HUFFINGTON POST
08/17/2011 12:39 pm ET Updated 6 days ago

Family Vacations In Columbus: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Family vacations in Columbus can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters — it all depends on pre-trip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Columbus family vacations.

Graeter's Ice Cream


Graeter's Ice Cream is known for its French Pot process, the system in which the family-owned company creates creamy ice cream two gallons at a time. A free tour of the facility allows guests to see this process as it happens and purchase goodies on the way out.

Address: 2555 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220
Phone: 614-442-7622
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Group and self-guided tours available.
Price: Free

North Market


North Market is a huge public market visited by about one million people each year. In addition to stocking locally grown food and selling gifts, there are often special events, like live music and cooking classes.

Address: 59 Spruce St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-463-9664
Hours: Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m; Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m.
Price: Free

Center for Science and Industry


There's always something happening at the Center for Science and Industry (COSI), voted the No. 1 science center in the country by Parents magazine. In addition to phenomenal exhibits such as the mazes and computer simulators at Dinosaurs: Explore. Escape. Survive. and the little kidspace, which promotes learning through play for infants to kindergarteners, there are live shows and a giant screen theater. Infants can enjoy the sand and water exhibits in the Ocean area.

Address: 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-228-2674
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Price: Exhibits only: Adults, $14.75; youth ages 2 to 12, $9.75; seniors ages 60 and over, $13.75. Additional film and exhibit packages are available.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to a number of exotic animals visitors can get close to, such as the Australian natives in the Down Under show and the diverse rainforest residents who star in the Jewels of The Rainforest show. The zoo also presents The Flamingo Parade and The Animal Quiz Show. There are other attractions, like the Zoombezi Bay Water Park, Safari golf, and Jack Hannah's Into the Wild.

Address: 4850 W. Powell Road, Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 800-666-5397
Hours: Open 363 days a year; hours vary. Check website for detailed calendar.
Price: Children under 2, free; children 2 to 9, $9; youth and adults 10 to 59, $14; seniors 60 and over, $10

AHA! Children's Museum


The name AHA! stands for A Hands-On Adventure, which is what this children's museum is all about. Children can play independently or interact with one another in exhibits that feature theater, face-painting and gardening. It's located about 30 miles from Columbus.

Address: 315 S. Broad St., Lancaster, OH 43130
Phone: 740-653-1010
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: $5

Collins Museum of Art


The Collins Museum of Art is home to The Center for Creativity. This interactive space includes a family gallery and exhibits just for kids such as The Wonder Room. Tech-savvy guests can explore the interactive learning experiences the Innovation Lab has to offer.

Address: 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-221-6801
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Closed Monday.
Price: Adults, $10; seniors ages 60 and over and students ages 18 and over with ID, $8; students ages 6 to 17, $5; children ages 5 and under, free

Zoombezi Bay Water Park

Zoombezi Bay Water Park is connected to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and is 22 acres of non-stop water action. In addition to the uphill waterslide and other scream-inducing thrill rides, there is a lazy river, kiddie pool and private cabanas.

Address: 4850 W. Powell Road, Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-645-3550
Hours: May through September from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call to confirm times.
Price: Infants under 2 years old, free; children ages 2 to 9, $24.99; youth and adults ages 10 to 59, $32.99; seniors ages 60 and over, $24.99

Have you been to Columbus? What are your favorite attractions?

CHECK OUT MORE FAMILY TRAVEL GUIDES.