5 MUST HAVE Toledo Memberships: We are Unwrapping the Adventures all Year Long

I cannot begin to express the sheer amount of joy and awesome memories our memberships have brought our family over the years. I am a firm believer that it is the experiences in life that mean far more than the material things, it is our memories that we take with us those are our treasures. And speaking of memberships and treasures, the kiddos had last Friday off for parent teacher conferences so we took full advantage of the opportunity & we set out on a road trip! It had been forever since we had gone on a road trip, my soul was literally aching for an adventure! And what an adventure we had! Our destination, the Center for Science and Industry, a.k.a. COSI!

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COSI is literally one of my favorite places on this planet. I have been visiting since I was a kid, back when Pluto was a planet, the World Wide Web was a mere idea, and Rats playing basketball was something new. I must admit, like a fine wine COSI is only getting better with age. It is huge! They have a National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, a Planetarium, huge Little Kids space, awesome exhibits and so much more! (Should be noted that not all are included in the general admission) You would need at least 24+ hours to see & do everything which is why I highly recommend a membership. We used our Imagination Station Membership, it gets us in for free!! That’s right, I said FREE!! Most memberships come with some awesome perks like getting you into other museums, zoo, etc. for a discounted prize or possibly for free! Additional perks can included free parking, discounted parking, discounts in shops, discounted events, members only events, discounted classes, etc. basically being a member totally rocks!!

Planning our visit….

Before we began our COSI exploration I asked each child to pick the one thing they absolutely wanted to see and then we made certain we saw those three and anything additional was pure bonus fun! This tactic seems to eliminates any hurt feelings, favoritism, etc.


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Our first stop was our preschoolers pick, LEGO Travel Adventure! The theme was travel and they had a variety of famous buildings from around the world built out of LEGO bricks on display, they were amazing! They had a large area where the children could build their own buildings….

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They offered children the opportunity to make their own LEGO vehicle out of LEGO bricks and test it on a track; there were dress-ups, fun hands on activities, etc.


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Then we ventured to one of our favorite exhibits and our 2nd graders pick, Ocean. 

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As you enter you can’t help but feel like you are under the sea thanks to the soothing ocean sounds, calming dimmed lights, faux grotto, it is the most relaxing experience.

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In the Ocean the children learned about laminar streams, energetic waves, eroding sand, and they had the opportunity to use real ocean exploration technology including submersibles, sonar, & remote operated vehicles. It was pretty darn amazing & totally educational (but don’t tell them…although I do believe these visits are rubbing off on them, our 4th grader has been bringing home 100% and 101% on her Science tests…hands on learning is the best!)!

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We literally saved the BEST for last. Our 4th grader decided that Adventure in the Valley of the Unknown was going to be her MUST SEE. It should be noted that this one was extra special and therefore did require an admission cost; it was $5 a person and let me tell you it was totally worth it!!

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As we entered the sense of excitement and adventure could be felt in the air. Our tour guide greeted us with her Australian accent (and she never broke character, it was very impressive) and led us down a dimly lit path with flickering lights, it was a bit eerie, the entire vibe  reminded me of something from an Indian Jones movie, so cool!

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We entered the Explores Society informative space; it was adorned with a lot of old artifacts, writing desk, etc. and a screen in the center where an old black & white movie began.  The movie expressed that our quest was to unlock the Observatory and obtain the Treasure of Knowledge.

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In order to accomplish the mission we would have to use critical thinking and reasoning skills to locate and enter a four part code. Once we had located 3 animal symbols for each area, and entered them into each statues keypad we would obtain a piece of the code and once we had them all we could unlock the Observatory and obtain the Treasure of Knowledge! And then we were set free, on our own to solve the puzzles.

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It was so cool, there was a tomb downstairs, a ladder that led to a hole in the wall where only the bravest of explores dare enter and slide into another room. There were doors of doom where doors opened into a small space and closed quickly thus separating parties. It was at this point that our preschooler became absolutely terrified and was done. In her eyes her brother had just disappeared and may never return, of course he did return and managed to get the code in the process but it was too lifelike for her preschool brain thus it was at that point that I had to sit out on all the fun.  

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But our 2nd and 4th grader continued on with their aunt and grandfather, they persevered and finally unlocked the Observatory and retrieved the Treasure of Knowledge.  It was such a magnificent exhibit; I have been to Disney World, Disney Land, and other theme parks and science museums and have never experienced an adventure like this! This comes highly recommended for families with a yearning for adventure!!


Our Adventure took a bit longer than expected; when we left the Tomb of Knowledge COSI was closing. We had just enough time for a quick show on static electricity (yep, that is our 2nd grader, he gladly volunteered) & photo booth fun, which totally made the perfect souvenir!!


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So, if you are looking for the perfect gift this Christmas keep in mind Memberships, they are truly the gifts that keep on giving all year long….(if you need something for your child to unwrap Christmas morning purchase something from the gift shop where you bought the membership, like a book or stuffed animal, it will add to their fun when they visit said establishment) And remember they come with added perks, like early registration for classes, discounts on classes, discounts on gift shop purchases, free or discounted parking, members only special events, reciprocal discounts and admission, etc. Thus, without further ado, here are the Five MUST HAVE memberships for those living in and around the Toledo area are…

FIVE MUST HAVE Toledo Memberships:

1)  Imagination Station

2)   Toledo Zoo 

3)  Toledo Metroparks,  

4) Toledo Museum of Art 

5)  The Great Lakes Historical Society

A toy can occupy a child for a few days a membership can provide family quality time, fun, and adventure for an entire year!! Give the gift that keeps on giving!

What is your favorite membership? Why?






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Categories: Ohio Fun, Uncategorized

You're off to great places! But do keep in touch!

In the words of Dr. Seuss, You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go. And when you get there take us with you!

6 Comments on “5 MUST HAVE Toledo Memberships: We are Unwrapping the Adventures all Year Long”

  1. Tracy
    November 17, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    I’m trying for a 90% experiences, 10% things Christmas this year. We don’t live in the Toledo area but I think I’ll get my Brother-in-law’s family a membership to Imagination Station for Christmas.

    • November 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

      Hi Tracy! That is awesome, I love the 90/10 idea!!! Experiences are the BEST!! Your brother-in-law’s family will adore that gift ALL year long! Thank you for sharing….and I might just have to steal the 90/10 idea (if that is okay with you?) You clearly understand what is important, what the real treasures are in this world, the experiences, time together, etc. You totally rock! 😉

  2. November 19, 2015 at 12:49 am #

    Toledo Zoo is my favorite membership. My grandchildren love animals so much we go once a week.

    • November 19, 2015 at 4:06 am #

      Aww…that is so cool! Sounds like you are making some pretty awesome memories with your grandkids, they will cherish those memories of spending time with you at the zoo when they are older. Have y’all seen those adorable red pandas? They are too cute!! And they have got to love the Lights Before Christmas! Thank you so much for sharing Eva! 😉


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