We recently spent a weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio and The Newport Aquarium was a must see on our list of things to do. The aquarium is located just over the river from Cincinnati in Newport, Kentucky, so we were there in a matter of minutes from our stay in the city.
When my husband and I planned our trip to Cincinnati, we had our daughter in mind for each of our stops and picked destinations based on her interests and experiences. She loves the water, so we made sure The Newport Aquarium was on our list. However, we quickly realized once we arrived that what appealed to our toddler at the aquarium also appealed to us as adults. Read on for the highlights of our trip to the aquarium, and five experiences that both adults and toddlers can enjoy.
Up Close and Personal: The Newport Aquarium boasts 14+ exhibits where you are up close and personal with thousands of aquatic animals from around the world. From sharks to penguins and alligators to frogs, there is a different creature around every turn. The displays are arranged at varying eye-levels and include traditional aquarium viewing windows, overhead glass tunnels, and windows in the floors.
Touch A Shark: We were taught the two-finger touch technique to pet the sharks in Shark Central. It was exhilarating to be that close to such a wild creature. While my daughter couldn’t quite reach the sharks (and I didn’t quite trust her two-fingered touch), she loved watching us dip our hands in the water and being at eye level with the sharks.
Amazon Tunnel: “A 32-foot long acrylic tunnel lets you see the world’s largest freshwater fish – the Arapaima and the exotic Pacu – among dozens of other species.” My daughter was fascinated by the large fish swimming in front of her and over head. I was fascinated by the divers feeding the fish in the water.
Penguins: The penguin exhibit was fascinating. My daughter loved climbing up and down the stairs in the exhibit to see penguins at different levels. When she climbed to the top of the stairs, she could see the penguins above the water, and then when she got the the bottom of the stairs, she could see the penguins swimming below the water. My husband and I loved learning all the fun facts about these majestic creatures during the “penguin talk” from a friendly employee. My daughter also had the opportunity to see a penguin up close and personal during the talk.
Manageable Size: The Newport Aquarium was the perfect size for our toddler to navigate without the stroller. I loved that we could let her walk independently and follow her lead. She only requested to be picked up a few times to see something. There are so many wonderful exhibits in the perfect amount of space.
Some things to know before you go:
- General Admission to the Newport Aquarium is $24.99/adults (ages 13+) and $16.99/children (ages 2-12).
- Buy your tickets on-line ahead of time and skip the ticket line.
- We parked in the Newport on the Levee Parking Garage took the elevator up to Level PL and were steps away from the aquarium.
- Strollers are permitted, but due to the nature of the aquarium experience, kids and parents will enjoy their visit more without a stroller. Free child carriers are available to be borrowed from Guest Services.
- A visit can last anywhere from 1 to 3+ hours. We explored for close to an hour and a half and there was still so much more we could have done.
We are so glad we made the trip across the river the The Newport Aquarium and cannot wait to make a return trip. As my daughter grows and her interests change there will be more for her to see and explore at the aquarium.
Disclaimer: The Newport Aquarium provided me and my family with complimentary admission. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.