Our family went to the Columbus Zoo for the first time this past fall. The zoo has been on my list for a while because it is known as one of the best in the country.
1. This zoo is HUGE!
Be prepared to walk because there is A LOT of ground to cover. The layout is pretty flat which is great if you have a younger family. The hardest part is trying to figure out what exhibits you want to see first. Our strategy was to start at the right of the entrance and work our way around back to the entrance. Also, allow a lot of time for your visit. Our family can usually go through museums and zoos relatively quickly but this zoo even took us longer than we expected which is a good thing.
2. Da Bears
The Bear Exhibit inside the North America section of the zoo gives you close up views of different types of bears.
There is also a polar-themed playground, nearby petting zoo and short train ride ($1 pp) if your kids need to burn off some energy.
3. The Heart of Africa exhibit makes you forget that you are in Ohio.
You observe animals that you would see at an African savanna in an area that spans 43 acres. There is a plane that offers you a unique vantage point from the inside into the exhibit. You can also feed the giraffes from the observation deck.
4. The Columbus Zoo is Jack Hanna’s home zoo.
He was the director of the zoo from 1978- 1993 and still does educational programs at the zoo several times a year. I remember watching his television show as a kid. He does such a great job of educating and sharing his passion for animals.
5. The Manatee Coast Boat inside the Shores and Aquarium is incredible!!!!
This exhibit was my personal favorite. The tank is enormous you get to watch a variety of sea life from above and below.
6. The Zoo has lots of history
You can ride the historic carousel. Also Kolo the Gorilla, who is the oldest gorilla in any zoo and first gorilla born in human care.
7. You get to walk up close to kangaroos at the Kangaroo Walkabout and see a koala bear in The Australian and the Islands section.
The islands of Asia boat ride adds adventure to your visit with dinosaurs and other wildlife.
There is also another great playground nearby.
8. You rediscover curiosity about animals from around the world
There are over 9,000 animals from all over the world at the Columbus Zoo. It’s too hard to pick a favorite!
9. The Congo Expedition African Forest is an area of the zoo where you can watch gorillas and other primates play
Our family really enjoyed our first visit to the Columbus Zoo. The waterpark “Zoombezi Bay” that is located next to the zoo was closed for the season during our visit which gives us another excuse to come back.
There is a lot to love at the Columbus Zoo!
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is located at 4850 West Powell Road, Powell, OH 43065.
You can find out more about the Columbus Zoo from their website.
Disclosure: I was given complimentary admission for review purposes. All opinions are my own.