*This post was written by our friend Jaclyn Reynolds, PR & Social Media Manager of COSI Columbus

Before we open a new exhibition here at COSI, we train our team members on the exhibition so they can be very helpful to our guests.  When we host a limited engagement exhibition like Mindbender Mansion and Amazing Mazes, you can probably guess that training involves a lot of playing in the exhibit.  And learning, of course!

I got a chance this week to poke my head in and see the exhibit.  Things are coming together really great.  Mindbender Mansion is ready to go and as I’m writing this, the Amazing Mazes portion is soon to follow.  See, we took Mindbender Mansion, which our friends at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) made, and combined it with a maze from our friends at Minotaur Mazes.  Mindbender Mansion features a lot of fun brain-teaser-type activities—both large and small–ranging from making six puzzle pieces into an octagon to making a balancing structure out of large nails to moving chairs on wheels to solve a puzzle.  The activities encourage teamwork but can also be fun to do on your own.   Amazing Mazes is a great addition because it takes that whole thought process of really challenging your brain even further with activities like climbing over an intricate web of ropes without getting tangled.  And did I mention there’s a really cool Prism Wall where you can create your own rainbow?  So fun.

Spelling Fever!

Spelling Fever!

I usually like to go into new exhibits and check them out but I am oddly timid when it comes to jumping right in and trying out activities within an exhibit.  I went in with a goal of taking some “sneak peek” pictures but ended up playing one activity three times!  Being a former spelling bee enthusiast myself I was excited to practice my spelling without the crutch of spell check in Spelling Fever.  Even better?  This activity asks you a trivia question and you have to spell the answer!  Even better than all of that?  You have to jump to each letter to spell the word.  Trivia, spelling AND a mini-workout?  Yes, please!  The activity asked me what part of the body contains the cortex and cerebellum.  Luckily since we just hosted BODY WORLDS & the Brain, I knew the answer.  The challenge was jumping to all the different letters to spell B-R-A-I-N.

I also checked out Feeding Frenzy – a game that you work to get wooden food shapes onto trays which are feeding quickly on a conveyer belt!  Yikes!  That was tough.  Everyone told me this exhibit is a team sport but I am very competitive – even when I’m up against myself.

I’m really excited about Mindbender Mansion and Amazing Mazes coming to COSI.  I can imagine grandparents having fun with their grandkids, friends challenging their friends, parents laughing with their kids – it really is a fun exhibit for everyone.  I hope to see you there!  Most likely I’ll be hogging the Spelling Fever activity!

*Catch Mindbender Mansion & Amazing Mazes at COSI from January 26 to April 28! 

~ Post by Jaclyn

The Mona Lisa made out of jelly beans!

For three weeks in September, COSI Columbus closed for renovations. Now, the #1 Science Center is back and better than ever with a whole bunch of new additions!  Jaclyn Reynolds, COSI’s PR & Social Media Manager, gives us the scoop in this guest post.

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here at COSI lately, and it won’t be letting up any time soon!  Luckily, that’s just the way we like it. We try to bring a great variety of programming here at COSI and make learning fun!  Recently, we’ve made some changes around the building. While you’re looking, you may see a tribute to COSI On Wheels (Celebrating 30 years!) or some Jelly Belly Masterpieces of Jelly Bean Art.  We’ve even borrowed and hung some beautiful moth installations made out of recycled materials by an Ohio artist Michelle Stitzlein and created a photographic display titled Whales: From the Depths of the National Geographic Collection – all are gorgeous and very different limited engagement wall exhibitions.

Part of the NEW little kidspace®!

Probably the biggest changes that have been made are to the entrance/exit to little kidspace® and the space where older siblings hang out while the little ones play.  One of our goals in changing the entrance/exit was to make it easier to get in and out of little kidspace®.  We switched the entrance with the exit gate, and while we were at it, we added some simulated greenery to make it more visually appealing. We also renamed the space for older siblings Big KidLab, expanded it and added a science activity area that will offer fun science experiments during our busy days when school is out. little kidspace is still for children not yet in first grade, but the expansion of Big KidLab will make caregivers more comfortable leaving older siblings in the area with the new learning opportunities.

LEGO Castle Adventure!

This fall we’re also hosting two amazing exhibitions that couldn’t be more different.  That means learning for the whole family!  Builders of all ages are invited to explore, build and play in LEGO® Castle Adventure! In this exhibit, kids and their families are transported to a LEGO® kingdom where they can become master castle builders.  Visitors can build brick castles, learn about real-world castles and their building secrets and plan their ideal castle’s defenses.  Younger visitors can dress up in costume, joust on “horseback” and explore the castle grounds.

Also making its Columbus debut this fall is Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS & The Brain.  This world-renowned exhibition invites profound reflection on the power, beauty, resilience and fragility of the human body and brain. This unique presentation of BODY WORLDS highlights the brain and focuses on brain development and function, how to keep the brain healthy and how the brain deteriorates from diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Did we also mention we invited the entire world to COSI for this year’s Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Conference?  More than 600 science centers and museums around the globe, including COSI, belong to ASTC. Each year we meet to talk about what’s going on in the world of science education and how we can help each other further that learning to our visitors.  We were thrilled to have hosted the conference this year and shown other science centers and museums how proud we are of our world-class science center, our members, visitors and our community.

For more information on COSI, visit cosi.org.

 ~ Post by  Jaclyn Reynolds, PR and Social Media Manager for COSI.

Our friends at Experience Columbus are celebrating Columbus Day with some great incentives to encourage you to come to Central Ohio and discover the city this weekend (Oct. 5-8). This guest post comes from Joe Vargo, Interactive Marketing Specialist at Experience Columbus.

Each year, Experience Columbus partners with the city’s most popular attractions and the culinary genies that make up Columbus Dine Originals for Experience Columbus Days. During these four days (October 5 – 8) you can check out the city for cheap.

With America’s #1 Zoo, Science Center, and some of the best museums in the area, Columbus is THE place to be this fall! And, to make things even sweeter, during Experience Columbus Days you’ll get 50% off admission to over 20 attractions!

Columbus has been praised for its stellar food scene, and here’s your chance to sample it for yourself! Enjoy 25% off your food bill at some of the city’s best restaurants. The list of participating restaurants can be found here.

So, come, have fun, eat well. We know that once you get a taste, you’ll be back! To take advantage of these once-a-year deals, simply print or download this flier and present it (on your smartphone or old-school paper) at each participating attraction or restaurant.
For more information on Experience Columbus Days, visit www.experiencecolumbusdays.com.

~ Guest post by Joe Vargo, Interactive Marketing Strategist for Experience Columbus

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

With Father’s Day quickly approaching (Sunday, June 17), time is running out to find the perfect gift or dad-friendly activity, but there is no need to panic. Several businesses throughout Dublin and Central Ohio have something special to offer dads and their families!

Fun things to do with dad:

  • The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is offering free admission to dads with the purchase of a child admission (June 17, only).
  • Dads receive a free ticket to COSI Columbus’ newest 3D film, Air Racers 3D, throughout Father’s Day weekend.
  • Spend the day casting a line. There are several fishing holes in the area  – ML “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve, The Dublin Recreation Center, and the original Dublin fishing hole (Kiwanis Riverway Park) – just to name a few!
  • Whole Foods Columbus has a great grilling section. Stop by and find all the ingredients needed for a delicious cookout!
  • Schedule a tee time and play a round at the Irish inspired, links style Golf Club of Dublin.

The following are some gift ideas sure to delight any dad!

  • The Woodhouse Day Spa is offering a “Dad’s Great Escape” special. For every $100 gift card purchased, you will also receive a $25 gift card to Mezzo Ristorante and a GolfTEC 30 Minute Swing Diagnosis Session!
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is offering a Father’s Day four-pack (online) of their sweet treats with flavors such as Yazoo Sue & Rosemary Bar Nuts, Juniper & Lemon Curd, Whiskey & Pecans, and Plum Sake Sorbet.
  • Find a personalized baseball bat at Phoenix Bats. Fantastic for sporty dads!
  • A number of area restaurants offer gift certificates and specials on Father’s Day (Salvi’s Bistro, Sunny Street Café, ect.).

For other ideas, visit the Dublin OH Convention & Visitors Bureau website: www.irishisanattitude.com

– Post by Dawn Nolan, social media intern at the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau

This guest post was written by Jaclyn Reynolds, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at COSI Columbus. COSI (the Center of Science and Industry) is located just 15 minutes south of Dublin Ohio — and was recently named to Forbes list of the nation’s Top 12 Best Children’s Museums.

COSI Columbus recently announced its exhibit lineup for the next year.  We hardly ever do that but we had such a great lineup of exhibits that seemed to tie in to each other, we decided to give it a shot.  We named it the Brain Trip — a really fun name (and self-explanatory).  However, the other night at dinner with friends, I was explaining why I had been so busy lately.  I was talking animatedly about the Brain Trip when one of them interrupted me and said, “um, Jaclyn?  What exactly is a Brain Trip?”

Good question!  Helping you keep your brain sharp is definitely something we do at COSI every day.  From live shows to hands-on interactive science experiments, COSI is definitely a place to exercise your brain.  So with four exhibits headed our way this upcoming year, giving it a catchy name just seemed to be a “no-brainer.” (Haha!)

First up, we’ll use those critical thinking skills to build masterpieces with LEGO® Castle Adventure (September 29, 2012 to January 6, 2013).  Then we’ll do a literal study of the brain with Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds & The Brain (October 17, 2012 – January 6, 2013).  Then it’s time to boost your brain power solving brainteasers and interactive challenges with MindBender Mansion (January 26 to April 28, 2013).  And finally, we’ll wrap it up with sharpening those problem-solving skills with Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition (June 8 – September 13, 2013).

So back to the question of a Brain Trip: we think this is a great year to take a trip to COSI, maximize that brain power, learn more about what’s going on in your mind and have a really great time along the way!

____

Note: Take advantage of discounted tickets to COSI Columbus through the Dublin Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau’sKids Eat FREE Columbus Zoo/COSI Summer Getaway.” Go HERE for more information or call 800/245-8387.  

This guest post comes from Jaclyn Reynolds, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at COSI Columbus.

One of my favorite things about working at COSI Columbus is getting to see the new exhibitions and learning something new every day!  This past weekend, we opened our WATER exhibition.  It always surprises me how these exhibits arrive in lots of crates and boxes and two weeks later become gorgeous exhibitions. 

The exhibit celebrates, explores and teaches all about water.  Through hands-on activities, videos and fun things to walk through (like a water vapor curtain and a canyon), you learn about the different properties of water and how parts of our planet get along with too much water or too little water.  Did you know that the earth is 70% water?  That’s why they call it the “blue planet!”

The exhibit seems fitting with tomorrow’s celebration of World Water Day!  That is a day set aside by the United Nations to promote clean water and sustainable aquatic habits.  In celebration of that, our friends at Whole Foods Market in Dublin are donating 5% of all sales to COSI on Thursday, March 22, between 8 a.m.-10 p.m.  Plus, Whole Foods Market will have a scavenger hunt to explain how much water is in food and completing it could mean a discount for COSI admission so you can come see us and the WATER exhibition.   

We’re thankful for all of the support from the community for our WATER exhibition and to our friends at Whole Foods for their generosity.  We hope to see you at COSI soon!

~Post by Jaclyn Reynolds, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at COSI Columbus. To learn more about COSI or the limited engagement of WATER (March 17-September 3, 2012) visit www.cosi.org   

Note: The Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau offers 14 hotels just minutes from COSI and downtown Columbus (many which offer discounted tickets to COSI and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium). For more information about getaway packages, visit www.IrishisanAttitude.com or call 800/245-8387.