Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Owen, an energetic four year old who LOVES the new “Dinosaur Island” exhibit at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that just hatched this week. Owen loved the “Dinosaws” so much that his mom had to go through the exhibit twice in one day!


Owen with the T-Rex at Dinosaur Island

Q: Owen, what did you see today?

A: Dinosaws! Lots of them. Their wings went up and down and made noises. They had babies with eggs! The lady gave me pictures of all the dinosaws so I could see if they eat meat or leaves. The sand pit had cool, soft sand and bones in it, but i couldn’t take them home. The long dinosaw was eating a tree, then the man buckled my seat belt, but I told him I can do it. He didn’t want me to fall out of the boat. 

Q: What happened on the boat?

A: We saw even more dinosaws and they squirted me a little, but mostly got mommy wet. And do you know what?

Q: What?

A: I ate a big pretzel after!

Q: Did you do anything else after?

A: I climbed and slided then we saw penguins, elephants, lions, monkeys, pretty birds, a dark building…. then we went to see the dinosaws again!


Dinosaur Island

Owen’s mom had a lot of great tips for seeing this fantastic new exhibit. They toured it first thing in the morning and there was no line. Stroller parking was easy as there was an area by the ticket booth as well as an area close to the boat ride if your little ones prefer to ride as long as possible. The attendants at the ride were great in making sure all the kids were buckled in safely  and if you would enjoy staying a little dryer- sit on the right hand side. The dinosaurs were all throughout the ride on both sides and very easy to view. There was nothing scary for any age. 

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has many areas for picnicking- Owen and his mom found a shady spot by the Aquarium building. The Grange Insurance Stings, Wings N’ Playthings Park is very close to Dinosaur Island and a great place to rest while your kid enjoys the playground. 

When they returned mid-afternoon for round two of Dinosaur Island, there was about a ten minute wait for the ride itself, but you don’t notice the line because you were enjoying a shady walk beside the river with lots of dinosaurs at every turn. The waiting area by the boats also has a shaded cover and moves quickly. 

The “Zoo-it-All” wristbands are available at the front gate for $9.99 and include unlimited entry into Dinosaur Island, the Carousel, Bob Evans Express Train Ride and Jungle Jack’s Landing. They do not include entry to the zoo.

If you are planning a trip to the Zoo this summer, check out the Columbus Zoo/COSI Family Getaway Package  that includes discounted tickets to the Zoo, Zoombezi Bay and COSI!  

The school year is winding down, the trees are blooming and it looks like the warm temperatures are here to stay – finally! Enjoy the warm weather this spring or summer by booking a trip to Dublin through our Columbus Zoo/COSI Family Getaway Package.

Big Boa Falls at Zoombezi Bay Water Park

Big Boa Falls at Zoombezi Bay Water Park

The package is an affordable way for the whole family to discover the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (#1 Zoo in America, USA Travel Guide), COSI (#1 Science Center in the nation, Parents Magazine), Zoombezi Bay Water Park, the Ohio History Center, Columbus Clippers Baseball and more at discounted prices! Here’s how it works:

When you check in to one of our participating Dublin hotels, you can purchase discounted tickets (up to a 26% savings) to favorite area attractions like:

  • The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
  • Zoombezi Bay Water Park (opening 5/18)
  • COSI

When you check in, you will also receive a kid’s activity sheet with coupons to area attractions, restaurants and shops such as:

Columbus Clippers, Ohio History Center, The Candle Lab, Our CupCakery, Graeter’s, Sisters Sweet Shoppe, Sunny Street Café, The Dublin Village Tavern, Menchie’s and 1 Stop Bead Shop.

Finally, those participating in the package have the opportunity to win a 2014 Columbus Zoo Membership! All you have to do is turn in the form from the kids activity sheet and drop it in the designated box at the Dublin Visitor Information Center.

Sun, savings, science and more await you and your family in Dublin this spring and summer. Book your Columbus Zoo/COSI Family Getaway today!

Contact the Dublin CVB if you have any questions at 800-245-8387.

Post by Sam

New Year’s Eve is a time to say goodbye to the past and hello to a new start.  So, what better way to ring in 2013 than with a celebration? Two local hotels have unique NYE packages – whether you want to celebrate with the whole family or just a special someone.

It is often difficult to find a New Year’s Eve festivity that is kid-friendly, but Embassy Suites Columbus-Dublin (5100 Upper Metro Place) has the answer. Their New Year’s Eve Family Package features a variety of activities (complete with a little Irish attitude!) that will appeal to all ages. Some of the evening’s highlights include:

Dublin OH Irish Pub

The Brazenhead Irish Pub

  • Manager’s Cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres and Irish entertainment
  • An Irish-themed craft
  • Movies for children and teens
  • An Irish storyteller
  • Made-to-order pizza, wings (by the dozen), and soft drinks available at Phillipo’s Pizza Shop
  • Family DJ room with games and music
  • MIDNIGHT Countdown in the atrium with dry snacks and champagne toast

Rates are just $159, and additional nights can be added for $89 / night.

For more information and reservations, visit the Embassy Suites Columbus-Dublin website or call (614) 790-9000.

Prefer a more intimate evening? Book the New Year’s Eve package at Chase Suite (4130 Tuller Road). You’ll enjoy a large suite (full living room, kitchen and separate bedroom and bathroom), hot breakfast, indoor hot tub, DVD library access, and more, all for $89 + tax. Fireplace suites and / or Irish Romance gift baskets (filled with cookies, chocolates, two small bottles of Bailey’s Irish cream, a candle and more) are also available. To make a reservation, visit the Chase Suite website or call (614) 766-7762.

Looking for more family friendly activities to do on New Year’s Day? Visit the attractions section of the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website:

Happy New Year!

~ Post by Dawn

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already here. Although winter is usually a time when we tend to stay indoors to keep out of the cold, there’s a great reason to get out of the house starting next week – Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights is opening!      

The 3 million lights displayed throughout the Zoo are enough to put even Clark W. Griswold to shame.  The event is an American Bus Association “Top 100 Event in North America” and offers a little something for visitors of all ages to see and experience.

This year the Dublin CVB has teamed up with some of our local hotels, the Zoo, and a few of our partner restaurants to make it easier and more cost effective than ever to bring your entire family to Dublin to see the Wildlghts through our Kids Go Free/Columbus Zoo Wildlights Package.

Here’s how it works:

When you book an overnight stay at one of our participating Dublin hotels, you will receive free kids admission tickets to the Wildlights (up to 2 per reservation – additional tickets can be purchased at the hotel). On top of receiving FREE kids admission tickets, you will also receive FREE kids meal coupons to participating restaurants (including Graeter’s Ice Cream for a sweet treat). To make your stay in Dublin even better, many of the hotels are offering free shuttle service to the Zoo, complimentary treats, and complimentary breakfast.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to bring the whole family to Dublin for a holiday getaway they will never forget!

-Post by Sam

With all of the fall fun going on around Central Ohio this month (Did someone say “Boo at the Zoo”?), we at the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau thought it would be the opportune time to launch our Fall Photo Contest! The winner will receive a “Fall in Love with Dublin, Ohio” getaway package that includes:

Participation is easy! Just click here to visit our photo contest page and submit your favorite photo (You can upload your photo from your computer, add from Facebook, or send it via email) depicting Fall Fun. Then, tell all your friends to VOTE for your photo! The photo that earns the most votes by 12 (noon) on Wednesday, October 31 wins!

Below are some simple contest rules.

Contest Rules

  1. Contest participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Only one photo entry per person.
  3. Submitted photos must be original. Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s copyright are not eligible.
  4. The photo that earns the most votes will be declared the contest winner.
  5. The contest will end at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 31.
  6. By entering the contest, participants grant the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau the right to use the submitted photos in any future promotional efforts (social media, website, etc.)
  7. The Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau reserves the right to remove any submissions that are deemed inappropriate.

So, what do YOU picture when you think of Fall Fun? Bonfires and pumpkins? Trick-or-treaters? Football? Raking leaves?

Show us!

~ Post by Dawn

The Ohio Food Truck Festival

With activities for food trucks followers and marathon runners to classic cars enthusiasts, history buffs, and families soaking up the last bit of summer, it is obvious that Central Ohio is the place to be this Saturday and Sunday! Here are our  suggestions for things to do in Dublin and the surrounding area this weekend:

Experience The Ohio Food Truck Festival – From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, the grounds of the Ohio History Center will be filled with over 35 of your food trucks! There will also be live music, vendor and craft booths, kids games / activities, raffles, and a new trend – Silent Disco! Parking is $6/vehicle and admission is free!

Watch The Emerald City Half & Quarter Marathon – Runners will be racing to complete either a 13 (half) or 6 (quarter) mile course through Glacier Ridge Metro Park on Sunday morning. The event begins at 7 a.m. and there is no charge for spectators.

Check out Cruisin’ at Max & Erma’s – Join auto aficionados at Max & Erma’s (Metro Place) on Saturday for a car show! Registration runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and awards are given at 4 p.m. The registration fee is $10.

The Kelton House

Attend the Reader’s Theatre at The Kelton House– As part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Program, the Kelton House is will be holding a reading and exhibit called “Fresh Fish to the Front: The 95th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) and the Rebel March on Cincinnati: Central Ohio Boys Answer the Call” on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. Cost is $5 / person and reservations are suggested (call 614-464-2022).

Visit the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, and COSI with the Dublin CVB’s Kids Eat Free Summer Getaway Package  before summer ends! Zoombezi Bay is open weekends through Labor Day and COSI will be closed for renovations Sept. 4 – 25!


~ Post by Dawn

It’s hard to believe that summer has slipped by so quickly, and that in a little over a month (September 22), the first day of fall will be upon us. Some children have already headed back to school, and others are in midst of preparation. It can be a hectic time of year, so we at the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau have a suggestion… How about taking one last weekend trip as a family to the city where Irish is an attitude? Our Kids Eat Free Columbus Zoo / COSI Getaway Package is ideal for an end-of-summer outing!

Family fun at Zoombezi Bay!

The getaway includes:

Hurry! Go HEREto book your Dublin getaway today before summer runs out!

Sumatran Tiger at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium!

*Announcement! Want to win a family four pack of tickets to Columbus Zoo & Aquarium and Zoombezi Bay? Tell us your favorite Zoo animal or your favorite thing about the Columbus Zoo in the comments below before 5 pm on Friday, August 17. A winner will be chosen randomly and announced next week! 

~ Post by Dawn

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