Favorite kid-friendly attractions at Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium is the perfect place to spend a winter day in Cincinnati. Located just across the river, this Northern Kentucky gem is an entire world unto itself; you’ll explore worlds and biomes under the sea that seem unreal and otherworldly. There is so much to do and explore at Newport Aquarium — it can be quite overwhelming for families!

Here are my favorite kid-friendly attractions at Newport Aquarium:

Stingray Hideaway (pictured)

This exhibit epitomizes what the Aquarium does best, as it allows for up-close, hand-on exploration. You’ll get up-close and even touch two different species of stingrays. Then, enter their world as you journey through kid-friendly underwater tubes where stingrays soar above and all around you!

Shore Gallery

Kids interact with the world by touching… everything. And Newport Aquarium’s Shore Gallery is a place to do just that! Have your kids use their “two finger” touches on a Horseshoe Crab or Sea Star. This area is near the beginning and really allows kids to immerse themselves in the whole aquarium experience.


My kids love penguins, and Newport Aquarium doesn’t disappoint. There are cold- and warm-climate penguins, but the cold-weather guys at Penguin Palooza are our favorite. (There are King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins!) The penguins are just so adorable and silly. Tip: be sure to go during a penguin show!!

Ring of Fire

Deep in the depths of the Pacific Ocean lie a cast of creatures who don’t look real. The Giant Pacific Octopus, Moon Jellyfish and Japanese Spider Crabs all call this volatile region home, and you’ll be in awe of these crazy creatures.

Gator Alley

This exhibit is kind of uncanny. The gators don’t look real; my kids thought they were statues! These guys are huge and unruly and really something to see for those brave enough to venture over.

Surrounded by Sharks

This is the quintessential Newport Aquarium experience — walk through a tunnel as water-dwelling creatures swim and dance all around. Sharks, sting rays, turtles… it really is quite magical.

Winter is the perfect time to experience all Newport Aquarium has to offer. From now through Feb. 28, it’s Newport Aquarium’s Winter Family Days. During Winter Family Days, one child (ages 2-12) gets in free with each full price adult! This is a great excuse to visit one of our area’s coolest attractions.

For more information, visit Newport Aquarium’s website.

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