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“Really nice, lots to see, wear good walking shoes! :)”
Review of Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo
Ranked #1 of 20 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.
Reviewed June 21, 2010

First-rate all the way. Beautifully landscaped. Very clean. LOVED THE MERRY-GO-ROUND! Great exhibits. Pretty good value for the admission price.

Thank BuckeyeLover2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,065 - 2,069 of 2,122 reviews

Reviewed June 4, 2010

This is without question the best zoo in the country (and we've been to a LOT of zoos).

REALLY cool exhibits, packed full of information about the animals and their habitats. They have an abundance of different animals, so many that we couldn't fit them all in one day! They also feature REALLY cool bronze statues at the "key" animal exhibits, many life sized, for you or your children to pose with for pictures. What a unique idea!

If the zoo itself weren't enough, they also have a water park which looked AMAZING, an insect themed playground (free). and a mini amusement
park with all sorts of rides.

Some tips:
- Plan to spend more than 1 day here. There is a LOT of ground to cover for the animal exhibits. If you plan to take part in the waterpark or the amusement area, plan for at least 3 days. They will be worth it.
- This zoo lets you bring your own food if you like. DO IT... even if it's only a sandwich from somewhere else. The food prices are high inside the park, and you'll be happy you thought to bring drinks or food of your own.
- Get their EARLY. The zookeepers bring out animals to pet during the first hour or two the zoo is open (we got flamingos).
- Buy your tickets for whatever you want to do (zoo, waterpark, rides) at the front gate early in the day. You can buy tickets at the doors for each (waterpark, rides), but the lines are super long near the attractions themselves.
- Be prepared for the nightmare parking. We went on a day that a LOT of schools were fieldtripping, and it sucked. We waited almost 35 minutes just to get into the parking lot, but again it was worth it.
- If it's hot, DRESS APPROPRIATELY. The zoo lacks a lot of water fountains and / or places to get cool... DRESS AS LITTLE AS YOU CAN - you'll thank me.
- If it's hot, bring a washcloth and tuck it somewhere... when you see a water fountain, wet the cloth and wring it out on yourself. VERY smart useful tip which made being there when it was 90+ very enjoyable.
- The food court, although it's at the back of the zoo, is what you should plan to eat if you decide to eat there. Good food (with a kiddie station all it's own featuring mac&cheese, chicken nuggets, etc.)!! and free drink refills. Smartest choice hands down.
- Skip the souvenier cup, unless you really want the cup. It's $6.99 and then $.99 cent refills... see my note about free refills at the food court, not to mention you can bring your own drinks.

2  Thank j2white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2010

Okay first and foremost, I've been reading some of the other reviews on this site about the Cols Zoo and I gotta say this much, if you're going to whine about something, why don't you make it something that can't be solved by some good trip planning? I was born here in Columbus and have lived here most of my life but have traveled a lot and this is by FAR the best zoo I have ever been to! Now granted, there are a lot of people, there are lines to see some exhibits and to get into gift shops...but for anyone that is planning a trip here to Columbus for the zoo, let me give you some tips and pointers from someone that actually knows this zoo that make the trip worth the time!
1. Unless it's the holidays (christmas time) the best time to come to the zoo is between memorial day and labor day...that's when there's the most extra shows, discount days, animal births, and other fun goodies! Don't get me wrong, the zoo is great anytime...it's gorgeous, but during some times, (outside of the normal season) they are doing maintenance, expansions, renovations, etc to make the zoo experience better! So come during the busy season (May-Oct)
2. You can take coolers with you to the zoo! There are food courts, several in fact, but yes as with all food courts, there are lines, they are crowded, and the food is a little pricey! Pack a lunch, and find a spot! There's all sorts of picnic areas! Plus all the money you save will come in handy for rides, gift shops and souvenirs :)
3. The zoo is a big, BIG place, so if there's an exhibit that you're really wanting to see but the line is ridiculous, go visit other parts of the zoo and try again when the line goes down a bit...let's face it, you have to have patience for every zoo really!
4. Try the rides!!! There's an awesome carousel, a train ride that takes you through parts of the "North America" exhibits, and a water ride through one of the newer exhibits! Pretty sweet, totally worth the dollar or two it costs to take part :)
5.Get a map. This zoo is huge...literally...so getting a map will ensure that if you only have one day to see the zoo or a limited amount of time, make your trip optimal...there's so much to see that it's easy to miss things if you don't look first!
Have fun everyone!! This zoo is a blast, so much fun and really amazing! Happy zooing :)

4  Thank choirbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2010

Just okay. Pretty much everything closed on an 85 degree day. New bear exhibit pretty cool. Had to walk forever to see a little. Nice zoo and if we lived closer, might do it again for the kids. But as an adult, not much, with the exception of the Manatees, that would draw me back again.

Thank davidcluther01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

OK, so the animal exhibits were pretty good, hence the "3" rating. BUT--the amenities (or lack there of) for the guests of the zoo would get a 'negative' bubble if it were available!! We went to the zoo on Good Friday, in which it was unseasonably HOT. There was not a SINGLE water fountain working in the park. The ONE food court they have, didn't open until 1130, and with the zoo opening at 9am, that was 2.5hrs without a drink. THEN of course, EVERY guest in the park was there, trying to buy something, so the wait in line was OUTSIDE the building. We opted to find a kiosk within the park somewhere, which was a joke because most of THEM weren't open either. When we finally found one open, the line was L-O-N-G and when we got up to order, they were out of 2 of the 3 things we wished to purchase. Overall, I would only give it a rating of "3" and would tell Jack Hanna he should be endorsing another zoo, say Binder Park Zoo, in Kalamazoo, MI???

1  Thank ShellyBelly1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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