The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus-Zoo-Aquarium-Zoombezi-Bay

MISSION: Lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my! Today, I will be highlighting another favorite zoo: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. A few weeks ago, my family and I took a day trip to Columbus, OH. to hang out with some of our favorite guys – animals! Being an Ohio native, my kiddos grew up adventuring around this zoo, however we had not visited in quite some time which made our visit even more special.

Our favorite animals

The zoo is home to 10,000 animals, so you’re in for a treat! The zoo is divided into these regions: North America, Asia Quest, Congo Expedition, Australia and the Islands, Heart of Africa, Shores and Aquarium, and the Polar Frontier. Click HERE to view an animal guide and to learn a little about each one. A few of our favorite animals were: the kangaroos (LOVE the Walkabout!), the polar bears, the lions, and of course, the gorillas. We loved hearing from a few of the zoo guides, especially the touching story of Lewis and Clark! Two cougar cubs that were rescued from a fire in Montana by a firefighter and later brought to The Columbus Zoo. Along with this, we enjoyed watching a polar bear cub swim and play about with its mama watching close by. So sweet! The giraffes were another hit as they ventured quite close to the feeding/viewing area, hoping that we would have a tasty treat waiting for them. Or maybe they were just getting a peek at the cheetah run taking place in a nearby exhibit. It was exciting to see the cheetahs in action being prompted by zookeepers.

A lunchtime rest

Once we hit up all of the locations that we could before everyone was hungry, we made our way to the picnic area near the Asia Quest and the Activity Pavilion. Despite the wonderful smells and tasty looks, we packed our own lunch but I was almost swayed to buy a taco in a bag. Yum! The zoo offers the best places to sit and relax for a bit while you’re chowing down. The landscaping around us was impeccable – a pond with a waterfall, luscious flowers, tall trees, and an overall positive vibe.

More attractions

While you’re on your zoo adventure don’t forget to take a ride on either the North America Train Ride, the Dinosaur Island Boat Ride, the Carousel, or the Heart of Africa Camels. How about ALL four? The train and boat ride are for sure favorites of ours. And, if your child/children need to wear off some more steam then the Stings, Wings, and Things Park is a must. It features a jungle gym of sorts accommodated with large caterpillars slides and a giant lady bug. While there are additional fees to ride these attractions, the memories created outweigh the costs.

Before takeoff

As our visit was nearing a close, the aquarium and the reptile buildings were our last stops. In the aquarium you will see a wide variety of fish, sharks, and turtles. Filled with sea creatures big and small, it’s quite the experience. It’s always a blast to walk through the reptile building and see the enormous snakes. Man, am I glad that I don’t have those in my backyard! Among the reptiles you will see are: lizards, frogs, snakes and much more. We also really liked visiting with the Manatees at Manatee Coast. Such gentle giants!

Overall, our day was perfect and we can’t wait to explore the zoo again.

P.S. Don’t forget to do some shopping at the gift shops for a souvenir before you leave.

Want to plan your own trip or just curious about what the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium entails? Head on over to: https://www.columbuszoo.org/home

Click HERE for an interactive map for an enhanced experience and for planning.

I want to hear from YOU. Yes, you! Leave me a comment below and tell me what your favorite zoo or zoo animal is OR what was your most memorable experience.


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The Akron RubberDucks: Affordable Family Fun

Akron-Rubberducks-Game

Peanuts! Popcorn! Ice-cold drinks! Ah, the sounds of summer ringing through the ball park. Personally, I am a huge baseball fan and recently went to my first ever (wondering why I waited so long, sigh) Akron RubberDucks game. We attend quite a few Indians games and really love the vibe of all things baseball, so you can imagine how thrilled we were to see the RubberDucks in action.

Here’s a recap our night:

On Saturday, July 22, my family and I spent our night at Canal Park, watching the RubberDucks bring in a win. Love that! Following the game, fireworks lit up the city to the tune of Rascal Flatts. And I must say, they were more than spectacular. My kiddos love fireworks so this was an awesome added bonus to the night. This game in particular was child-orientated, meaning that the hours leading to the first pitch and even after were full of fun activities for youngsters. Canal Park offers different food stands where you can grab lemonade, ice cream, popcorn, hot-dogs, plus so much more. You have to have a hog dog at a ball game! Overall, we had a wonderful night and will for sure be going to many more RubberDucks games.

A little background info:

The RubberDucks is a Minor League team and the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Located in the heart of Akron, OH, Canal Park is only a 56-minute drive from Amish Country. With that being said, if you’re looking for affordable family fun, then you must take in a game whether you’re simply visiting or a resident of the county. Tickets are as low as 5 dollars and range to 25 dollars. What a steal!

Want to plan your own visit to Canal Park for a day full of family fun? Click the following link to get started: http://www.milb.com/tickets/tickets.jsp?sid=t402

Just want to know more info on the renowned RubberDucks? Check out this link: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t402

Connect with The RubberDucks on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

We were given complimentary tickets from Akron RubberDucks. All opinions are solely our own.


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Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Pittsburgh-Zoo-and-PPG-Aquarium

This past Sunday we spent a WONDERFUL day at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. It was our first time visiting the zoo and we were thrilled that we went! It was neat to ride an elevator up the entrance, which was more than perfect for me and my flip-flop loving self.  We were able to visit with every animal except for one very important new addition: the baby elephant. I think everyone at the zoo wanted to see her because she is ADORABLE and the line was super long! (Click HERE to view pics of the little one)

My favorite exhibits were the Gorilla who was having his lunch (broccoli!) and the Siamangs at The Islands. Those guys had me laughing SO hard with their extremely loud and quite lyrical screeching. Loud enough that even as we were making our way to the world’s largest rodent, the Capybara, we could still hear them!

The Aquarium was fabulous and walking through it was a delightful reprieve from the scorching heat. I just love it when stingrays press against the glass and you see their “faces!” My son was really excited to walk beneath the polar bear exhibit where the walls are glass, giving visibility of the bear splashing around. The penguins were also a hit putting on quite the show themselves, swimming along the enclosure close to their admirers.

Photos taken at the zoo! (Click to enlarge)

At the end of the day, I must say Pittsburgh Zoo is now a family favorite among ours – hands down. Also, if you have youngsters, the play area was phenomenal. Definitely a spot for parents to take a second and catch their breath! If you want to plan your own trip, visit: http://pittsburghzoo.org/ for additional information.

Do you enjoy the zoo? Have a favorite animal? Like a place in particular? Let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!

Connect with Pittsburgh Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

We were given complimentary tickets from Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. All opinions are solely our own.