Ride the Rides at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A spinning ride at the Columbus Zoo
Columbus Zoo

The small amusement area at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium used to be known as Wyandot Lake. It is meant more as an accompaniment to a day at the zoo or the adjacent water park, Zoombezi Bay, than a standalone park. It offers a couple of roller coasters as well spinning rides and rides geared to young children.

The Columbus Zoo has many animal exhibits, including wolves, bison, bears, and other animals indigenous to North America; tigers, pandas, elephants, and other animals found in Asia; and gorillas, leopards, parrots, and other animals native to Africa. There is also a Shores & Aquarium area that includes manatees, alligators, penguins, and other creatures.

Rides and Attractions at the Zoo

Among the rides is Sea Dragon, a classic wooden coaster that dates back to 1956. There are also flat rides such as the Swingin’ Gibbons swing ride, the Dust Devil scrambler, and Jack’s Tea Party teacups. There is also the Falcon Fall drop tower, Havoc Harbor bumper cars, and The Grand Carousel, which first started spinning in 1914.

There are two train rides, the larger North America Train, which encircles the zoo’s North America land, and the Tiny Town Train, which is geared to younger children. Other rides for small kids include Tiny Tusks (think: Dumbo the Flying Elephant) and the Golden Frog Hopper mini drop tower. There are also three play areas, including Polar Playground and Stings, Wings N’ Playthings Park.

Because it is a zoo, there are rides aboard actual animals including camels and ponies. The Shore 4-D Theater offers a rotating collection of multi-sensory movie experiences.

What are the Latest Rides at the Columbus Zoo?

In 2021, the zoo will be welcoming Tidal Twist, a spinning coaster. The Wild Mouse-style steel coaster will feature cars that spin as they move along the track.

Admission Policy

Admission to the rides area is included with zoo passes. But the rides require tickets that are available for a la carte purchase. Visitors can also purchase pay-one-price wristbands that offer unlimited rides.

Packages are typically offered that include admission to the zoo along with Zoombezi Bay water park. As a benefit, premium members of the zoo receive unlimited free rides at the park. Group discounts and season passes are available.

What's to Eat?

There are a number of food stands and restaurants throughout the zoo. A food court offers pasta, pizza, sandwiches, chicken, and other choices. The Mapori Restaurant features African dishes as well as flatbreads and roasted chicken. There are also snacks such as ice cream, popcorn, and funnel cakes available.


East of Columbus: I-70W to 270N to Sawmill Road (Exit 20). Go north (or right) on Sawmill Road, which becomes Sawmill Parkway, and turn left onto Powell Road/SR 750. The park is approximately 1 mile ahead.

From west of Columbus: Take I-70E to 270N. Follow directions above.

From south of Columbus: Take I-71N to 270W to Sawmill Road (Exit 20). Go north (or left) on Sawmill Road. Follow directions above. From north of Columbus: Take I-71S to 270W to Sawmill Road (Exit 20). Follow directions above.

Other Nearby Parks