The Scientific Adventure at COSI Kidspace

One of the things I wanted to do before leaving the Columbus, Ohio area was to visit COSI (Center of Science and Industry). I’d heard great things about the COSI Kidspace. Would you believe I got my act together about a month before we moved? I was SO proud of myself. Until the parking lot exit incident.

Other than the parking lot issue, I liked the museum. As always, the big question: Did the kids like it?

Columbus children’s museum, ohio: COSI


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First, here are some pictures of the COSI Kidspace, for kids under the age of 6. There is another area for slightly older children, too. It’s a great science museum for toddlers and preschoolers!

A playhouse that is designed to look like it's in a tree at COSI, Center of Science and Industry. Columbus childrens museum

I loved the “treehouse” in the COSI Kidspace. There are some interesting little surprises in and around it.

a robotic hand, covered with a white flexible glove, making the star trek hand symbol for "live long and prosper."

This isn’t in the kids area and no, I couldn’t resist. “Live long and prosper.”

Visiting the Center of Science and Industry

COSI has been around for as long as I can remember and there was another branch briefly in Toledo, Ohio. According to, COSI opened in 1964 in Columbus and moved in 1999 to their current facility. The website leaves out the Toledo COSI information, but I was there! I know it existed.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive review, as my kids and I visited the COSI Little Kidspace and pretty much stayed there. The COSI Kidspace is awesome. Since my kids hadn’t been there before, everything was new and exciting. It was also big! They have a variety of structures and toys, including a giant helicopter, an eye doctor’s office, a barn, a house, a farmer’s market, and a treehouse! They also have a hands on water play area! This isn’t even an extensive list.

A blonde girl looking through child sized eye doctor eyesight checker thing. Columbus children's museum ohio

The little Eye Doctor’s office.

Hands down, my favorite part was the water play area. It was also the favorite of my 3 year old daughter. I love water play and how it intrigues my kids. My 4 year old son loved the giant Lego pieces.

I really liked how the COSI Kidspace was laid out and that there are so many different and interesting spaces for the kids to explore. We spent around two hours there and didn’t even thoroughly explore all of it. My kids wanted to walk around and see other areas. Since it’s a large building with many exhibits, we only saw a fraction of the space.

a child playing with larger than normal lego pieces.

He didn’t want to leave this area.

The Parking Lot Incident

At the time of our visit, there were some areas with construction. We parked in the lot ($4 whether you have a membership or not at the time of publishing) and hopped on the shuttle. By the way, the parking lot has a flow that isn’t really marked or apparent in anyway, so when I tried to leave, people shot me some dirty looks. Someone finally let me go. Sorry folks. I had no idea and saw no arrows directing me in any particular direction. Be aware when you go, so you don’t mess up, too. Or suffer the wrath of the other moms!*

* And I totally understand. I get miffed when people aren’t following the rules, especially when the rules are designed to alleviate congestion and/or aggravation. It just wasn’t well marked at the time. I now park underground.

a water play spiral flow in the COSI Kidspace

One of the cool things in the water play area.

Did My Kids like the COSI kidspace?

Yes. They liked it so much, in fact, that they wanted to return the next day (and my now 4 year old just asked if we can go to COSI “next time”). During the time of the year we were visiting, COSI was closed the next day. We didn’t make it back before we moved, but I do hope to go when we next visit the area (we did have another COSI adventure and saw the dinosaurs!)

For more information on COSI’s prices and current hours, visit Parking is an additional cost, even with a membership. The parking lot was weird when I went, but that could be because the area was under construction. You can walk to the entrance or take the free shuttle to the front doors. We opted for the shuttle.

UPDATES: The underground parking lot is now open. You get a ticket, can get it validated the membership (it means you pay a flat fee), and then pay at a kiosk on your way out. One of the days we went in December was so busy that most of the lots were full. Be aware that you must look for a lot with an attendant to pay or park at a meter, because people won’t hesitate to tow or ticket you.

Look into a membership, because it may be worth it to grab a membership instead of paying individual ticket prices. It’s even worthwhile if you are from out of town and want to plan for two or more days visiting the museum. There is plenty to do!

Other Cool Places in Ohio

We really like going to the Columbus Zoo, the local splash pads,  the Newport Aquarium, and Kings Island.

Have you visited Columbus? What is your favorite activity to do in your hometown? Do you like science museums?

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