Here in Columbus Ohio we are really lucky to have an amazing zoo, if you ever find yourself in Columbus the zoo is a must see. We are fortunate enough to have the famous Jack Hanna as a local resident and he is responsible for all the incredible attractions and features you can find at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The most recent addition to the Columbus Zoo is Stingray Bay. Stingray Bay is an 18,000 gallon salt water touch pool of cownose and southern stingrays. Visitors to the Columbus zoo get the chance to not only see these majestic creatures fly through the water but they can reach in and touch them, you can even feed the stingrays.
We are seasons pass holders to the zoo and have been for years and years, the zoo is a monthly and often weekly destination for our family we really love it. When Stingray Bay opened we could not wait to check it out, upon learning it was not included in membership I was initially a bit annoyed. While the cost is minimal at $2 per person the point of a pass is you don’t pay for exhibits. This past weekend we decided to buy tickets and check it out, I recommend buying your ticket at the front gate that way you get an assigned time so you don’t have to wait in line simply show up at your assigned time and walk right in, otherwise you will be waiting a least 30 minutes on a typical day!
Stingray Bay was set up with the family in mind, the ledges are nice and wide and they even have step stools so that toddlers can easily reach in to touch the stingrays without fear of falling in. Because the attraction is ticketed they limit the number of people in at a time which ensures ample room to get up close and touch the stingrays, it also keeps the animals safe by minimizing crowd issues such as too many people reaching in at once and allowing for many staff members and volunteers to be on hand to monitor and assist visitors.
We had so much fun touching the stingrays, as my girls said they feel like squishy soft blankets! Even I enjoyed reaching in and brushing my two fingers on the back of the stingray as it glided past. The stingrays were almost like puppies seeming to come close on purpose to get touched and circling back for more after you touched them once. It was not a matter of if you touched a stingray just how many, I touched at least a dozen in the time we were there. We really had a great time and I feel it was worth the $2 to have such a great hands on experience. You can even buy food to feed the stingrays, which seems fun but we decided would be better when our kids are older. Next time you are at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium check out the new Stingray Bay.
I was in no way compensated for my time, we purchased our own pass and tickets and enjoyed every minute of our experience!