We are in LOVE with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium located in Columbus, Ohio. We had never been but decided to cross it off our summer bucket list. We are so glad we did! In fact I have to say that I am adding this to my favorite zoo list of all times.
Hands down our favorite exhibit was the Polar Bear Exhibit located in the North America section of the zoo! We all loved it! In fact we spent quite a long time there. We were able to view the Polar Bears from both the top of the exhibit and below too! It made for some fun pictures of them swimming around.
We also had the opportunity to see the new Tiger Cubs debut at the tiger habitat located in Asia Quest. The cubs, Metis (male), Callisto (female) and Elara (female), were born in March and are named after Jupiter’s moons, as their father’s name is Jupiter.
For the past two months, the cubs have been growing bigger and stronger in a behind-the-scenes denning area with their mother, Irisa. Amur tigers, also historically referred to as Siberian tigers, are critically endangered; fewer than 400 individuals are believed to exist in the forests of the Russian Far East. They were simply adorable!
We really loved how large the zoo was because it helped it to not feel crowded. We were in awe of the Heart of Africa exhibit! We really felt like were in in Africa with how large and natural the exhibit is. The animals had so much room to roam freely. They have an area where you can feed a giraffe too (for a small fee). This makes for a great photo opportunity too! They also have an area where you can ride a camel and pony for a small fee. So if any of these are on your bucket list you can knock them all out at one time!
There are so many wonderful sections to the Zoo and Aquarium. My best piece of advice is wear comfortable walking shoes and be sure to apply sun screen. The Zoo is huge and there is a lot of walking. We were lucky that it was only a high of 72 degrees on the day we went so it was extremely comfortable with low humidity.
I would suggest packing your own food, drinks and snacks to save money. We found the food prices to be around $10 for meal (including a drink) which isn't bad but it can add up. They do offer a very limited amount of gluten free items so if you have a need for gluten free food I would suggest that you pack your own.
There are lots of rides and attractions that are additional costs throughout the Columbus Zoo that you can choose to do. We chose not too but I think the next time we go we might consider those. They do sell a ride wristband which I would consider in the future. Also, parking is $10 so be sure to budget for that too.
For us it was a 2 hour and 15 minute drive to the Columbus Zoo from NKY but I can honestly say that it is worth the drive. In addition to the Zoo they have a water park (that is an additional cost) that we didn't go to because the temperature wasn't really warm enough for it. However on a hot summer day it would be so refreshing!
Disclosure: The Columbus Zoo provided our tickets. All opinions are 100% our own.