Columbus, Ohio families know they’ve got a hidden gem — from the Short North to German Village, Columbus is a hot spot for things to do with kids. COSI to the Scioto Mile and it’s parks, fountains and trails to the more than 20 donut speciality shops, there’s never a dull moment in this little city with big ideas.
One of the reasons we love Columbus is the sheer volume kid-friendly places to visit, from incredible museums to water parks — but that doesn’t mean it’s all worth visiting. We’ve gathered our editors picks for the very best things for families to do in Columbus that are 100% worth your time.
Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
COSI is a local favorite, due in part to more than 300 interactive exhibits. This top-rated kids’ museum is entertaining and education for parents, too. Don’t miss the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery, which includes a full-size cast of a t-rex!
333 W Broad St
Columbus, OH 43215-2738
Central Ohio Fire Museum
Pretty much every kid is fascinated with firefighters, and the Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center won’t disappoint anyone. Kids can learn all about the history of firefighters and their modern day-to-day lives in the engine house.
260 N 4th St
Columbus, OH 43215-2511
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
Free to the public, the Audubon Center features gorgeous grounds along the Scioto River parents will love and has plenty to offer the kids, too. Their play area is a two-level, enclosed climbing structure that’s great any time of year (but especially in the Winter!). Beyond the play area, there are plenty of stations where kids can learn about wildlife and the environment, including aquariums for fish, turtles and snakes.
400 W Whittier St
Columbus, OH 43215-7244
Unique to Columbus, the Columbus Commons is a 6-acre, privately owned park featuring manicured gardens, a state-of the-arts performance stage, a hand-carved carousel, an outdoor reading room, and two cafes. Annually, it is the home to over 200 events – so there’s always something awesome happening.
16 S High St
Columbus, OH 43215
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
If your kids love animals, the Columbus Zoo can’t be missed. Home to more than 7,000 animals, this is one of Columbus’ most popular destinations. Don’t miss the animal sculptures, which are great photo ops!
4850 W. Powell Rd
Powell, OH 43065
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
These breathtaking glass-enclosed gardens are a great place to stroll with a baby or explore with your older kids. Filled with exotic plant life from around the world, your family will love the special exhibits and water features.
1777 E. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43203
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGO aficionados will flip their lid at the 36,000 square foot LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Jump into the biggest box of LEGO bricks, then enjoy all the center has to offer, including 10 themed LEGO play areas, two rides, MINILAND Ohio, and a 4D Cinema.
When the weather outside is frightful, ROCKIN’ JUMP is a no-brainer. With over 10,000 sq. ft. of trampolines in a 20,000+ sq. ft. space, your kids will get all their energy out and then some!
1220 County Line Road
Westerville, OH 43081
Columbus Children’s Theater
As home to a variety of musicals and plays, the Columbus Children’s Theater is a great place to foster a love of the arts. Save money by going on a Thursday, and have dinner at North Market beforehand, where you’ll find something for everyone.
Columbus, OH 43215
The Best Upcoming Events for Kids in Columbus
If you’re looking for events and activities, don’t miss our local Columbus events calendar, which has everything from story times to seasonal activities like apple picking, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms.