7 Things We Love About COSI (Tips Before You Go)

Our family LOVES to visit COSI in Columbus, Ohio. There is always something new to do and explore each time that we visit the 320,000-square-foot facility.

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What Does COSI stand for?

COSI stands for Center of Science Industry. On March 29, 1964, COSI opened to the public in Memorial Hall and moved to the downtown Columbus location on November 6, 1999.

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1. Live Shows at COSI

COSI offers a variety of live shows. Make sure that you get a program schedule when you first arrive so that you can make time for the shows that interest you.

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You do not want to miss out on a game of Rat Basketball!

That’s right, rat basketball is where two Japanese Black Hooded rats challenge each other to a one-on-one game of basketball.

The crowd picks their rat of choice to cheer on during the game.

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2. Outdoor Play at Big Science Park at COSI

On a beautiful day, kids can show off their strength by lifting a car and playing around with air pressure.

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3. Learning Made FUN For ALL Ages With Interactive Exhibits at COSI

There is a LOT to see during your visit with 300+ interactive experiences, 9 galleries, and Ohio’s largest Planetarium.

exhibit at COSI in Columbus Ohio

COSI has something for all age levels from toddlers to teens to twenty-somethings and beyond.

Little KidSpace at COSI in Columbus Ohio

Little KidSpace is designed specifically for younger children birth through first grade.

Big KidLab is designed for siblings of guests at the Little KidSpace in second grade through age 11.

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Kids have so much fun with the hands-on exhibits that they almost forget that they are learning. The adults enjoy playing too.

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4. You Can Play with Water at COSI

The Ocean exhibit lets guests play with water in a variety of hands-on activities and you can even climb down inside a mini-submarine.

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Kids do have the potential to get wet in this exhibit so you might want to keep a close eye on them if you are concerned that they will get themselves drenched.

Mindbender Mansion

5. Special Exhibits at COSI

There are always new exhibits to look forward to at COSI to keep you coming back.

Marvel exhibit at COSI in Columbus Ohio

Make sure that you check the calendar to learn about what special exhibit will be running during your visit.

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6. Great Educational Movies at COSI

COSI offers a great selection of educational movies on the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater.

We watched a really interesting 3D movie about WW2 during our last visit. It communicated difficult subject matter in a way that was easy for kids to understand.

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7. You can ride a unicycle at COSI

Where else can you safely ride a high-wire unicycle two floors in the air?

This is a very popular attraction that tends to have a long line. It’s a great experience so take advantage of a short line if you see one.

If you plan on riding the unicycle you must have closed-toed, flat shoes, a 26-inch inseam to reach the pedals, and weigh less than 250 pounds.

The ride experience on the unicycle is very sturdy and secure because of how you’re strapped in. I didn’t find the unicycle ride scary at all and neither did my kids.

COSI does a fantastic job of making science interesting and FUN!

COSI in Columbus Ohio

Additional Tips for Visiting COSI Columbus

Make sure that you get a map and a schedule of the events going on that day. The special exhibits and movies could be more prevalent at certain times of the day.

I would recommend purchasing your Giant Screen tickets when you get there and then visiting the other exhibits in between.

If it’s your first visit, I would recommend guiding your kids through each section and offering to take them back to their favorite parts toward the end of your time there, otherwise, you might not see all of it during your visit.

Ocean exhibit at COSI in Columbus Ohio

How Much Time Should You Allow For a Visit to COSI?

I would plan at least 4 hours but you could easily spend the whole entire day at COSI and not run out of things to do.

You’ll want to factor in additional time if you plan on also going to special exhibits and movies during your visit.

If this is your first COSI visit, I suggest you plan to spend most of the day there. You will run out of time before you run out of fun.

exhibit at COSI in Columbus Ohio

How to Find Discounted General Admission COSI Tickets

  • Museums for all Columbus” (for qualifying guests)
  • Reciprocal Member Admission
  • Certified Teachers – applies for an individual certified teacher only. (public/private PreK-12th grade school teachers, certified teachers at licensed/registered child care and preschool facilities, college/university faculty, and home educators. Verification includes Faculty ID, OEA card, Teaching license/certificate, or letter from your school district indicating intent to home-school.
  • Military Discount – Active, Reserve, and Retired Military – $2.00 off per person in the immediate family with proper ID.
  • Senior Discount – Seniors ages 60 and above receive a $2 discount on general admission. *A valid state ID may be requested at the time of purchase.
  • Columbus Member Advantage Admission
  • Group Discount – 12 or more guests receive special discounts
Pendulum at COSI in Columbus Ohio

Does COSI Require Advanced Reservations?

Yes, you need to plan your visit to COSI in advance with an online reservation. You can’t make a reservation or admission purchase in person. (COSI Members also need to make an advanced reservation)

Guests can arrive at any time on the date of their reservation. You’ll need a printed copy of your tickets or you can self-scan an electronic ticket as you enter COSI.

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Dining Options at the COSI Atomic Cafe

It also helps to have a game plan when it comes to food because you will likely be there during mealtime.

COSI does have onsite dining at the Atomic Cafe featuring the Dynamic Deli, Galaxy Grill, and Periodic Pizza.

Bean Sprouts has a creative presentation and sneaky ways to fit in your veggies, with the veggie tots.

COSI in Columbus Ohio

Where is COSI Located?

COSI is located in downtown Columbus at 333 West Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

614.228.2674

COSI in Columbus Ohio

Where do you park for COSI?

The closest option near COSI is the City of Columbus’ underground garage that’s managed by LAZ Parking.

How to Save on COSI Parking

Discounted parking for $10 is available at the garage under Dorrian Green park and the garage on Starling Street for COSI Columbus.

*You must bring your ticket into COSI for a discounted validation stamp.

Dinosaur exhibit at COSI in Columbus Ohio

Learn More About COSI

You can find out more about COSI on their website. 

Disclosure: I was given admission for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

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7 Things We LOVE About COSI in Columbus Ohio
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38 thoughts on “7 Things We Love About COSI (Tips Before You Go)”

  1. We love COSI so much my youngest wanted to go there for his birthday — it’s all he asked for! Would love to take him back for his birthday this year!

  2. I’ve never been to COSI, but have been thinking of taking our family there sometime. We would love to win! 🙂

  3. I actually live in Texas, but I’d love to win this and give it to my friend who lives in Ohio so she could take her family!

  4. I loved COSI as a kid!! I remember doing the COSI camp-in’s as a Girl Scout! I would love to take my 2 children! I know they would have a blast!

  5. My kids are completely engrossed with science at the moment and COSI looks like a wonderful place to visit to help spur their imaginations!

  6. We’re planning to take a short weekend trip to Columbus and Indianapolis this summer. (for budget we are sticking to close locales this year) this would be a great treat for my 2 girls. And our budget!

  7. My husband and I are big kids, and I’m a huge nerd, so we’ve been wanting to go to COSI for a while now, just haven’t made it there. Would love to go!!

  8. Hi Adventure Mom!
    We would L O V E to win because we have never been and time is almost up – we are moving overseas in Mai and your giveaway would be an awesome opportunity to go 🙂

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