There are so many fun and exciting opportunities throughout Ohio. We have an incredible amount of art and culture spread across the state. One of my favorite must-see places is located in Columbus, Ohio. COSI, or the Center of Science and Industry, is an innovative, hands-on science center that is perfect for families in all age ranges. I’ll share with you all of the things you need to see & do at COSI.
Who, what and where?
COSI is located in Columbus, just off of the interstate, at 333 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215. On-site parking is located just off of Broad in an underground (and covered) parking deck. The hours of operation as well as ticket pricing can be found here.
Changing tables for kids and adults are located throughout various bathrooms in the building. On-site food and beverage (as well as adult beverages) are available in both the Molecules and Atomic Cafe (and both are delicious).
Must-See Exhibits at COSI
There are so many different exhibits and experiences available. Some of the exhibits are on permanent display, like “Energy Explorers” and “Big Science Park.” While other exhibits are open on a temporary and rotating basis. These can’t-miss experiences are perfect for the whole family:
If you’re a parent of any sort, I’m certain your children have gone through at least one dinosaur phase. For many of us, kids and adults alike, we can struggle with the concept of just how huge these creatures were.
So for the American Museum of Natural History and COSI to come together to showcase these creatures in all of their glory is truly incredible.
This permanent exhibit consists of a full size T. rex, a climbable nest, as well as life-scale diorama of the creatures in their natural habitats.
It’s truly a fascinating exhibit. And our dinosaur-obsessed crew could have spent all day learning even more about these creatures.
For as many times as I’ve been to COSI, I don’t think we’ve ever made it through the Ocean exhibit. And holy smokes! It is incredible!
It’s like travelling to a magical world of water, where kids are taught about both Greek mythology and science!
This hands-on exhibit allows kids to use actual oceanic technology like sonar and remote operated vehicles to explore the world around them.
They can even climb into a mini submarine!
Fair warning: You may end up just a tiny bit wet from this exhibit, but it’s totally worth it (and it truly is just a little bit, I promise!)!
Tutankhamun: His Tomb and His Treasures
Tutankhamun, or King Tut, as he’s widely referred, was discovered just over 100 years ago by Howard Carter.
The huge exhibit walks you through a self-guided audio tour of King Tut and his rise to the throne. The audio tour offers a kid-friendly guide for even the littlest explorers in your group.
Our history-loving 10-year-old was completely enthralled to hear the story of King Tut and get a behind-the-scenes look at so many artifacts.
It truly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to get to see so many replicas and artifacts from a time in history that continues to be so fascinating for many (myself included!).
This temporary exhibit runs from now until September 4th, 2023. Tickets to the Tutankhamun exhibit are an additional charge and can be found here.
The COSI Planetarium show is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Shows run every half an hour from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM from Wednesday through Sunday. The planetarium itself is the largest planetarium in the state of Ohio!
It is currently showing Passport to the Universe, which is about a 20 minute show. It kept 5 kids and three adults incredibly entertained the entire time. To be honest, space stuff just blows my mind. It’s hard to really grasp how big the universe is. And the COSI Planetarium really puts things into perspective.
The shows are on a first-come, first-served basis. So be sure to plan ahead and get in line about 5-10 minutes ahead of the showing of your choice!
Nature’s Superheroes: Life at the Limits
This brand new exhibit explores the cool ‘superpowers’ that certain species have to help them survive. From mammals that can survive for hours without breathing, to extraordinary (and bizarre!) mating rituals, Nature’s Superheroes covers all of it.
This exhibit is included with your COSI admission and features larger-than-life models, dioramas, and interactive learning.
COSI Tips and Tricks
We arrived just before opening and there were cars lining up the street to get into the parking deck. We didn’t have to wait at all, but there is just so much to see and do. You’ll want to give yourself ample amounts of time for everything.
Build in breaks to your schedule.
Science and technology are so cool, but it can be overstimulating for some folks (big kids and little kids).
Be sure to build in ‘breaks’ to your schedule for snacks, downtime in the play area (where kids can get some energy out), and get outside at the Big Science Park exhibit for some fresh air!
Get the schedule of the live shows upon arrival.
COSI offers super fun and interactive live-shows on the science stage at certain times throughout the day. Be sure to catch a seat during one of the performances to get a chance to see the power of electricity up close!
HAVE FUN! And consider becoming a member!
There is so much to see and do. The memories you make at COSI will last a lifetime. Becoming an annual member includes benefits like member previews and events, as well as discounted or free reciprocal admission to over 360 other science museums.
Learn more about membership opportunities here.