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Columbus Travel with Kids

Under 13 View more than 10,000 animals, from beasts that roam the African savanna to animals that traverse the Arctic plains, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (4850 Powell Rd.) in nearby Powell, one of many fun things to do with kids here. Have a close encounter with land and sea animals by enjoying animal rides, shows and a tide pool touch tank.

If the kids are craving a cold treat, take them to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (714 N. High St.) at the North Market (59 Spruce St.). While you browse for fresh-picked produce, they can choose from a variety of flavors that change with the seasons. Local bakers, butchers, chocolatiers, farmers, fishmongers and florists sell their wares at the indoor market Tues.-Sat. 9-7 and Sun.-Mon. 10-5.

Even if your little ones aren't familiar with Georges Seurat's pointillism masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” that inspired The Topiary Park (480 E. Town St.), they will certainly think the many topiaries representing the figures from the painting are pretty cool. Ducks—always popular with kids—hang out by the water. This a great picnic locale.

At the Ohio State Fair , held from late July through early August at Ohio Expo Center (717 E. 17th Ave.), kids will be amazed after touching exotic animals at the free petting zoo and riding with their parents on Kiddieland rides. See agriculture and creative arts exhibits, witness livestock competitions, ride a few of the more than 70 thrilling midway rides and work up an appetite for some of the hundreds of fair foods, including 30 types of food on a stick.

Teens Teens will be thrilled zipping around town on a Segway tour while learning about many of the city’s popular sites. Guides at SegAway Tours of Columbus (400 N. High St.) provide instructional/practice sessions before leading a guided tour.

Easton Town Center (160 Easton Station) is an open-air shopping mall with nearly 200 dining, shopping and entertainment venues, including a 30-screen AMC & IMAX theater. After shopping at favorites like American Eagle, Hollister and PacSun, nosh on a burger and fries at Flip Side (3945 Easton Station.).

Have a couple hours? Try one of the several zipline experiences offered at ZipZone Canopy Tours (7925 N. High St.). You'll soar above 20 acres of central Ohio's forests.

Graeter’s Ice Cream (2555 Bethel Rd.) boasts that it has the world’s best ice cream; fussy foodies and persnickety teens will agree. The craft ice cream and gelato will tempt your taste buds. This dense ice cream is created in spinning French Pot freezers.

Can’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day? Teens can don green garb and head to Dublin for the Dublin Irish Festival (5200 Emerald Pkwy.) held in August; it offers more than 20 activities, games and inflatables as well as Highland sports competitions and energetic Celtic dancing and music. Fun contests include the most freckles, greenest eyes and reddest hair.

All Ages Demonstrations, exhibits, movies, a planetarium and live shows at COSI Columbus (333 W. Broad St.) teach science concepts and take the mystery out of technological advancements. Build a bridge, control waves in a tank, dissect computers, lift a car using a lever, maneuver a rover on a Mars-like landscape and split a laser beam. Daredevils can ride a unicycle on a wire suspended 17 feet above ground.

German Village (588 S. 3rd St.) has enough small-town charm to captivate the entire family. Take a self-guiding tour past parks, residences, restaurants and shops along the red-brick paved, tree-lined streets and you might glimpse fossils in the limestone stoops and foundations. Dine on hearty German fare at Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus (240 E. Kossuth St.) followed by French pastries at Pistacia Vera (541 S. Third St.).

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Columbus, OH

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Hilton Columbus/Polaris

8700 Lyra Dr. Columbus, OH 43240

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SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbus Easton Area

4048 Morse Rd. Columbus, OH 43230

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Hampton Inn & Suites New Albany Columbus

5220 Forest Dr. New Albany, OH 43054

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Best Western Port Columbus

1450 Airpointe Dr. Columbus, OH 43219

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Travel Information

City Population

787,033

Elevation

777 ft.

Sales Tax

Columbus has a sales tax of 7.5 percent and a lodging tax of 10 percent. There is an 11 percent concession fee on rental cars picked up at Port Columbus International Airport.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(614) 645-4545

Fire (non-emergency)

(614) 221-3132

Time and Temperature

(614) 281-8211

Hospitals

Doctors Hospital, (614) 544-1000; Grant Medical Center, (614) 566-9000; Mount Carmel Medical Center (Mount Carmel West Hospital), (614) 234-5000; The Ohio State University Hospital East, (614) 257-3000; The Ohio State University Medical Center, (614) 293-8300; Riverside Methodist Hospital, (614) 566-5000.

Visitor Information

277 W. Nationwide Blvd. Suite 125 Columbus, OH 43215. Phone:(614)221-6623 or (800)354-2657

Air Travel

Port Columbus International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz offers discounts to AAA members; phone (614) 239-1084 or (800) 654-3080.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (614) 228-2266 or (800) 231-2222, 111 E. Town St. between S. 3rd and S. 4th streets, serves Columbus.

Taxis

Yellow Cab, (614) 444-4444, is the largest cab company. Fixed fares are $3 base rate, $4.50 for the first mile, 45c for each additional 2/9 mile and $2.25 for each mile outside Franklin County. A $3 surcharge is added for fares originating at the airport.

Public Transportation

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) provides bus transportation throughout the city and suburbs Mon.-Fri. 5:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m., Sat. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8-7. The basic fare is $2, express fare is $2.75 and transfers are free. Multiday passes and reduced rates for children and senior citizens are available. Passengers must have exact change.

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