Columbus might not scream “science central” at first, but trust us, it’s got some hidden gems for all you science enthusiasts out there. So, grab your curiosity and let’s check out five spots where you can get your science fix without feeling like you’re back in class.
COSI (Center of Science and Industry)
What: COSI is one of the best Science Museum’s in the entire country. It’s got interactive exhibits that are fun for both adults and kids and they cover all sorts of science, from deep in the oceans to outer space. COSI even hosts an adults-only evening once a month that has different themes, cocktails, and lots of your fellow nerds. Plus, the Planetarium is legit.
Where: 333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
What: Now, this place is a bit like a chill science field trip. The Franklin Park Conservatory is all about plants, but it’s not boring; in the winter especially, it’s a fantastic escape from the weather. Plants from all over the world can be found at the conservatory, including rare ones like the Amorphophallus titanum (Corpse Flower). So take a stroll, learn some plant facts, and maybe snap a pic for your Insta – science with a side of aesthetics.
Where: 1777 E. Broad Street Columbus, OH 43203
Website: Franklin Park Conservatory
Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
What: Feeling a bit chilly? Head to the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. They’re all about polar stuff and climate science. The center was established back in 1960 and was renamed the Byrd Polar Research Center in 1987 in honor of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, an iconic explorer who led many vital antarctic expeditions. It’s one of the coolest (literally) places in town and although they aren’t always open to the public, they do host a variety of public events throughout the year.
Where: 108 Scott Hall, 1090 Carmack Rd, Columbus, OH 43210
Website: Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
John Glenn Astronomy Park
What: If you’ve ever stared at the night sky and wondered what’s up there, the John Glenn Astronomy Park is your spot. It’s like a low-key cosmic hangout. Bring a blanket, lay back, and let the experts show you the stars. The astronomy park is located in one of the best regions for stargazing, with minimal light pollution to take away from the experience.
Where: 20531 OH-664 Scenic, Logan, OH 43138
Website: John Glenn Astronomy Park
Orton Geological Museum
What: Rocks might not sound thrilling, but the Orton Geological Museum makes them super interesting. You can travel back in time at the museum as you wonder through fossils, rocks, dinosaur skeletons, and more. No pressure, just a laid-back exploration of the planet’s cool past.
Where: 155 S Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210
Website: Orton Geological Museum
Whether you’re a science nerd, a casual explorer, or just looking for something different to do in Columbus, these spots have you covered. It’s science without the snooze-fest – because in Columbus, even learning about rocks can be surprisingly cool.