus Annual Events Calendar when planning your trip. There just might be a great event you want to attend!
Here is our family friendly Columbus Itinerary.
COSI – Center of Science and Industry – This is one of the most respected science centers in the nation, serving more than 30 million visitors since 1964. Parents Magazine recently named COSI the #1 Science Center for Families in the country! At COSI, there are endless opportunities to explore real science and discover real possibilities for yourself and the world around you. COSI brings science to life with more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout our discovery-based and themed exhibition areas. I am all about getting some education while having fun during the summer so this was tops on our list.
German Village and the Brewery District – Located just south of downtown Columbus, German Village is one of the most atmospheric neighborhoods in the Midwest. Our plan was to have lunch and explore this area after our visit to COSI. We spent so long at COSI though that we, unfortunately, did not have time to fit in much sightseeing. This looks like a great place to visit though and we will need to add a stop on a future trip. We did have lunch at First Watch in German Village and the food was fantastic and very reasonable priced. They have a great kids menu and it is very kid friendly even for little ones. My youngest got a fruit filled crepe for lunch and it was fresh and delicious.
Easton Town Center – This is an amazing shopping destination in an upscale town square setting. The girls really wanted to do some back to school shopping and this place did not disappoint. They have so many stores and dining locations. There are stores at many different price points and even an American Girl store. If you like to shop, you need to visit this place.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 11,000 animals representing nearly 600 species from around the globe. My oldest daughter loves animals and this was the highlight of her trip. The Zoo complex spans 588 acres, more than 200 of which have been developed as animal habitats and public spaces. The Zoo habitats are organized into six geographic regions: Asia Quest, Australia and the Islands, Congo Expedition, Heart of Africa, North America and Polar Frontier, and Shores. The newest region, Heart of Africa, is designed as a mixed species savanna spanning 23 acres. We spent the morning and late afternoon in the zoo but this place is so big we really needed a full day just for the zoo.
Zoombezi Bay Water Park – This park is home to exhilarating slides, a giant wave pool, interactive kiddie pools, relaxing rivers and rip-roaring rapids. This 22-acre water park is open during the summer months and is located on Columbus Zoo property. Our tickets to Zoombezi Bay included admission to the zoo. We purchased a ZOOMPASS which allows guests to reserve their spot in line and enjoy other areas of the park until their turn is up. This was well worth the money and I will be sharing details about this fantastic technology in my next post.
Accommodations in Columbus Area
We decided to stay at the Embassy Suites in Dublin Ohio. This was a perfect location to visit the attractions we chose in Columbus. We also loved the free breakfast and happy hour. This hotel is a great location for families with the two double beds and a pull out couch. It is nice to have the extra space and they had an indoor pool the girls loved. If you are planning on visiting more attractions in the downtown area, you may want to consider a downtown Columbus hotel. The Experience Columbus site is full of information on accommodation options.
Be sure to come back on September 20 to get the full details on our trip and some tips to help you save time or money at these locations. Additionally, there is a great giveaway for a $100 Dine Originals Gift card which can be used in Columbus at 40 independently owned and operated restaurants. You can sign up for our newsletter and the next post will come straight to your inbox.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Experience Columbus. The opinions and text are all mine.