Columbus, Ohio: Zoo, science museum ranked No. 1

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Recently, USA Travel Guide named Columbus Zoo and Aquarium the No. 1 Zoo in America. In addition, Parents magazine named Columbus’ science museum, COSI, the No. 1 Science Center in the country.

Parents magazine selected COSI for its No. 1 pick after an exhaustive survey that included detailed information about exhibits, science demonstrations, special events, camps, and classes. The magazine also considered stroller-friendliness of the facility, dining options, the quality of the staff, conveniences like family restrooms and whether the center was a good value based on the admission price in relation to the number of exhibits.

COSI is a hands-on science center, featuring more than 300 interactive exhibitions and more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. A seven-story Extreme Screen Theater boasts the largest screen in Ohio.

An outdoor science park, a special area for tiny explorers ages 0 through kindergarten and the country’s only high-wire unicycle add to the center’s allure as a No. 1 family destination. COSI also offers a variety of special events, family programs, camps, and more.

One of the world’s top travel Web sites for information on US destinations, USA Travel Guide said that none of the zoos selected for its Top Ten Zoos list have achieved the positive worldwide reputation of the Columbus Zoo, calling it “arguably America’s favorite.”

The accolades went on to say that the zoo’s reputation grew to great heights under direction of the amiable Jack Hanna, one of America’s most beloved animal experts. USA Travel Guide called the Columbus Zoo “the aspiration of any traditional zoo,” pointing to its 7,000 animals and its recent expansion to include a water park, amusement park and golf resort.

Known as the home of Jack Hanna, a new baby elephant was just born at the Zoo in April. In addition to visiting the pachyderms and a renowned lowland guerrilla exhibit, Columbus Zoo is one of just a few US zoos to house Queensland koalas, bonobos and manatees. A new Polar Frontier exhibit, featuring polar bears, is under construction and expected to open in 2010.

Columbus is also the only zoo in the nation to feature its own water park, Zoombezi Bay, offering even more memorable experiences for families. Detailed information about the Zoo is available at