I received complimentary tickets to the Newport Aquarium. My words and views are my own. Enjoy!
Captain and Mrs. Captain happen to be the type of parents that believe that fun and learning can go hand in hand. Over Fall Break we had an opportunity to take a trip to a place that supports such thinking – the Newport Aquarium (located two minutes from downtown Cincinnati in Newport, Kentucky). Honestly, it is too much fun not to mention hence the blog post.
I could give you a myriad of reasons to visit the Newport Aquarium, but I will instead boil it down to 5.
#1 Size- Size does indeed matter when you have kids in tow. The beauty of Newport Aquarium is that it is big enough to enjoy, but not so big that it is overwhelming for small children. You can comfortably visit all of the exhibits in about an hour and a half to two hours. You can certainly extend that visit for a longer period – especially if you have older children who want to explore the areas in greater detail. We felt like our two hour visit was the perfect amount of time for having a 2 and 6 year-old in tow.
#2 Interaction- It is one thing to simply look at animals. It is another thing to actually be able to interact with them. Newport Aquarium offers two separate areas where you can actually reach out and touch animals. The Eldest was thrilled when she had the opportunity to see sea stars and crabs up close and even touch some of them. The friendly hosts at the exhibit answered questions and assisted with the hands on experience. She even had the opportunity to touch a shark in the Shark Central exhibit.
#3 Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine, and Spike- Shark Rays. Yes, I said Shark Rays. The Newport Aquarium boasts the largest number of Shark Rays on display. In. The. World. They are beautiful creatures. Located in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit, you can’t help but be captivated by these four characters and the other sharks that literally swim around you. The sharks are stunning, and the tank is breathtaking. I, personally, would spend most of my time there if I went alone. What will bring me back to the aquarium is the fact that you can watch the large sharks be fed. We did however get to see the divers feed the smaller sharks and some fish. One of the divers he swam up to the glass and gave The Diaper Dweller a “pound” through the glass. He thought that was pretty funny. I saw it as indicative of the fact that the employees enjoy what they do and love to share this underwater world with visitors.
#4 Mighty Mike- Not to be confused with that Magical Mike dude, this 800 pound gator (yes I said 800 pound) is a marvel to see. He didn’t do a whole lot when we saw him, but he didn’t need to either. He is 14 feet long, estimated to be about 50 years old, and eats about 300 pounds worth of food every year. He is a “traveling ambassador for American Alligators”, and has already escaped being “destroyed” when he was discovered near a boat dock in Florida. I have never seen a gator up close before. I was just a few feet away from Mighty Mike (separated by glass) and was amazed by his size and beauty. We also got to check out several other reptiles nearby.
#5 Fun- Did I mention that learning can be fun? We had a blast. A trip to the Newport Aquarium is no dull trip. As we were walking in, there was a family returning for the second day of their adventure. They were going back to the aquarium to take part in the Penguin Encounter. They told us how much they had enjoyed the previous day’s visit and how much our kids would enjoy it. This is definitely a destination that will not disappoint. They bill the aquarium as “A million gallons of fun.” I really think that they underestimate how much fun (and learning) there really is. I can’t wait to go back again, and something tells me that I am not the only one that feels this way.
For now…Captain out.