From the moment you walk through its doors, the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio, captures your kids’ attention and doesn’t let go.
Where else can you play a stringless harp, cheer for basketball-playing rats (our team won!), ride a unicycle across a high wire, navigate a submarine, fly into space and learn how all kinds of gadgets work by actually taking them apart? And all in less than three hours.
This spacious, easy-to-navigate museum is a parents’ dream come true. The kids are too busy exploring to whine or complain about anything. Leaving, though, is a problem because even if you visit every exhibit, they’ll want to visit them all again before you go.
Through Sept. 7, COSI will feature its newest exhibit, “Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science,” where kids can see real human and animal mummies and families can visit a re-created tomb.
COSI is not far from downtown, where you’ll find plenty of great restaurants and nice hotels to make this a weekend trip your kids won’t soon forget-especially if your rats win at basketball.
COSI 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH (614) 228-2674 www.cosi.org Parent tips •Download a suggested itinerary for your kids' ages at www.cosi.org/visitors/plan-your-visit/itinerary/ to make the most of your visit.
•Wear closed-toe shoes (not Crocs) if you plan to ride the unicycle. Size restrictions do apply.
•Be prepared for kids to get wet in the ocean area (parents, too) where Poseidon oversees a water playground too appealing to resist, with shooting water cannons, fountains and sprayers.
•Spring for the value pass, which includes admission, live shows and Extreme Screen movie ($19.75 for adults, $14.75 for kids 2-12.) It’s the best value.
•It’s a relatively easy five-hour, 45-minute drive to Columbus from downtown Chicago, but be aware that, through November, construction on Interstate 65 in Northwest Indiana is causing major delays.