Experience Columbus: COSI

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Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

If you couldn’t already tell, we had a great time last weekend in Columbus. I’m kind of bouncing around with our story, but it keeps yinz on your toes, right? Today we’ll be sharing fun from our time at COSI, Columbus’s Center of Science and Industry.

The preface to this story is that our morning started out fun and relaxed. I went for a run, packed a few last minute things, woke up snoozing kiddos, and confirmed with my #PghMomBloggers friends that we’d be asking Drury for a late check out and heading to the pool. The skies were a little gray but sunny, so my family intended to be a ‘lil lazy then head to the Arts Festival before walking over to COSI . As we boarded the CBus, I noticed big black clouds rolling in and fast. Not 2 minutes after two of the other families got off the bus at German Village did the sky fall apart.

It was pouring rain and my happy mood snapped. We devised a plan to ride the bus back to the hotel area, Greg would get off the bus and get the car then meet us somewhere along the route. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much faith in his navigation skills / GPS, so we all got off the bus and ran in the rain to our hotel. I was not happy and it definitely impacted our time at COSI (sadly for me!).

Just a quick drive over a bridge from downtown, we were at COSI. Parking is $5 (unless you are a COSI member). I think that you can pay cash or card (or maybe even pay inside?) but we were sharing spaces with people who where there for the Arts Festival so parking was $10 and I was kinda at my limit for the day so I didn’t really pay much attention.

We got out of the car and the rain stopped. Marvelous. We did take our umbrellas, but once we got inside, Greg opted to take them back to the car so we could be more hands-on. (COSI has some super large lockers to hold your coats / bags / belongings, but they are square and our golf umbrellas didn’t fit.) (These are things I didn’t think I’d have to know as a parent before kids!)

Once we redeemed our tickets, we were given tags that were to be showing during the entire trip. Be sure you are prepared for this – belt loops (or shoelaces) work best to hold them. Evan, Greg, and I had one, but there was nowhere on Arianna to put her tag. She had to wear it on her wrist which had me worried the whole time, especially in the Oceans exhibit. I witnessed a few people losing theirs because they got them wet. 🙁 Here’s what I mean:


Our first official exhibit stop was an area where the kids could build things with foam blocks. I plopped down on a bench and got comfy, happy to watch them play for awhile.



The rest of the time at COSI was somewhat a blur because the crowd started growing and it was hard to let our ‘lil ones explore with a bunch of big kids running them over. Yup, Evan got knocked down at least twice while holding my hand and there were no apologies happening. I watched a kid who was about 9 running free fall flat on his face, no parent in sight to see if he was ok or to tell him to not run. Anxiety level was high (for me) and it was a weird role-reversal (as this is normally Greg’s gig — he was relaxed and quite enjoyed the day!).

What I do remember were these things I loved:
1. The Dreamscape portion of the Oceans exhibit had hands on water play activities that the kids LOVED.


2. No “pooping” you, we played a “Who Pooped?” game.


3. The Little Kidspace was full of hands-on things for kids through 1st grade – read perfect for our ‘lil Burghers. They check the number of adults and kids and you have to have a pass to enter and exit. Awesome for safety! There was also a water play area here that wowed us, and a kid-sized sink in the bathroom. Major wins for the day!




All in all, the kids and Greg loved our time at COSI and have convinced me that I would too if I had just snapped out of it (and it hadn’t been raining and so busy). You can give it your own spin by visiting them in Columbus. Adult tickets start at $17.95 and kids are $12.95. There are lots of add-ons available, so be prepared to either say no or pull out your wallets and take on the full-blown experience. (Everything listed in this post was on the General Admission ticket.) More photos from our day can be found here.

My apologies as the Bitter Becky shines through – I was really unhappy with the way the weather didn’t cooperate, and this can definitely impact my opinions! We hope to head back to COSI when the kids are a ‘lil older and we can let them enjoy everything on a different level. I just didn’t have the patience to be the best mom I needed to be during this part of our trip. Boo!

This was my brain during our visit!


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