Zoombezi Bay is a waterpark located next to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that is definitely worth checking out. What’s even better is that your admission to Zoombezi Bay gives you access to the Columbus Zoo during the day of your visit.
We decided that Zoombezi Bay would be a fun addition to our afternoon itinerary after our visit to COSI during a mother/son roadtrip to Columbus, Ohio. On a hot, summer day I want to be as close to the water as possible. An afternoon at Zoombezi Bay provided everyone with the best of both worlds with the perfect combination of relaxation and play.
My son enjoyed time with his friend on the waterslides and I enjoyed time relaxing at our own pace with his mom. (I did fit in a few thrill slides too.)
One of the first things that I noticed at Zoombezi Bay was the numerous types of waterslides that offered some sort of thrill element.
There were still plenty of waterslides that were family friendly and many of the waterslides had options for a single or multi riders if you wanted to share the adventure.
You can bring a cooler
You cannot bring a cooler inside the waterpark but just outside the waterpark entrance the “Cooler Cove” parking area is designated for coolers and located near a picnic area. This saves you a lot of steps back to the parking lot and provides an affordable option for budget minded guests.
*Each guest can also bring a 20 oz beverage and a small snack into the waterpark which is rare and refreshing.
There are several restaurant options onsite if you would prefer to purchase food inside the park.
Zoombezi Bay admission includes admission to the Columbus Zoo on the day of your visit. Visit the zoo in the morning and then head over to the waterpark in the heat of the day or purchase a multi day ticket for a greater value and 2 days of fun.
There are plenty of lounge chairs
We discovered plenty of seating options available when it came to lounge chairs inside the waterpark which was a welcomed surprise. We decided to keep our valuables in the car after I took pictures. There are plenty of lockers available for rent if you do want a secure option for your valuables inside the waterpark.
There are several age appropriate areas to choose from depending on the age and swim level of your family which provides something for everyone. Swim basketball tends to be a popular feature for my boys along with the racing mats and tube slides.
You can swim in the Lazy River
The Roaring Rapids Action River has it’s own wave generator which makes this lazy river even more fun. Kids will also enjoy that they have the option to sit inside a tube or swim.
Adult Only Lazy River
I love spending time in the lazy river, but what doesn’t make it lazy is dodging the water that is spraying at guests throughout the river, while dodging kids. If you want a truly relaxing lazy river experience, visit the “adult only” section called Crocktail Creek that is absent of spraying water and kids. As a bonus you can purchase an adult beverage at Crocktail Creek and take it with you while you float. We loved that Zoombezi Bay offered this option for guests so much that we enjoyed a few trips around Crocktrail Creek.
Make sure that you check the event calendar before you visit the waterpark because there are extended hours from time to time. During our visit there was a movie night scheduled at the wave pool that allowed guests to stay longer than regular hours.
Zoombezi Bay really does a fantastic job of appealing to all ages, swim, and thrill levels with or without kids. I would highly recommend adding this waterpark to your list.
You can learn more from the Zoombezi Bay website.
Out of Towners
If you are visiting from out of town this additional information could be useful to you.
Where We Stayed
We opted to stay at the nearby Drury Inn in Dublin because of it’s close proximity to the Columbus Zoo and it’s added value of complimentary hot breakfast, a 5:30 pm kickback with free evening drinks and snacks, and free popcorn and soft drinks in the lobby from 3-10pm. If you are traveling with kids with big appetites, those additional meals can be a real cost saver. The boys and I also enjoyed burning off some calories during a morning swim at the indoor/outdoor pool before we left for the Ohio State Fair.
We stopped at Hass for lunch because I was craving Mexican food and I wanted to return to this dining gem that we discovered during our last visit to the Columbus Zoo. I opted for three different types of tacos because it was too hard to narrow it down to one. The pressed burritos are very large so make sure that you come hungry if you order one. Both of our boys only made it through half of their burrito but they really liked it.
No visit to the Columbus area is complete without a visit to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. This time we stopped at the location in downtown Dublin. Jeni’s offers creative flavors from high quality ingredients. You are encouraged to sample lots of flavors as you decide your favorite. This time my flavors of choice were the Atlanta Beach Pie and the Wild Berry Lavender. Many of the ice cream flavors pair well together so make sure that you ask the employees for their recommendations.
On our way over to Zoombezi Bay from the hotel we passed the Field of Corn located at 4995 Rings Rd, Dublin. We couldn’t resist stopping for a quick photo opp with a backdrop art installation composed of 109 concrete ears of corn.
Our vehicle loaner for the roadtrip was a 2017 KIA Cadenza. With great gas mileage, sharp design, lots of safety features and plenty of legroom in the backseat, making our Mother/Son Roadtrip a roadtrip success.
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