Location: Newport, KY
Reciprocal: Herschend Family Entertainment Passes
Full Price Admission Cost: $24.99 adults; $17.99 kids; under 2 free
Rating: 4 out of 5
My family has seen our fair share of aquariums through the years. Brendon loves them because of his ongoing fascination with sea creatures, and I love that we are able to get up close and personal with some really cool creatures that help feed that curiosity and encourage him to dive in deeper (pun intended). Therefore, when we had the opportunity to visit the well-praised Newport Aquarium, we all jumped on it.
The aquarium is fairly big, especially considering the fact that it’s located on Newport Levee amongst a collection of other business, meaning space is at a premium. A huge number of species are represented in the aquarium’s tanks, and everything is presented in an interesting and often interactive way, making the experience a unique one.
During our visit, we were given the opportunity to pet the creatures of a tide pool, play with rays, touch sharks, see an alligator face-to-face, and even walk on a narrow bridge over an open shark tank. (The bridge is enclosed with heavy-duty nets, don’t worry!)
Several tunnels are featured throughout the attraction, allowing guests to walk right through the watery world of the deep and feel the thrill of being surrounded by sea creatures. In addition to all these amazing underwater exhibits, the aquarium also features a frog room with tons of frog tanks and a frog-themed playground, as well as an awesome penguin viewing area and penguin play area.
This was without a doubt one of the best aquariums we have ever seen, and we highly recommend it to anyone in the Cincinnati area. That said, we do recommend seeking out a discount if at all possible because we did feel the prices were a bit steep.
- Food is available for purchase on the premises. Outside food is not allowed.
- Garage parking is available for cars. Large trucks and vans will need to seek out private lot parking. There are lots of…er, lots around, but many of them only take cash. In our case, Apple Maps was able to give us info on each lot via the Parkopedia service.
- The Aquarium is located on the levee which has tons of shopping and dining, meaning you may want to spend the entire day in the area.
Books to Read
- Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia by DK
- National Geographic Kids: Everything Sharks by Ruth Musgrave
- Sea Change by Joel Harper
- All the Way to the Ocean by Joel Harper
- The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole
- Wonders of the Sea by Kendall F. Haven
- Magic Treehouse: Dark Day in the Deep Sea by Mary Pope Osborne
Videos to Watch
- Disneynature: Oceans
- Mission Blue — Netflix Original
- Chasing Coral — Netflix Original
- A Plastic Ocean — Available on Netflix
- Fishpeople — Available on Netflix
- Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans — Available on Netflix
- BBC Shark — Available on Netflix
- Bill Nye the Science Guy: Ocean Life
- Bill Nye the Science Guy: Ocean Exploration
- Magic School Bus Takes a Dive
- March of the Penguins
Audio to Hear
- Recordings from Mariana Trench
- Brains On! science podcast for kids (by episode):
Activities to Do
- Try an ocean science project.
- Have a family “beach cleanup” day, i.e. spend the day picking up trash together.
- Try one of these cute ocean craft projects.
Things to Discuss
- If you could be any ocean animal, what would it be and why?
- Do you think mermaids exist? Why or why not?
- If you could build an ocean-exploring vehicle, what would it be equipped with?
- How can you help keep our oceans healthy?
Other Area Attractions
Below are some of the other great attractions in this area. We try to keep things affordable, sticking to free and cheap attractions and/or museums and zoos on reciprocal lists. If an attraction is affiliated with a reciprocal program or offers free admission, I have noted that beside the attraction listing. To learn more about saving money using reciprocal programs, see this post.
- Cincinnati Zoo — AZA 50%
- Findlay Market — Free
- Coney Island
- Underground Railroad Freedom Center
- Krohn Conservatory
- Taft Museum of Art — NARM
- Contemporary Arts Center — NARM
- Cincinnati Art Museum — NARM
- American Sign Museum
- William Howard Taft National Historic Site — Free
- Cincinnati Observatory
- Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
- Cincinnati Museum Center — ASTC at Natural History and Science Museum, ACM at Children’s Museum
Closest Places to Stay on a Budget
For information on camping memberships, see this post.
- Thousand Trails/Passport America/RPI: Indian Lakes RV Campground (43 mi)
- Thousand Trails/Passport America/RPI: Wilmington RV Resort (47 mi)
- Passport America/RPI: Little Farm on the River (38 mi)
Related Attractions in Other Areas
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