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Families have various options for keeping the kids entertained. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 9990 Riverside Dr., Powell (northwest Columbus). (tel. 614/645-3550; www.columbuszoo.org), is home to more than 700 species and 6,000 animals, including manatee, penguins, three generations of gorillas, flamingo, kangaroo-including the largest collection of reptiles of any zoo. A new section called Australia and the Islands was recently added. The Zoo has received national attention for its success with breeding cheetahs and lowland gorillas. The zoo is open every day of the year. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children 2-11 and $7 for seniors; children under 2 are free. Educational fun awaits at the hands-on COSI Columbus, 333 W. Broad St. (tel. 888/819-COSI; www.cosi.org), a.k.a. Center of Science and Industry, features over 300 interactive exhibits in a 300,000 square foot building designed by well-regarded architect Arata Isozaki. The building features six different "learning Worlds" where kids (and adults) can experiences hands-on activities designed to make learning fun. There is also a planetarium and a seven-story, 83-foot wide Extreme Screen theater. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 kids 2-12; Extreme Screen viewings are $7; $5 for members.

Wyandot Lake Amusement and Water Park, 10101 Riverside Dr, (tel. 614/889-9283; www.sixflags.com/parks/wyandotlake/index.asp), is a Six Flags-owned water amusement park, located next door to the Columbus Zoo. With 45 rides, water slides, a Ferris wheel and antique carousel, there's plenty to keep kids busy for hours. Don't miss Zuma Falls, a zigzagging 455-foot descent experienced in inner tubes. Beware of the surprise dousings with water as you travel through the park. Admission to both the theme park and water park costs $25.99 adults, $19.99 for kids less than 48 inches tall.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.