On our second day (first full day) in Columbus, we had plans to head to the Columbus Zoo and see a Clippers game.
After an awesome breakfast at Bob Evans, we headed off to the Columbus Zoo, found a parking spot and made the trek through the gates. We rented a stroller for $12 (it was a double, singles were $8), which was perfect because it not only held up to two kids at a time, but it also held all of our drinks and backpacks, and it was easy to drive, so that was a bonus.
We first headed to the Polar Bear exhibit. We watched the polar bears from the ground level and then decided to head to the underwater viewing. On the way down, there were pictures of different areas that polar bears live, with before and after pics showing the effects of global warming. Kellen and I found that very interesting and read them all.
We continued our tour and saw many great animals like tigers, red pandas, rhinos and my favourite, the elephants. It is a really nice zoo and has a petting zoo for younger kids and the aquarium. There was a little train that took passengers around the zoo, and there were also pony rides. The kids were really excited to learn there was a section with rides, but once we got there we found out that the rides are an additional expense. This was disappointing, especially for the kids since we chose not to pay $8 per person to ride a couple of rides. They got over it when they saw Zoombezi Bay though.
Zoombezi Bay is a waterpark attached to the Zoo. It also has a separate entrance fee, but it is a full day activity on it’s own. It was a sneak peek weekend so it wasn’t very busy, and it was so hot out that it was a perfect day to go in. There were huge water slides everywhere, a wave pool, a kids area that was phenomenal, and a lazy river. We hit the wave pool first and the kids had a blast. My kids are fearless! I had to keep hauling them back to my side because they think they can just take off in a huge wave pool! The lazy river was great, although I wish there was a “no horse play” rule. When I have been in lazy rivers before, no one without a tube was allowed in and kids couldn’t play around in the river. That wasn’t the case at Zoombezi Bay, so we had to contend with kids goofing off around us. Luckily, we still had a great time! The kids area is out of this world. There is a pirate ship and water buckets, little slides and water falls, a wading pool and too many fun things to list. Mike wanted to do a water slide, but the only person who wanted to do it with him is only 3 years old and not quite tall enough. I believe they made plans to return in a few years without the rest of the family.
We visited Graffiti Burger for supper and enjoyed some burgers and milkshakes in this unique little restaurant. There is graffiti all over the walls, and instead of a “Order Here” sign, they have it graffiti-ed on the wall over the register, lol. It was pretty cool and the food was good too. They advertised that they make the best milkshakes, so we ordered a few of them, and they were delicious. The kids loved that the milkshakes came with whipped cream and a cherry on top. The restaurant manager, or perhaps owner, was walking around and checking on the customers, and keeping everything clean. When Kellen needed to use the washroom and the men’s was occupied, she told him he didn’t have to wait and sent him into the women’s (they were single rooms) which I thought was attentive and nice. We left Graffiti Burger for the baseball game.
The Clippers game was pretty exciting for my husband because he is a sports nut, and Avery and Griffin had never been to a ball game before so they were pretty excited. Kellen had his glove ready and was hoping to catch a ball, but he didn’t get a chance. He still had a good time and enjoyed watching the game. My husband loved the stadium and said it was the coolest one he has been to. I guess that’s a big deal because he has been to a lot of stadiums. He liked how the stadium is made so that people can watch the game from outside. He is the sports guy, so I had to get his take on it. He said he loved how perfect the grass was, and how red the clay was. He liked how it fit right in with the buildings around it … and he liked that he saw a hitter get hit in the head with the ball by the pitcher… seriously, he liked that … not that someone was hit, but that he saw it live. This is why I’m not a sports fanatic…I just don’t understand things like that. To him, hockey fights are entertainment, for me they are a reason to change the channel…
Even though I am not a huge sports fan, I did enjoy the atmosphere. It had a “hometown” feel to it. The fans of the Clippers were so dedicated and excited, and the people who had the misfortune of sitting next to me and my 3 year old were very understanding when we had to scoot past them several times for washroom breaks and toddler moments. There were several booths at the game too, and one of them had people catching money in a wind machine. Griffin really wanted to do this, but I don’t think they accepted three year olds.
In the picture on the left, you can see window-like openings under the board. This is where people watch the game from outside. There are bars there to protect them from getting hit by the ball, and there were several couples sitting in the windows enjoying the game. I think that is a great and inexpensive way to enjoy a game (not that a Clippers game is expensive, because it definitely is not).
After the game, we walked back to the van and headed back to our hotel for the night to get ready for another big day in Columbus, Ohio.