Unfortunately there are no aquariums located in Columbus, Ohio, unless you want to go into a local pet store. This little gem is located 2hrs from downtown Columbus in Cincinnati, Ohio. We made this an entire day trip by also exploring some of the local attractions. What was awesome about this venue is the location, it's surrounded by water, right off the Cincinnati riverfront. The riverfront is a great addition because there are "ride the duck" tours available to escape to the water and view the city from a boat . There was plenty of places to eat, a local movie theatre, and an all around great scenery. Adult tickets are $23.99, children tickets are $15.99, and kids 2 and under are free.
I learned that you can not take strollers inside the aquarium, but no worries they provide free child carriers. This honestly made the experience better for Karter, she was able to really visualize the experience, and be up close with the sea creatures! They offer a cool penguin exhibit, including education around penguins (they had to be hired from "Happy Feet"). With a cool play place, gift shop, cafe, and all the fish and sea creatures you could think of. I am giving this a child friendly review of 9 out of 10.
Location is a little far out so it can be challenging if you don't have the ability to travel that far or have a little one who does not enjoy car trips. Cost can be high, but they offer specials regularly. For more details check out www.newportaquarium.com