The second experience I wanted to tell you about from my Columbus, Ohio trip was going to COSI. I think it stands for Columbus Something of Science and Industry, based on what I know about OMSI here in Portland.
From what I remember as a kid, these kinds of places didn’t exist. The only childhood experience that would be close would be trips to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia when growing up in New Jersey. But in this day and age of technology and innovation and science and discovering, kids expect more than a diorama (make your own!) of cave dwellers and a couple terrariums.
They have things like huge water tables (above), all sorts of physics displays, stuff to climb on, air blowers that make balls appear to levitate (and they’re a lot of fun when you put a Cookie Monster fleece hoody over it and watch it fly up in the air), and all sorts of exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to cell-frame animation.
I applaud the person or people who had this idea that museums could be interactive, that they could be experiences that people will remember long after they’ve left the building. Plus, as a parent, it keeps my children entertained for hours at a time. If you have kids and live anywhere close to one of these kinds of places, buy a season pass; ours has paid for itself many times over.
Back to COSI… it was a welcome break from the traditional family gathering activities of eating and sitting around talking. Plus, unlike the coffee maker in my hotel room, COSI reminded me of home, and made me feel less like a traveller and more like a resident. And that made me feel comfortable and relaxed, something absolutely necessary during these family gatherings.
And lastly… You’ll love the way I fly: Part 3 of 3