We went on a little two hour road trip to Columbus the other week and made a day visit to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Having never been there before and not sure what to expect, I think I underestimated the scope and design of the zoo. For those of you who might be as unfamiliar as I was before visiting, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is as large as 90 acres, hosts more than 700 species, and has themed wildlife areas including Asia Quest, North America (including the polar frontier), Africa Forest, Australia, The Islands of Southeast Asia, and The Shores. Just a few of the creatures you might encounter include the Siberian Tiger, Elephants, Black Rhino, Wolverines, Polar Bear, Bonobo, Gorilla, Kangaroo, Lorikeets, Komodo Dragons, Sharks and even Manatee.
Two things struck me the most. One, I was quite impressed with the theming of the zoo. Many areas had detailed exhibits, with artistic touches and interesting elements that lent to the experience. Second, the zoo planners have done a really good job of giving the animals lots of space to move and roam, and areas for animal enrichment yet also allowing the visitors to really get up close and personal on many occasions.
Check out the theming in the Asia Quest area for example:
The strikingly beautiful Heart of Africa section opened in May. The day we were there the lions were lounging on an aircraft wing. Visitors could get extremely close just on the other side of the glass.
The views were expansive and the animals had tons of area to roam. Apparently it spans 43 acres!
The gentle giraffes roamed, but many were also lining up where visitors could have the experience of feeding them as well.
Now that we’ve had the chance to finally visit, I can highly recommend the Columbus Zoo is definitely a great one to take a trip to. There’s lots more to do in the greater Columbus area as well so you could even make a weekend or half week vacation out of it.
Special note: All photos are my own personal photos and remain my property and may not be reproduced (especially not for commercial use). Motherhood in Progress is not in any way affiliated with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and all opinions are my own.