Visiting COSI-The Center of Science and Industry in Columbus

Maya and I made the two hour drive to Columbus so that we could see Taylor Swift at Nationwide Arena.   Since we were staying the night in Columbus before heading back to Cincinnati we decided to make a visit to COSI the next morning to round out our short road trip.  What a great museum to explore! There’s a reason this award winning museum is so popular- it even was declared one of the 10 Best Science Centers by Parents Magazine.  Fun for kids (and adults!) of all ages, this museum has something for everyone and we had a great day exploring this amazing treasure.

COSI in Columbus, OH

COSI opens at 10:00 AM and we arrived right at opening after eating a quick breakfast at our hotel.  Since this was our first visit, Maya and I decided to focus on the exhibits so the only “extra” we added to our tickets was the Adventure in the Valley of the Unknown experience.  This ticket configuration was $19.95 per adult and $14.95 per child. Click here to see additional ticket options. You could also plan on visiting COSI during Family Friday Night when tickets are only $9.95 for all ages from 5-9 PM. Maya and I were kept busy and still didn’t manage to see every exhibit, but I am sure the Extreme Screen Theater film option would have been awesome as well.  It just gives us an excuse to go back so we’ll save it for our next trip!

COSI Entrance

COSI Pendulum

From the moment we bought our tickets and began to explore we found interesting exhibits.  The museum is separated into divisions and we explored them all.  One of our favorite sections was Progress where we could explore a town in both 1898 and 1962. The attention to detail in this area is really fun!  For example, Maya and I took turns being TV newscasters reporting on various famous news events from the 60s.  As Maya reported on the first moon walk, another visitor informed us that they could see her in the TV in the electronics store window. Maya loved feeling famous!  There are also volunteers and interns in several locations throughout the museum with interesting hands on science demonstrations that were fun to try.

Progress at COSI

Maya as a Television Reporter at Progress COSI

Television Reporter at Progress COSI

COSI

We also had a blast exploring Ocean where not only did we learn a lot, the water play was really fun.  There were several school trips visiting COSI while we were there and they were having a great time horsing around.  Maya and I also liked climbing inside a real submarine which was a tight squeeze! One of the highlights of the day was Maya riding the High Wire Unicycle above the atrium.  Riders must wear closed toe shoes that fully cover the foot in order to ride so make sure to plan accordingly.  Sadly I was wearing flip flops so was not able to ride.  Don’t worry about stalling on the wire- a staff member can give you a pull from down below with a giant shepherd hook if you get stuck.  Maya was a little scared but was really glad she tried it.  The line was a little long (about 20 minutes) around noon when we waited but we noticed the line was much shorter later in the afternoon.

High Wire Unicycle

High Wire Unicycle

By this time we had worked up an appetite so headed down to the Atomic Cafe for a quick lunch.  The line moved quick and there was plenty of options to choose from. I was surprised how reasonable the prices were and we enjoyed the Turkey Sandwich which at $7, was big enough for us to share.

Lunch at COSI's Atomic Cafe

When purchasing our tickets, we had opted for the additional ticket for “Adventure in the Valley of the Unknown.”  Be prepared to pick a time for your adventure when you purchase your tickets.  While you can spend as much time as you want once inside the exhibit, only a certain number of people enter at a time.  This was my favorite part of the day visiting COSI.  Once inside, you are given a clue book and instructions in order to solve a mystery. Not challenging enough to get frustrating but not simple either, the clues were entertaining to solve.  We had to do things like maneuver around laser lights and find our way through a maze in order to solve the puzzles and we had a great time. I definitely recommend this exhibit!

Maya at Adventure in the Unknown

Maya at Adventure in the Unknown

Adventure in the Unknown

Our visit to COSI was awesome!  With so much to do, kids of all ages will enjoy a visit. While I love taking long road trips, it is also fun to find new places to explore closer to home.  I can’t wait until we visit again. And I’ll make sure to remember to wear the right shoes for the unicycle!

Have you been to COSI?  I’d love to hear about your visit!

Happy Travels!

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I love to plan family travel adventures with our four kids. Encouraging time in nature, National Parks travel, backpacking and hiking are my passions and I love to write about them.

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