We absolutely love COSI, and, with the drive taking about an hour, this children’s museum is a fun an easy day trip from Cincinnati. As my kids get older, COSI continues to open new doors for us, offering different experiences each visit. For example, our recent trip included a brand-new family member, and she had a blast playing in the infant area of little KidSpace. Meanwhile, my now-second-grader was able to explore independently in the “big kid” area of that very same space.
COSI is full of surprises for kids young and old, and I guarantee that everyone in your family will learn something new when you visit. Here are 10 things you didn’t know you could do at COSI:
1. Visit the Dinosaur Gallery
This exhibit is awesome, period. Highlights include a 6-foot-long mechanical T. rex model that walks in place; an 8-foot tall Titanosaur femur; a huge, threehorned Triceratops cast; and a 100-year-old piece of fossilized amber preserving an ancient feather. Your kids will absolutely love it.
2. Ride a high-wire unicycle
I am terrified of heights, but wanted to conquer my fears for my kids. The COSI team member running the experience assured me that it was impossible to fall, and gave me a little physics lesson on balance and levers. This experience is free and open to kids with at least a 25 inch inseam (there is a place to measure your kids) and is something everybody needs to do at least once.
3. Play outside
The brand-new playground outside the entrance to COSI is everything you’d expect from a playground at COSI. It’s huge, colorful and very interactive — your kids will be immediately drawn to it. I recommend letting them run loose before loading up the car for the return drive!
At COSI, kids will get a hands-on lesson in energy. The plasma ball (above) basically turns your kids into sorcerers making magic with electrodes and lightwaves. And the Electrostatic Generator is a classic COSI experience. It’s in the Atrium and is included with admission, and it’s pretty fun to watch your kids try! Friction, static electricity, positive and negative charges… your kids will get a hands-on (or is it hairs-on?) lesson on it all.
Right now, you can check out Hot Wheels Race to Win in the rotating exhibit gallery. Kids will get a hands-on STEM lesson in different activities at this exhibit. There are Hot Wheels tracks set up throughout the room for racing and a really fun “pit stop” activity that puts kids in control! If your kids are into cars, this exhibit is a must. Hot Wheels Race to Win is on display through Jan. 6, 2019 and is free with admission.
6. Let your baby explore
The little KidSpace features tons of different areas designed to spark your little kids’ curiosity. Construction-obsessed kids will love the kid-sized trucks and emergency machines; there’s a play house in the middle that’s perfect for climbing; the red barn will appeal to horse-loving littles; and the water play area is always a hit with kids, regardless of age. There’s an infant water table with chairs and it’s basically the best thing ever. (Bring an extra set of clothes for your younger kids!) If you have an older kid (second grade and up), they can be in this space, too – there’s a supervised art area that will easily entertain older kids while younger siblings play.
7. Experience a wind tunnel
This is the only experience listed here that requires an additional fee – but the $3 was well worth it! This hallway exhibit was so much fun and something my kids won’t soon forget. (Also, it makes for the perfect attitude adjuster; I may need one for my house!)
8. Be an astronaut
This hallway exhibit is the best – kids can climb aboard a space capsule, explore a replica of a space station (and even sit on a space toilet!), test their Mars-roving skills and watch NASA TV. This was a huge hit.
9. Learn about science – in a BIG way
The Big Science Park is one giant hands-on science lesson.This larger-than-life outdoor area puts kids to work: kids can lift a 2,437 pound car, or roll a 2.5 ton granite sphere. They’ll also learn about energy efficiency and conservation.
10. Go to Science Fest!
This May, COSI is hosting one of the largest science fairs ever in Ohio! The COSI Science Festival is scheduled for May 1-4, 2019, and will be four days of STEM-powered events concluding with a hands-on, day-long, FREE carnival on the Scioto Peninsula outside COSI. This is an exciting time to be in Ohio, and our state capitol is charging full steam ahead into the future!
As your kids grow and learn, COSI offers new and different experiences. The world opens up to them, and the museum does, too. For more information and to plan your next visit, visit cosi.org.