You won’t have your toes in the sand, but you’ll feel like you’re at the ocean at Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati. Whether you make it a long weekend in Cincinnati or head there for the day, you’ll find plenty to explore for hours.
Newport Aquarium is just 2 hours away and showcases thousands of animals, plus fun and interactive activities.
Fun Features at Newport Aquarium
Take a peek at what lies below the rippling surface of cascading streams and waterfalls around the world. Walk through a tunnel to see what it’s like at the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat. See the cross section of a cascading stream of the Congo and the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air. Check out the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose. Gaze at the brightly colored collection of cichlids cross section of a Central American waterfall. And check out the 13 tanks featuring different freshwater ecosystems of aquatic life from around the world.
Jim Henson’s Splash & Bubbles Reeftown Adventure
Kids can climb and play their way through Coral Cove and become a Reeftown Ranger as they learn about our One Big Ocean and the animals that call it home.
Plus, visit the Kelp Forest where families can color their own fishy friends and bring them to life in the animated world of Splash and Bubbles!
Are you brave enough to cross the Shark Bridge or Surrounded by Sharks tunnel? Shark Bridge is the world’s first suspended rope bridge where guests can walk just inches above more than two dozen sharks, shark rays and other ocean animals. Surrounded by Sharks provides seamless acrylic tunnels that allow you to immerse yourself in the ocean with three exotic Shark Rays, a Honeycomb Whiptail Ray, Sand Tiger Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks and a Zebra Shark. Meet the new BABY SHARK! Born at Newport Aquarium, this is the first time the baby epaulette shark is on exhibit. Watch the baby crawl, swim and explore her nursery in the Seahorse Gallery!
Ring of Fire: World of the Octopus
While you’re there, don’t miss the immersive exhibit Ring of Fire: World of the Octopus with three different zones to explore. Experience what it’s like to live deep in the sea with glowing lights and rumbling sounds representing churning seismic activity that created the rippling sea floor, caves and other rock formations where amazing creatures like the Giant Pacific Octopus live.
Other Newport Aquarium fun
Explore the Stingray Hideaway where you’ll interact with stingrays like never before. Get a thrill at the Dangerous and Deadly exhibit – featuring the predators of our nightmares. Are all sea creatures slimy? Find out at Tide Pool Touch where you’ll have a touchable view of the many species of underwater creatures at the Touch Pool. Without a doubt, kids will love finding the secret frog tanks when they climb through tunnels and tubes in the Frog Bog jungle gym. Watch penguins waddle and play in Penguin Palooza. Catch the eye of the rare white gators, Snowflake and Snowball in Gator Alley – legends tell how gazing into the eyes of a white alligator can bring good luck and prosperity.
Tickets Discounts and Events for Newport Aquarium
Newport Aquarium is open every day of the year, and offers ticket discounts of $1-$3 at Kroger Stores, and with Military, AAA, and AARP membership.
Newport Aquarium One Kid Free promotion
Sundays through Fridays, one kid (ages 2-12) gets in free after 4 p.m. with the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. This offer is available through September 8, and must be purchased online here.
Slumber Parties at the Aquarium
Newport Aquarium Overnight Adventures feature after-hours fun for visitors ages 6 and up. Bring your sleeping bag and PJ’s and sleep with the fish! Enjoy behind-the-scene tours, animal encounters, snack in the evening and breakfast in the morning, and more. Stay and enjoy the aquarium the day after your Overnight Adventure for FREE, a $25.99 value. Get an Annual Pass at the special price and you can save $9 on ALL overnight adventures. Cost is typically $49.99 for non-members (and includes all day admission the following day). It’s cheaper than many hotels and will be a memorable experience.
Friday, August 30: Summer Beach Slumber Party. Bring your PJs and spend the evening exploring the Aquarium before spending night in the underwater world. Stay and enjoy the aquarium the day after your Overnight Adventure for FREE, a $25.99 value. See the interesting differences in the animal’s behavior and environments at night and in the day! Get an Annual Pass at the special price and you can save $9 on ALL overnight adventures.
Friday, October 11: Animal Scales and Mermaid Tales Overnight. Join in a pizza party and spend the evening with the mermaids (do they eat pizza?!). Afterward, you will enjoy a special bedtime mermaid tale before you settle in “under” the sea with their fish friends. This fun event includes unique mermaid experiences including meet & greet opportunities, exotic animal encounters, activities and more. Start your morning with a breakfast snack and explore the aquarium the day after your Overnight Adventure for FREE.
Be sure to check out our Visitor Tips page for more suggestions to make your visit the best.
Looking for other fun in Cincinnati? Check out Roadtripping: 20+ Things to do with Kids in Cincinnati.
Newport, KY 41071