Detroit Mom’s Travel Series: Columbus

This month our family took on Columbus, Ohio for our mini getaway. I am very thankful that our families adhere to our wishes of gifting experiences over toys . . . and for Christmas, the kids’ aunt and uncle gifted them a trip to COSI (Center of Science and Industry). We decided to turn that into a little getaway and make use of our reciprocity discount for being Detroit Zoo members at the Columbus Zoo. So come along with us and enjoy Columbus!

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

3:00-4:30 p.m. | Johnston-McVay Park |480 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
After our three hour drive to Columbus, we made a stop at this park to have lunch and burn some energy before checking into our hotel. It had beautiful play elements that blended into the natural surroundings.

4:30-5:30 p.m. | Embassy Suites | 2700 Corporate Exchange Dr, Columbus, OH 43231
We checked into our hotel and got settled in. We chose Embassy Suites due to its large suite style bedrooms to allow the kids their own sleeping space. They also offer complementary made-to-order breakfast and an evening reception.

6:00-7:30 p.m. | 101 Beer Kitchen | 817 Polaris Pkwy, Westerville, OH 43082
My husband and I had a wonderful dinner and the kids loved the different kids meal options that they served on a lunch tray, and included their choice of dessert.

8:00-9:00 p.m. | Embassy Suites
We ended our night with a late night swim in their indoor/outdoor pool with an indoor waterfall.

Day 2

8:30-9:30 a.m. | Embassy Suites
We started our day with the complimentary breakfast. They had many choices and also offered custom omelets.

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. | Columbus Zoo | 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065
We spent a large amount of our day at the zoo. It is a very large zoo, so be sure to pack your patience, walking shoes, and lots and lots of snacks.

2:30-4:30 p.m. | Embassy Suites
We took a mid-day break for nap time.

5:00-6:00 p.m. | Towers Park | 657 County Line Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
Before dinner, we tried out another park. This one was so cute and had these mini houses along with a climbing area.

6:30-7:30 p.m. | Bru Burger | 691 North Cleveland Ave, Westerville, OH 43082
After a long day the kids ended up falling asleep in the car, so we decided to order takeout instead of dining in.

8:00-9:00 p.m. | Embassy Suites
We ate our Bru Burger takeout and then did another late night swim!

Day 3

8:30-9:30 a.m. | Embassy Suites
Again, we enjoyed our breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the day.

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. | COSI |333 West Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
The kids had so much fun exploring all the different attractions at the museum.

2:00-3:00 p.m. | Dorrian Green | 50 Belle St, Columbus, OH 43215
Outside the science center, we found this wonderful little park. We allowed the kids time to play and eat their lunch before making our way back to Detroit.

Restaurants You’ll Love

Kitchen Social | 8954 Lyra Dr, Columbus, OH 43240
Enjoy creatively-inspired dishes and a very large kids menu.

Marcella’s | 615 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215
This is part of the Cameron Mitchell restaurant collection. We have visited several, and have never been disappointed!

The Thurman Cafe | 183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
It wouldn’t be a trip to Columbus without grabbing one of the best burgers in town!

Attractions You Must Visit

16-Bit Bar+Arcade | 254 S. 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Grab a cocktail and have fun playing one of the many old school arcade games.

Franklin Park Conservatory | 1777 E. Broad Street Columbus, OH 43203
Explore the gardens and conservatory. Be sure to end the day at the children’s garden!

Zoombezi Bay | 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065
If visiting in the summer, be sure to spend a day at the waterpark next to the Columbus Zoo. If visiting both, be sure to check out the combo park discount!

Favorite Coffee Shops

Fox in the Snow Cafe | 210 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
Head in for rustic-style baked goods and decadent coffee.

One Line Coffee | 745 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215
There is nothing like hand-poured, fresh roasted coffee!

Third Way Cafe | 3058 W. Broad St, Columbus, OH 43204
Beautifully crafted drinks in a trendy space.

Favorite Spots for Sweet Treats

CRMD | 1190 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43201
Try a puffle . . . an egg waffle used in place of an ice cream cone!

Pistacia Vera | 541 South 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215
Along with a brunch menu, they also offer an extensive dessert menu, including tasty macarons.

Whit’s Frozen Custard | 46 North State St, Westerville, OH 43081
Frozen custard made daily and offering different flavors each week.

Favorite Playgrounds

Blendon Woods Natural Playground | 4265 E Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43081
Let the kids play in nature, in the natural playgrounds among the trees.

Hanby Park | 115 E. Park St, Westerville, OH 43081
This brand new park offers a very tall climbing tower and a splash pad!

Scioto Audubon Metro Park | 400 West Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43215
A park like no other. This one features an obstacle course as well as a 35-foot rock climbing tower.

Wyman Woods | 1520 Goodale Blvd, Grandview Heights, OH 43212
A well-maintained park that offers a soft padded ground and many different play elements.

Bonus Tips to Columbus

  • Give yourself plenty of time to explore the Columbus Zoo. It is very large, and can get quite crowded.
  • As with any big city, there are different “pockets” in Columbus, so be sure to research the different areas to see which one best fits your style and travel needs.
  • Be sure to bring your parking ticket from the garage into the science center so they can validate your ticket to give you a discount.
  • If you are a Detroit Zoo member, you receive 50% off at the Columbus Zoo!
  • If you are a member of the Ann Arbor Children’s Museum, Cranbrook, Michigan Science Center, or one of the many other science or children’s museums in our state, you will receive free or discounted admission to COSI.

Where’s your favorite vacation spot? Check out our previous travel series location–Siesta Key, FL!


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