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“A zoo to experience, not just see” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Powell
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Home to more than 11,000 animals representing nearly 600 species from around the globe, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium leads and inspires by connecting people and wildlife. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Course. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; annually contributing $4 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
110 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“A zoo to experience, not just see”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2011

Go to Columbus Zoo if you are interested in some interesting hands-on animal encounters, having a beautifully-landscaped get-away (one of the prettiest zoos I've seen outside of San Diego) and seeing some unusual animals (like a Komodo Dragon). There is not a wide variety of animals! What you get instead is some cool interactions (check near entrance for "animal encouters" times) and good primate exhibits. What fun watching the junvenile and father gorillas alone in their almost human-like messing around with each other. While some areas have old-fashioned cages, they did a good job with the primates, and the animals seem to be thriving as a result. The aquarium was nice. Just enjoy what they've got. It can be a lot of fun!

Visited May 2011
Thank snorkel-luvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
174 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Good destination if you like zoos”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2011

I really like zoos and this was quite a nice zoo. It is nicely organized so it is easy to find the animals you want to see.

Tip#1 - don't go when it is hot outside
This is a large zoo and I can't imagine how we would enjoy this if it was hot outside. The day we went, it was a comfy 60 degrees outside. We didn't need jackets because the walking kept us warm.

Tip#2 - try to get discount tickets
We stopped at the Krogers down the street and bought tickets before heading to the zoo. It's not that we're cheap but the zoo is pricey @$14/person. Kroger will save you $1/ ticket. Parking @ the zoo was $5 so it every bit helped.

Tip #3 - if the animals you want to see aren't out at the moment, try to come back to the exhibit later. We went by the red pandas and they were sleeping. 10 minutes later was feeding time and they became very active.

Tip #4 - use the zoo map. They really organize the animals and routes well. If you plan out your route, you will not hit dead ends, etc.

Tip # 5 - my favorite animals at this zoo were: bison, polar bears, red panda, koala, manatee, brown bear, river otter, gibbons, flying foxes (aka vampire bats!) All of the others were also awesome, but these creatures were really cool to watch.

Tip # 6 - give yourself at least 2-3 hours. We went through it pretty fast, but could have easily enjoyed it at a more leisurely pace.

Hope these tips help!

Enjoy your visit!

Visited November 2011
2 Thank Janie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
130 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2011

I had the pleasure of visiting this zoo twice over a year's time and outside of the last visit being excruciatingly hot, it-the zoo was wonderful. I am not really a "zoo" person per se, but this zoo is very large, the price is reasonable and the employees are extremely friendly and helpful. My first visit I took my 6 yr old and she is very particular. She thoroughly enjoyed our visit but we did not have enough time to see and do everything. She did get to see the interaction with animals part and they allowed her to hold and touch many animals ask questions and receive answers. They happened to have a variety of owls which are her favorite and she got to see them up close and personal. This zoo also has amusement rides and a waterpark. It is pretty amazing. The Congo River Market Court food court is clean and smells like food in lieu of animals and they play tidbits of trivia information about what he has done and and about the animals. On the second visit I went with my 17 yr old, 7 yr old and my mother who needed a wheelchair. Although it was very hot the day we went, the zoo was still nice but the heat again prevented us from seeing the whole zoo. The only negative point I can say is that if you need a wheelchair, the grounds are paved in such a way that you have to turn the person backwards over the bumps or risk jutting them clear out of the chair, and while this may make great America's Best Blooper's material,It can be somewhat unnerving for those pushing or being pushed.

Visited August 2011
Thank Redreb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
58 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Average Zoo”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2011

I must admit, I was a bit disappointed with this zoo. I was expecting a modern updated zoo with state of the art exhibits. There were some nice exhibits like the polar bear and tiger exhibits but there were still many fenced or caged animals. Having an aquarium on site was a plus. If you are in the area, go see it but i wouldn't make a special trip just to see it. Sorry Jack, you need to invest some money to make this a better zoo.

Visited September 2011
Thank lbfreder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedarville, Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Skip the Columbus zoo”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2011

My family (mom, dad, a 4 yr old and 2 yr old twins) visited the Columbus zoo today. We had high expectations prior to going based on internet reviews and recommendations from family and co-workers. By the time we were half way through the zoo, disappointment had already set in. Our biggest complaint was what seemed to be a minimal number of animals. Where were the giraffe, zebra, panda, spiders, hippos, etc? Be prepared to walk forever between animals. Fortunately, the landscaping the between exhibits is beautiful. The admission price is steep. It would have been $60 for parking and admission, but fortunately we had a flyer for half off admission. I would highly recommend the Cleveland zoo over the Columbus zoo.

Visited October 2011
3 Thank Michelle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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