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

When I was telling friends about our family’s plans to visit the Wilds yesterday, most people I spoke with said, “I’ve always wanted to go there.” Please don’t delay this trip – Go!

We had the best family outing yesterday at The Wilds. We booked the “Wilds Animal Encounter” tour, which runs a little shorter because we had both grandparents and kids along. It was the perfect choice for our family. The Wilds also offers other tours that are longer — Open Air Safari — and closed vehicle tours — Safari Transport — to suit your family needs.

Coming from Dublin, it took us about one hour and fifteen minutes coming out Route 70. Our GPS led us a different way than the Wilds directions, so we tried both- they were about the same. There is a small detour in Zanesville but it was easily followed. Driving up to the Wilds we saw the beautiful Ohio countryside. We loved seeing the hills and farmland and it really made us feel like we were escaping the city for the day.

When you enter the Wilds property, you park in a lower parking lot. From there, a shuttle takes you up to the Visitor Center where you can purchase your tours, or just go ahead and board your tour if you reserved your tickets online. There are concessions and restrooms available here, and throughout the tour with regularity.

The open-air safari vehicle reminded me of the one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – but with way more legroom and better seats. There is an area in the rear for wheelchairs and we were free to move around the vehicle once it came to a stop when we were viewing animals. Be prepared as the guide shared that they have two seasons – dusty and muddy! Also be sure to bring your binoculars and camera. The kids loved being able to take their own pictures when the animals were close to the vehicle.

Animals? Yep. We saw so many I can’t remember all the names. Entering the solar powered gates to different enclosures kind-of felt like Jurassic Park but without the fear that a Dino might be closer than he appears!

Bison were roaming a range – and the Wilds has close to 10,000 acres to range – so we had to look carefully to see them through the pastures. Some animals are so close they are next to the vehicle, and some are grazing in the distance. I loved seeing the animals in their natural behaviors – and seeing more than one species in an enclosure. Each enclosure had a natural water source, shelter and grazing areas.

We saw Bison, Giraffes, Rhinos, Camels, Zebras, Oryx, Osprey and the list goes on and on. On the longer tours, you will see even more animals! Our guide was great at giving facts about the different species and explaining their conservation efforts. Questions were encouraged and it was great to witness this experience with our kids!

When our safari tour was finished, we stopped at the Administration building where we were treated to some close-up animal encounters. A lot of these animals are the same “ambassador” animals the Columbus Zoo uses – but some were different. Touching the animals and lots of questions were encouraged and I think the kids really learned a lot about some unusual species.

We exited the vehicle at the Overlook building – which is aptly named. What a view! We wished we could stay overnight – and just might next time at one of the Yurts you can rent (Adults only though!). The zipline tours looked like fun and the horseback rider waved his hat at us as he went by. There is a café at the Overlook building as well as a Gift shop.

Catch a frequent shuttle back down to your car and you are on your way with a lot of great family memories – and kids sleeping all the way home!

~ Post by Katie

Today, the Dublin (OH) Convention & Visitors Bureau became a little greener. We launched our new Web site ( … infused with lots of Irish Attitude.  Not only are we excited about the site because of the cool new design, but because there are several cool new features.  These include …

  • A new search function. Seek (your word) and ye shall find.
  • Easier navigation.  Across the top. Down the side. Everywhere you look.
  • Irish inspired itinerary ideas. You’ve heard us talk about our Irish Attitude. Now, we’re offering itinerary ideas so you can come sample some of the tastes, visit the attractions and see the (green) sites.
  • Insider tips. We found the deals, specials, hidden treasures and favorite local spots–(and we’re sharing the info).
  • An expanded section for Event Planners. Looking for some specific tools to help you plan your next event?  We can help there, too.
  • A new dynamic map of Dublin. Find detailed location info on Dublin attractions, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, shopping, city and more.
  • A Plan Your Visit Section offering quick access to all the tools visitors will need to plan a Dublin getaway (maps, itineraries, Visitor Guide, etc.)

 AND (drumroll, please) … perhaps the most exciting feature of the site is the NEW “Dublin Live” page. Created to resemble a bulletin board, the page contains “live” news feeds and recent updates on things that are happening in and around Dublin. These include recent Dublin blog posts and “Tweets,” video and photo uploads, as well as getaway packages and restaurant deals.

We’ll be adding to the site daily … enhancing the restaurant, shopping and attraction sections and more. So, stop back often. You never know what you’ll discover!

-Post by Mary

I don’t know about you—but by the time Memorial Day rolls around every year, I’m thinking summer vacation. (I think it’s Zoombezi Bay ingrained in us from our elementary school years—like some kind of mid-year notch in our individual lifelines.)  And I LOVE to travel.  There is something about exploring a new place that is like spring cleaning for the soul.  Apparently, there are a lot of Americans who continue to share this passion … tough economy or not.  

According to the U.S. Travel Association’s recent summer leisure travel forecast, an estimated 54 percent of American households are planning a trip this June, July or August.  (That’s compared to 50 percent at this time last year.) That equates to an estimated 322 million domestic leisure per-person-trips. (I’m picturing millions of travel-warriors like me who will eat Mac & Cheese for a month before giving up our summer vacations!) Viva les vacances!!

Yes, we will be watching our travel budgets. Yes, we will be looking for deals. But—indications are that we expect to spend about the same amount on our vacations this year as we did last year.  Some of us may not be traveling as far. Some of us will stay closer to home. But that’s the great thing—there is SO MUCH TO DISCOVER right in your own state.

I’m a BIG fan of Ohio travel. My family is fond of hopping in the car, driving two hours and uncovering some awesome gems right here in the Buckeye state … like Amish country, Hocking Hills, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King’s Island, Ikea and the Cincinnati Museum. (We LOVE the Omnimax(R) theatre there!)

If you’re looking for an economical family vacation idea—consider Dublin, Ohio.  I know. You’re thinking I sound like a commercial. But you don’t have to take my word. Just ask some of the people who have already booked a getaway here this summer. Sales for our popular Wild & Wet Summer Getaway Package are already slammin’ …. and it’s no wonder. It’s hard to beat the value–a choice of 8 hotels (with special rates); discounted tickets to the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay; free Bob Evan’s kid’s meal and free Graeter’s Ice Cream sundae for one low price.  Don’t believe me?  Go to the Wild & Wet Getaway page of our Web site, put in the dates of your trip and run the numbers for yourself.   But when you DO come to town, stop by our Visitor Center and say ‘hi!’   (I promise not to say, “I told you it was a great deal!”)

-Post by Mary

Dublin Ohio’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration is just NINE DAYS AWAY (Saturday, March 14, 2009)!!    Lucky you … there’s still Dublin, Ohio St Patrick's Day Celebrationtime to book your St. Patrick’s Weekend escape  to enjoy plenty of green fun for everyone. But don’t take just our word for it. Need a little more persuasion? Check out the great article about our Irish getaways that just appeared on and in the Akron Beacon-Journal.  Or take a look at some fun photos from last year’s celebration.  You know you want to be here.

The “wearin’ of the green” is fast approaching, and where better to spend the weekend than Dublin, Ohio? During our Dublin, OH St. Patricks Day Celebrationannual St. Patrick’s Celebration (Saturday, March 14, 2009), everything is a little greener. And we do mean EVERYTHING. From the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast to the huge community parade, to the Irish entertainers and the Blarney Hop at the Shoppes at River Ridge. Aside from the fact that most of the family friendly activities are free, our hotels are offering some great getaways. So, if cabin fever (or the economy) is getting the best of you … recharge with an economical weekend escape that will save you some GREEN. Here are some special deals:

  • Hilton Garden Inn Dublin (Fri, March 13)  8 p.m. Irish Reception including Bailey’s coffee, hot chocolate, shamrock cookies and an Irish atmosphere. (Not to mention a Half-Off Happy Hour with appetizers and drinks.) Receive a complimentary Irish souvenir upon check in. Before heading out to the parade on Saturday, enjoy a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast. $99/night. 500 Metro Pl. North. 800/600-1550
  • Envision yourself in Ireland with the Irish décor and music of the Chase Suite Dublin Hotel.  Relax in a cozy suite and receive a warm Irish welcome and a Shamrock luggage tag. Enjoy a hot buffet breakfast with special Irish menu items. Add an Irish themed basket (with Baileys Irish Crème, crackers, cheese and chocolate) to your stay for an additional $25. 4130 Tuller Rd. 614/766-7762
  • The award-winning Embassy Suites Dublin offers a location in the heart of the parade route. Overnight in a large two-room suite and enjoy a cooked-to-order breakfast and cocktails at the evening manager’s reception. Special weekend getaway rate: $89.99 plus tax per night. (Based upon availability. Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.)  Call 614/790-9000 and mention code “WKN.”
  • Both Dublin Extended Stay America locations offer great rates for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend celebration.  The Columbus/Dublin location (450 Metro Pl. North.) offers queen-size studios starting at $64.99, plus free access to Metro V Athletic Club.  614/760-0053. The Columbus/Tuttle hotel location (5530 Tuttle Crossing Blvd.) offers studio rooms starting at $79.99 with free coffee bar, fresh fruit and bagels in the morning. Book online: or by calling 614/760-0245.
  • Save some green by taking advantage of the Marriott Bonus Bucks Promotion when you stay at the Marriott Columbus Northwest Hotel over St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.  Stay two nights and receive a $50 Bonus Buck Certificate, good toward a future two-night stay at all Marriott Hotels and Resorts located in the United States.  The Bonus Buck promotion rate is $119.94. Book online:  5605Blazer Pkwy.

-Post by Kay


Be Mine. True Love. Sweet Talk.  Remember those little candy “conversation” hearts with words on them that you used to get (or give) for Valentine’s Day? I loved those.   I have distinct grade school memories of decorating oatmeal boxes or gigantic white envelopes with hearts and lining them up along the chalkboard and just anticipating what I might discover in my mailbox after the 4th grade Valentine’s Day party.  A valentine from “the cute kid” with a box of hearts attached made me feel like Cinderella.  Ahhh, youth. 

I admit, as we girls get older, our expectations increase. That might explain my swooning earlier this week while posting the Dublin (OH) Valentine’s packages on our Web site. I have to say I was impressed with the imagination our hotel partners invested in creating these packages.  White knights (or Prince Charmings) can sweep their princesses away with a luxurious hotel getaway including Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a full breakfast.  Irish gentlemen can carry off their fair-haired lasses to a private suite complete with cozy fireplace, and give her a basket filled with Irish goodies like chocolates, gourmet cheese and crackers, a candle and Bailey’s Irish Crème. Other packages include a romantic dinner for two or roses. What could be easier? The work is all done. She’ll love it.  And the best part? The great rates. (Check it out.) Now, that alone is worth is worth making her feel like Cinderella for a day, right?  Heck, we”ll even throw in a box of conversation hearts.

-Post by Mary