Five things to know about taking a trip to Newport Aquarium

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Many families have taken trips to the Newport Aquarium but tell us it’s been a while. I thought we would take a visit and see what’s new, see if we could find fun things to point out about a trip there that aren’t as obvious or might be new since your last visit.  And, you’ll want to take a trip back again.

  • During the summer, they do have a special admission deal you should know about. During the summer months, they have a one-kid-free deal per adult ticket after 4pm Sunday-Friday.  You have to get this deal online, not at the window. So, that’s an adult and a child for $24.99.  You are thinking……I don’t want to go there so late in the day.  Don’t worry! There are plenty of other things to do in that area, you can go for lunch at Newport on the Levee, walk over to Ohio (see below) and be back by 4pm for the aquarium.
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  • Seahorse scavenger hunt.  When you are in the aquarium, there’s one large room dedicated to seahorses.  My kids tend to wander around and yes, they are engaged but they move through it rather quickly and I find myself saying “come back, look at this!” to get them to read more or learn about the creature.  In a packed room, we were the only ones that noticed laminated cards in slots against the wall around the room.  The cards were a scavenger hunt for the kids to go through the room and identify seahorses.  This was super fun and they paid much closer attention to what they were seeing!
  • Relatively new, the shark bridge brings a little excitement to the visit. It is VERY secure so if you are less imaginative about these kinds of things like I am, it’s not that scary. But, for my kids, it was a great way to exit the facility.  If you didn’t know, the aquarium pretty much forces a flow in order and the shark bridge is the last attraction.  My kids liked looking down at the tank from above, definitely a different view. And, I liked that even though it was packed, the line moved quickly. There’s also a shark interaction area before the bridge that we really liked…..look for the shark eggs. If you don’t know what they look like, ask!
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  • The new Stingray Hideaway attraction is definitely the best part of the aquarium. It is highly interactive and just a really attractive, open area of the facility.  The tank is large and so many people can fit around it so that even if it’s busy, there’s plenty of room.  The tunnel that takes you into the tank to stand up and look out is small but fun for crawling all together.  My kids expressed clearly that this was their favorite part of the entire place.  They could have stayed in that area itself for at least an hour touching the rays.  There was a small shark to touch as well, an education station for looking at things like shark eggs and a hand washing area.
  • Did you know that there is a walking bridge over to Ohio directly on the east side of Newport on the Levee? It’s so close to the aquarium and makes for a lovely walk over the river to Sawyer Point Park. This is a very interesting park, whether you go left or right after crossing the bridge.  There are playgrounds, a sprayground, walking and biking paths, green space, great spots for photo opportunities and more.  If you don’t want to spend money on food during your visit, pack a picnic and start your visit at the park. I don’t think I would ever go back to the aquarium without building in time to cross the river and enjoy this park.