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5 Science Field Trip Ideas in Columbus Ohio

Hands-on learning at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Hands-on learning at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Angela Thompson

Looking for a science themed field trip idea in Columbus or Central Ohio? Whether you are a stay at home parent inspiring the minds of toddlers, a homeschooling family or simply the parent of school aged students, there are a number of benefits to exploring science with your children—and a number of great science field trip ideas available in Columbus and Central Ohio.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the top rated zoos in the United States. The facility offers not only the opportunity to learn and explore the zoo’s grounds, animal habitats, and wildlife—but, also offers hands on experiences through age-specific classes, family workshops, and either self-guided or special zoo experiences. Visitors should check out the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium website for downloadable scavenger hunts, zoo and aquarium tour ideas and additional educational resources valuable for home school groups, family’s seeking to learn more from a visit, and school class trips as well.

COSI. The Center of Science and Industry has been a hands-on, science exploration mainstay in Columbus, Ohio, for decades. Although the location has changed, the offerings are super for parents, families and teachers seeking to explore science at varying age and educational levels. Additionally, COSI also offers a number of camps, workshops, special events and family friendly activities throughout the year—along with teacher workshops and special educational programs offered directly to school districts. COSI’s exhibits also change frequently—so more than one visit per year is possible.

The Works. The Works in Newark, Ohio, is a relative newcomer to the Central Ohio science scene—but, it has made itself quite noteworthy and field trip ready in just a few short years. Similar to COSI, The Works offers a ton of hands-on science themed learning experiences as well as classes, camps and age specific programs and the offerings also change periodically so a new visit is frequently in order.

The Columbus Metro Parks. While the many Columbus Metro Parks are fun to visit for playgrounds, hiking, picnics and activities, there are also a number of scientist friendly activities hosted throughout the parks each week. From bird watching and “creeking” to geocaching and special park naturalist hosted events and activities, the Columbus metro parks offer a wealth of scientific knowledge and local exploration—and most programs are free of charge! Check out Columbus Metro Parks calendar of events for upcoming events in the various parks in your area.

Franklin Park Conservatory. Oddly, it seems that many people falsely view Franklin Park Conservatory as a stuffy, “grown up” place intended for older adults to visit and photograph pristine orchids or discuss in-depth methods of horticulture. While the facility is beautiful and extremely well maintained, it is also extremely kid friendly and offers a host of science themed learning opportunities. From the site’s annual Blooms and Butterflies exhibit to facility sponsored workshops, classes and camps—kids and adults alike can learn a lot about not only exotic plant life, but locally grown produce, art, and native Ohio plants and animals as well.

Central Ohio serves up a number of hands on opportunities to experience science and the natural world—and these five science field trip options should get you on your way to exploring the resources available in your neighborhood or within an easy drive.

Additonal Columbus and Central Ohio Field Trip Ideas and Tips from this Author:
5 Tips for Visiting The Wilds as a Family
5 Tips for Chaperoning a Class Field Trip to Lynd's Fruit Farm
5 Tips for Chaperoning a Class Field Trip to Slate Run Historical Farm

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Disclosure: The author is not compensated by the manufacturer, venue or service featured in this article. The information provided is done so as a service to readers and should not be viewed as an endorsement by the author.

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