As we wrapped up our Origins trip, we had half an eye towards doing something fun on our way out of town. We were considering heading north to the famous Columbus Zoo (Jack Hannah's stomping grounds) when I flipped through the hotel's city tourism guide and found an ad for a temporary Egyptian exhibit at COSI, a nearby museum. With Clark still gripped by a fascination with King Tut, this became the Saturday trip.
There are actually a pair of Egypt exhibits in Columbus at the moment: this one and a pure artifacts show at an art museum. We figured that Clark would enjoy the kid-friendly angle of COSI more, although I'm sure he would have been entertained by any sizable collection of Egyptian treasures.
Not knowing what to expect from COSI, we were blown away by the expanse of the place. We've certainly been to smallish kids museums, and boringish adult museums, but this one is massive and family-focused.
And reasonably priced as well. It was around $40 for all three of us. They get you with the food, but more about that later.
The red pin wall was in the lobby (or, the free area) and one dad was brave enough to stick his face into it. He also did a few with his mouth open, and that was quite creepy to watch emerge on the other side.
Upon arrival we immediately scrambled for the Lost Egypt wing. Although it began with some clear mockups and interactive stations (drag the block to the pyramid! here's a simulated dig site!), we were happy to note that the back half of the exhibit was packed with genuine Egyptian mummies and treasures.
There was a camel.
Here's Clark looking at some fake animal bones. Not far away from this was a giant wall of skeletal mummy x-rays. When Clark noticed that, he dashed over to get a good look.
I had a picture of the x-rays, and also of a cat mummy (because, you know, cat mummy), but the roving security guard made me delete those photos. In my defense, the "No Pictures Past This Point" signs were really small.
This (not my picture) was the star of the show. A true multiple-centuries-old mummy, estimated to be a sixteen year old female. She was mummified, with her own sarcophagus, but her dressings and box contained no name... which, archaeologists say, is very unusual. So they named her Annie, which Clark thought was very unusual as it is our cat's name.
After reading all these King Tut books to him off and on, it was amazing to be able to show him the genuine article. Clark asked several times if the mummy was real. I held him up so he could see the painting on the mask and the delicate wrappings.
Among the many exhibits at COSI is a big walkthrough called Progress... where you begin in a charmingly crafted lifesize 1900s main street. Then you turn a corner and it's the same main street but set in the 1950s. Presumably you would go outside if you wanted to see what American life is like today.
There was also a crazily cool ocean exhibit. One half was all about exploring the ocean with subs and diving gear. The other half - connected via an underwater cave zone - was an Atlantean water fun zone, with water spurting out of the floor. Like, you could actually get wet and stuff. One of the interactive exhibits simply had water flowing out of a rock and you had to connect pipes to get it to a nearby bowl. And this isn't behind glass or safely ensconced within a wall; this is right out there where you could easily goose your grandma with a water enema of she wasn't watching. Very, very cool.
Camera battery died at that point, so I had to switch to the Sidekick.
There's an outside zone. This is Clark running through a typical Ohioan field. This area had one of those centrifugal force rides (at Hersheypark, this long defunct ride was called the Rotor), but why find reasons to vomit.
We braved the menu prices and stayed in for lunch. We got a large pizza for $20. Clark liked that the napkin dispensers were Egyptian.
COSI is huge. There's a big kids play area, with a neat water table toy at the end. There's even one built for babies, where they can sit in the middle and bat at sporadic water jets.
C-3PO peers into the play area. I guess this banner was leftover from an old Star Wars exhibit, and they kept it around to spy on the kids.
Clark's souvenir for the day was a pair of dig-it-yourself sand toys. We bought a coffin-shaped one (with plastic mummy parts inside) and a pyramid (with Egyptian treasure inside).
That mummy has a lot to be proud of.
Clark was very excited to work on these once we got home (we made him wait for Sunday as we got home late Saturday night.) He dug out the mummy parts and I had to hack away at the plaster pyramid. I won't say that was particularly easy.