COSI Science Center in Columbus, Ohio Family Review

picture of COSI Foucault Pendulum

COSI is rated the #1 Science Center in the USA! My family agrees! We had the opportunity to take a trip to Columbus to experience what COSI has to offer and wish we could have spent another day there or at least another 2 hours.

COSI has 110,000 square feet of space with more than 300 exhibits that are hands-on fun for all ages. My kids are ages 4 & 6 and had a super time, my husband and I agree that we could easily go to COSI as a date idea and have a great time as adults too. There was so much we could have enjoyed and learned if our kids were not running from one exhibit to the next in excitement!

I’ll try to briefly go over the various attractions at COSI and include pictures that try to capture the experience. However, my family encourages you to make a point to visit COSI soon with your family.

COSI Hallway Exhibits

Even when you are not at an official exhibit space, you’ll find exhibits throughout the hallways and open spaces. Upon entering COSI, you’ll be greeted by their famous giant Foucault Pendulum. If you stand there long enough, you’ll watch as it knocks down the balls, demonstrating that the Earth rotates. Every day, Columbus, Ohio revolves around the Earth at 790 mph.

picture of COSI Foucault Pendulum
COSI Foucault Pendulum

Geckos Tails to Toepads Exhibit

The Geckos Tails to Toepads Exhibit is a traveling exhibit only at COSI until May 8, 2011. People have fallen for Geckos, partly I’m sure because of the Geico Gecko. Yes, the Geico Gecko aka Day Gecko at COSI. There are 14 species of geckos on display each in displays that mimic their natural environment. COSI controls the lighting, humidity, temperature, and water quality that each gecko is accustomed to.

picture of Geckos Tails to Toepads Exhibit at COSI
Geckos Tails to Toepads Exhibit at COSI

My kids loved spotting the geckos, many were camouflaged within the exhibit and it was fun to find them. I was surprised at the sizes of the geckos, I expected small little creatures but there were plenty that were quite large. Other geckos were stuck right up against the glass with their adorable sticky pads!

picture of Gecko at COSI exhibit
Gecko at COSI exhibit
picture of Get an up close look at geckos at COSI
Get an up close look at geckos at COSI

There is plenty to learn, read, and interact with at the Gecko Exhibit at COSI. This exhibit is well organized and designed to entertain and educate both kids and adults.

picture of Learn all about Geckos at COSI
Learn all about Geckos at COSI

COSI Oceans Exhibit

Bring an extra shirt for your kids, especially if it is winter. Your kids are going to love the water features at the Oceans Exhibit. Just expect them to get a little wet, let them have fun! Here, Elizabeth is having a fantastic time shooting water at Poseidon as he reigns over a mythical playground of ancient stories of the sea.

picture of Spraying Poseidon at COSI
Shooting water at Poseidon at COSI

Can you see why I said to bring extra clothes? There are lots of ways to explore and learn with water at the Oceans Exhibit at COSI. I’m sure this is a huge hit during the summer months!

picture of Kids love Oceans Exhibit at COSI
Kids love Oceans Exhibit at COSI

picture of Connecting pipes to move water from one side to the other
Connecting pipes to move water from one side to the other

The Oceans exhibit has a research habitat where you can experience real submersibles, sonar, and remote operated vehicles to explore the underground world of the ocean. Mostly kids went inside the yellow submarine, however some adults climbed down too. It was close to closing time with a line of kids still or I would have ventured down!

picture of Climbing down into COSI submersible "Yellow Submarine"
Climbing down into COSI submersible "Yellow Submarine"
picture of Oceans Exhibit at COSI
Oceans Exhibit at COSI

COSI Life Exhibit

Find out everything you have ever wanted to know about the amazing human body. My kids weren’t too excited about this exhibit but Matt & I would have enjoyed checking it out a little more. My kids did think it was neat to see what the human baby looks like inside the womb from 8 weeks to full term. They have 3 aunts that have just given birth to baby boys, so this was interesting. Luckily they didn’t see the exhibit on child birth or there would have been too many questions for me! This exhibit offers ways to explore through your senses, interactive displays, watching food decompose, viewing x-rays, and more.

COSI little kidspace Exhibit

COSI little kidspace is every kids’ dream! It is for younger kids ages 6 and under. If you have older kids, there is a room just for them to hang out with other activities. My kids would have stayed here all day if we let them, in fact visited it twice! little kidspace is a massive indoor playground where you can explore, create, discover, and learn to your heart’s content. Again, don’t forget an extra shirt for your kids because they will want to play on their new water table!

picture of little kidspace Splish Splash water table at COSI
little kidspace Splish Splash water table at COSI
picture of little kidspace Splish Splash water table at COSI
little kidspace Splish Splash water table at COSI

There are many, many activities to keep your kids entertained while learning many fundamentals of science.

picture of My son's favorite little kidspace activity!
My son's favorite little kidspace activity!

COSI Progress Exhibit

Step back into time with the COSI Progress exhibit. They have 2 exact city replicas, one from 1898 and the other from 1962. Kids can experience the difference between the two time periods as they explore the street front stores, restaurants, and transportation. There is a huge change from telegraphs to television, morse code to telephones, and farmer’s market to TV dinners. Many things my kids have not seen before from BOTH time periods! Pretty amazing huh? It really makes you wonder what the future will be like.

picture of Progress exhibit 1898 transportation, just add horses!
Progress exhibit 1898 transportation, just add horses!
picture of Progress Exhibit at COSI in 1962
Progress Exhibit at COSI in 1962

COSI Gadgets Exhibit

This is the most hands-on exhibit and an inventor’s dream come true. There are all kinds of hands-on activities to try things out yourself and investigate the gadgets we use everyday. My kids love construction toys from Mega Bloks to KNEX to Legos, so this was right up their ally. For those that explore and learn best on the computer or electronically, there are many opportunities at every exhibit for this as well. My kids enjoyed both but were way more hands-on at this age.

picture of Gadgets Exhibit at COSI
Gadgets Exhibit at COSI

COSI Shows

There are about six shows daily at various exhibits. We were only able to fit in one show and it was fabulous. We went to the “So cold it is hot” show. Elijah had guessed that they would be experimenting with dry ice and he was right! Such a popular show, it was packed! Lots of smoke, explosions, and excitement with this show. Now Elijah wants to know where he can get some dry ice! LOL

picture of Live Shows at COSI
Live Shows at COSI

COSI Extreme Screen

I recommend taking a break from the exhibits, grabbing some popcorn and watching a COSI Extreme Screen movie. It is a nice break for the middle of the day and they offer great films. We watched Mysteries of the Great Lakes which is showing until May 27, 2011. It is all about saving the prehistoric sturgeon and how water moves from Lake Superior to the edge of Lake Ontario.

Visit COSI

We recommend COSI for every age: for preschoolers, school age kids, teens, and adults. There is something for everyone to experience, learn, and have fun. I feel like I’ve only barely touched on our experience at COSI. We spent 5 hours at COSI, however I recommend getting there as soon as they open so you can spend the entire day. We will be returning again soon because there was so much we did not have time to explore. Even though our kids are young, they were on the go the whole time, not whining to leave or that they were bored. They had a super fun time and of course were worn out and slept on the way home!

333 W. Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
614.228.2674 or 888.819.2674

COSI Operating Hours:

Wednesday through Saturday: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sundays: 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays (unless noted on their site, they are open on many Monday holidays).

COSI Admission:

Adults     Youth (2-12)  Senior (60+)
Exhibits + One Extreme Screen Film     $20.25     $15.25            $19.25
Exhibits + Adventure                            $17.25     $12.25            $16.25
Exhibits Only                                        $14.25     $9.25              $13.25
Extreme Screen Only                             $7.50      $7.50               $7.50

Additional pricing available on COSI website, including membership pricing.

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This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to COSI who supplied the tickets for 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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8 thoughts on “COSI Science Center in Columbus, Ohio Family Review

  1. Rachel Benson says:

    I want to see the Geckos exhibit. Mom had iguanas when I was growing up. She turned my childhood sandbox into a reptile cage, haha! Cant wait to have family day at Cosi with Pam L.!

  2. Paula Caudill says:

    I want to take my 8 year old daughter this summer to COSI, I know that she would love it as much as I did when I was a young. There is a part in the building that I loved, don’t exactly know what to call it, but it was the streets that you could walk and pick up a phone at a little store and it would tell you all about the things that was inside of the glass. And I remember that I bought a drinking bird before I went home…my little sister broke it :( lol

  3. Pam L says:

    Once I get settled from moving, I am planning on a family day at Cosi. We have not been there in 20+ years and especially after seeing photos I can’t wait to play. When I lived in Ohio, we had many varieties of reptiles as pets, therefore I am really looking forward to seeing all their species.

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