Columbus Zoo and Aquarium- Animals and So Much More!

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Recently, both my family and Mama Harper’s family got together for an amazing weekend filled with tons of fun.  We met together in Columbus, Ohio for MommyCon on Saturday, and then continued our fun on Sunday by visiting the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We had never been there, so my boys were pretty excited to visit a brand new zoo and see all of the animals.  After a long, fun day, I can tell you that their excitement was completely fulfilled, and we can’t wait to go back!

Columbus Zoo Komodo DragonColumbus Zoo Character AmbassadorsColumbus Zoo Large Open Exhibits

On of the first things we did upon entering the Columbus Zoo was download their app.  It was super handy to have to navigate the zoo and find out all of the special events going on.  We used it to head straight to the biggest item on our list of fun things to do- meet the amazing Jack Hanna (who has been the Director since 1978!).  I think Mama Harper and myself were the most excited to meet Jack as we’ve been watching him since we were children.  Not only was he incredibly personable just as he is on television, but he signed photos for us and asked all about our local zoo and where we came from. It was definitely an experience to remember!

Columbus Zoo Jack Hanna

After the awesome experience with Jack, we headed over to what I knew would be Reese’s favorite portion of the zoo, Pirate Island.  Pirate Island was like a mini-theme park all in itself, right in the Columbus Zoo.  There were large animatronic pirates all through the area, and we went on incredibly fun boat ride throughout the Australia and Islands region of the zoo. We were able to board the boat and then witness lots of animals while observing the battle between the “Pirates for the Planet” and “Purple Poaching Pillagers”.  The saga continued as the boat wound through the exhibits with canons, fights, and lots of water sprays.  My boys thought it was the best thing ever, and well, the Harper girls, not so much, hehe!  But aren’t those two guys just so handsome with all those kiddos?!

Columbus Zoo Pirate IslandColumbus Zoo Pirate Island Boat RideColumbus Zoo Pirate Island Boat

In addition to the Pirate Island ride, there were lots of other rides that made the Columbus Zoo even more special for all of the kids.  We bought them each a bracelet that allowed them to ride all of the rides all day, and they loved that the zoo became more than just the animal experiences.  We did the carousel, train ride around the zoo, and some of the kids even did pony rides.

Columbus Zoo Train & Pony Rides

In between all of the animal exhibits, the kids were able to spend some time at the larger-than-life Stings, Wings, and Playthings Park, as well as the Polar Frontier Playground.

Columbus Zoo Playgrounds

Meanwhile, Mama Harper spent some time with sweet Lilah at the Infant Nursing Station, which was PERFECT for nursing moms to take a much needed break.  Complete with a sink, nursing chair, changing area, and even electrical outlets, we were both incredibly impressed with the Columbus Zoo’s support for nursing moms!

Columbus Zoo Nursing Station
Not only were there all of the extra things to do, but the size and amount of animal exhibits was simply impressive.  From watching polar bears to petting snakes to observing the penguins, the kids loved the time spent with each animal. Even though we spent most of the day there, we definitely need to head back to the Columbus Zoo and keep exploring.

Columbus Zoo Giraffe ExhibitColumbus Zoo GiraffesColumbus Zoo OrangutanColumbus Zoo Penguin Exhibit

I think next time we’ll plan for a zoo weekend, because there is just so much to do and so many animals to see!  Plus, coming up this October is Boo at the Zoo, which looks like tons of fun for the kiddos in costume.  Be sure to check out the Columbus Zoo website for a list of upcoming events, special exhibits, and hours, and get to planning your zoo visit today!

We received complimentary admission to the Columbus Zoo.  All opinions are our own.

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19 Responses to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium- Animals and So Much More!

  1. Jenna Wood says:

    Wow, this looks like a wonderful so with a great variety of attractions. The penguins would be my favorite (and not every zoo has them!) I think I’d also enjoy the ‘river’ ride.

  2. We loved the Jack Hanna videos when my kids were younger. Your kids are beyond lucky for getting to meet him at the Columbus Zoo and to have a great time at the Zoo besides!

  3. Sarah says:

    What a fun trip. Looks like there is a ton of stuff to do for kids and families. The boat ride looks fun!

  4. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    We would LOVE it there. Zoos and Aquariums are my kids favorites 🙂

  5. Scarlet says:

    Wow. You got some great photos. It looks like so much fun. My family loves to go to the zoo too. I loved the orangutan.

  6. Nolie says:

    Looks like such a fun day. My kids would love to visit.

  7. Scott says:

    I had to do a double-take at that first photo. Looked so real to me!

  8. This looks like a wonderful zoo, so much fun.

  9. I love to visit the zoo. I haven’t been to the Columbus Zoo but it sounds like it’s a lot of fun with a lot to offer.

  10. Vera Sweeney says:

    What an amazing experience to get to meet Jack Hanna like that!! This looks like such an zoo to go to with the kids for a family day. Love the boat ride!

  11. Amy Desrosiers says:

    What an amazing place to be! I totally would love to visit this place with my three little ones!

  12. Liz Mays says:

    The face in the window cracks me up! What a cool day you had, and I love that there’s an app!

  13. Krystal says:

    We just became members of our local zoo. It is such an awesome way to plan family weekends!

  14. I love visiting our local zoo but this zoo sounds so much better.

  15. Dandi D says:

    This looks like such a fun place to take the whole family!

  16. Janet W. says:

    Looks like a really fun zoo to visit! I wish Zoo Atlanta had a ride like Pirate Island ride! My grandsons would love it!

  17. shelly peterson says:

    What a fun and amazing zoo. We have never bee to a zoo before and sure would love to go to one like this. The kids would love it!

  18. Elisabeth says:

    What a neat zoo! If I’m ever in Columbus we’ll have to go!

  19. Chad C says:

    Kids love the zoo. Try to take them a few times a year! We even do the wild on occasion.

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