Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Review

picture of Columbus Zoo Polar Bear

My family recently visited the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as part of the Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway in Columbus, Ohio.  I have wanted to take my kids there for a while now but just didn’t plan the trip. I’m so glad we finally made it, there are plenty of reasons it was awarded #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide.  Plus, it is the home of Jungle Jack Hanna and his beautiful animal friends.

Photos of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

There was so much to see and do at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We were very impressed by the layout of the zoo and how each section was uniquely different that the other, based on the region it was from. There were many gardens, sitting areas, and open spaces lending to a relaxing, and totally different zoo experience. We’ve been to close to a dozen zoos, and the Columbus Zoo is right at the top of the list for our favorites.

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North America at Columbus Zoo

The Columbus Zoo is broken into sections. The North America section is home to bald eagles, bison, bears, prairie dogs, wolves, wolverines, and more.

Polar Bear Exhiibt at Columbus Zoo

Our favorite part for this section and the entire zoo was the Polar Bear Exhiibt at Columbus Zoo. It was amazing to see the polar bears swimming in the water from above and below the water. The observation area below the surface allowed visitors to view the polar bears swimming in the water above and on 3 sides of us. Amazing! There was also a large play area for kids based on an Polar Bear Expedition. Playgrounds at zoos are a must!

Jungle Jack Hanna at Manatee Exhibit

Another favorite exhibits at the Columbus Zoo was the Manatee Exhibit. We were even lucky enough to spot Jungle Jack Hanna feeding the manatees.


Australia & Islands at Columbus Zoo

The Columbus Zoo Australia & Islands exhibit is home to orangutans, Komod dragons, otters, and gibbons.

Asia Quest at Columbus Zoo

The theme and design of the Asia Quest at the Columbus Zoo was phenomenal. My husband and I agree that we’ve never seen anything like it. They captured the essence of Asia for us all to enjoy. Asia Quest is home to the Asian elephants, rhinos, tigers, sun bears, fruit bats, and our favorite, monkey.

African Forest at Columbus Zoo

The African Forest at Columbus Zoo is home to the first gorilla born in human care and also the oldest. You’ll also see leopards, okapis, bonobos, and more.

Columbus Zoo Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo Aquarium was an impresseive 110,000 gallon salt water tank. Come face to face with a bonnethead Shark, Clownfish, Cow Nose Stingray and more at Discovery Reef. Discovery Reef at the Columbus Zoo Aquarium is designed with 1,200 pieces of man-made coral. Take a short video journey of the Columbus Zoo Aquarium from the perspective of a 6 year old. :)

Columbus Zoo Rides and Attractions

In my Zoombezi Bay post, I talked about Jungle Jack’s Landing. This area of rides and animal interaction is accessible for Columbus Zoo and Aquarium visitors as well as Zoombezi Bay. It really completes the trip!  Every day there are new animals to encounter from snakes to wallaby or even a cheetah on stage.

Located inside the zoo is a free playground as well as ticketed carousel and train rides. Throughout the zoo, you will find exciting programs and shows. Enjoy pony rides in North America, feeding animals in the MyBarn in North America, Touchpool at Discovery Reef, touch the reptiles at Reptile lab in the Reptile Building, watch a Diver at Discovery Reef, or meet with the Zoo Keepers for Keeper Talks throughout the day at various exhibits. Your daily program will include locations and times.

Visit Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Zoo hours vary based on month. For the remaining part of the summer hours are 9am – 7pm.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Admission:

Under 2            Free
Ages 2-9           $9.00
Ages 10-59       $14.00
Ages 60+          $10.00
Parking $5 for cars

*The Columbus Zoo offers 50% off admission in the months of January and February.

Columbus Zoo and Aquairu and Zoombezi Bay 2 Day Tickets:
Ages 2 – 9            $30.99
Ages 10 and up    $42.99
2 day tickets must be purchased at the Zoo.

Become a Columbus Zoo Member:
Individual $39, Family $89
If you are an Akron Zoo or Cleveland Zoo member, your admission to the Columbus Zoo is 1/2 off. Find out if your zoo is a reciprocating zoo here.

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Zoombezi Bay who supplied the tickets for Roar and Explore  Adventure Getaway review.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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