A one minute drive over a bridge in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio will lead you into a thriving tourist area in the small town of Newport, Kentucky. This town of only 15,000+ people is home to The Newport Levee, a gorgeous area full of shops, restaurants and entertainment. My family’s first visit to the area was this past weekend and I was more than surprised at just how beautiful the Levee is. Our two hour drive to Newport was time well spent and arriving to the beautiful surroundings made us even more excited to explore and experience the Newport Aquarium.
Newport at the Levee
Before heading into the aquarium, we thought it best to eat lunch prior to the visit. I turned my truck into a restaurant and passed out lunches for everyone. This allowed us to have a meltdown-free visit that did not include requests for food or snacks.
Newport Aquarium prides itself on having “a million gallons of fun” and is home to several unique exhibits, including the world’s only suspension bridge that allows you to walk inches above a 385,000 gallon shark tank that holds close to two dozen sharks.
Our visit included three children ranging from age two to eight years old. All of the children were able to enjoy discovering sea life at Newport Aquarium. I was somewhat apprehensive about visiting on the day that we did because, due to the lack of space and the expected traffic through the aquarium, strollers were not allowed until the last hour or two of operating hours.
Our Favorite Exhibits
There are several exhibits that allow guests to discover sea life at Newport Aquarium. Our favorites were some of the aquarium’s most interactive exhibits.
We touched sea stars! I must admit, we (five of us) thought we were brave enough to just throw our hands in the water. We were excited until our fingers reached the water and felt the cool temperature. The coolness immediately freaked us out and one by one we became too chicken to touch the sea stars. In the end, two of us, myself and one of the little ones touched them. It was like touching a wet furry cat. That’s the best way I can describe them. Nonetheless, a cool experience!
Shark Ray Bay Theater
We got a close up on some amazing Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks and turtles. The acrylic tank was huge which allowed a spectacular view of the underwater world. If you visit the exhibit at the right time, you may be able to see a scuba diver in the tank with the sharks!
New Canyon Falls
The girls saw an otter for the first time, but it was too sleepy to care that we were there, so we moved on to discover lizards and turtles. The girls were brave and touched a small turtle and we discovered Thunder, the 100+ year old Alligator Snapping turtle. He is the oldest animal at Newport Aquarium.
Kroger Penguin Palooza
The penguins entertained us for a good 30 minutes. This was at the end of our aquarium visit, so the ample seating and cool air that the exhibit provided was beneficial in many ways. The penguins put on their own show by showing us how they enjoy jumping into the water and, what appeared to be, engaging in swim races with one another.
Remember the 385,000 gallon tank that holds over two dozen sharks that I mentioned earlier? My daughter, friend and her daughter were courageous and crossed the bridge, walking above the sharks. I was unable to cross the bridge because I had to make a mad dash to the bathroom with my youngest and mommy duties come first!
I received complimentary admission to the aquarium, however all thoughts are 100% my own.
Have you ever visited the Newport Aquarium?