Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa

During the holiday season, there are many opportunities to meet the Man in Red, as he makes his way around Cincinnati. One of the most unique experiences takes place “under the sea” at Newport Aquarium.

 Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa takes place now through Dec. 31 and is a one-of-a-kind holiday tradition in Cincinnati. 


Every year, Newport Aquarium is transformed into a wintery water wonderland, with a few special additions to make a visit this time of year even more festive.

Highlights this year include dozens of adorable baby American alligators spending their first Christmas in their new home with “Christmas in Gator Alley,” along with the rare white alligators with the seasonally inspired names Snowball and Snowflake.

The Aquarium is a great spot to take your family all year long, but winter may just be the best time to escape the cold and wander through an underwater getaway.

You’ll love the tunnels that make you feel like you’re in the water with the various fish and sharks, the learning opportunities throughout and the interactive play area.

But Scuba Santa is the highlight of the event and you need to make sure you plan a visit with the jolly elf.

Visit Shark Ray Bay Theater where you can meet Scuba Santa one-on-one and tell him what you want for Christmas. Santa’s hours are as follows: 

  • Nov. 29-Dec. 19: Mon-Thurs, 11am-2pm/Fri-Sun, 11am-4pm;
  • Dec. 20-30: 11am-4pm daily;*
  • Dec. 31: 11am-3pm/5pm-5:30pm**
    • *No Scuba Santa on Dec. 25
    • **New Year’s Eve Kid’s Countdown on Dec. 31, 3:30-5:30 pm

It turns out that Santa is quite the scuba diver — and he can’t wait to meet your family!

You’ll find Santa and a couple of his elves hanging inside the 385,000-gallon shark tank. Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa lets you kids walk right up and chat with Santa through a microphone and tell him what you want for Christmas. There are plenty of photo ops and an opportunity to purchase a professional, keepsake picture.

2019 Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa highlights include:


Scuba Santa’s Bubble Showers

Every 10 minutes from 11 am-4 pm, Scuba Santa will fill Shark Ray Bay Theater with bubbles. Kids are encouraged to pop as many bubbles as they can. Legend has it, every time a bubble pops, a wish will come true for some lucky person around the world.

Scuba Santa’s Post Office

Nov. 29-Dec. 31, make sure to visit Scuba Santa’s Post Office in Penguin Palooza where kids can write a special holiday wish on a Magic Wish Bubble and drop it in Scuba Santa’s mailbox.

Scuba Santa Breakfast

Dec. 14-15, enjoy breakfast with Scuba Santa and his Water Wonderland in Shark Ray Bay Theater. Your family will be treated to a hot breakfast buffet along with festive activities including Candy Cane Lane Bowling, an ornament craft, cookie decorating and more. Then your family will be escorted by Scuba Santa’s elves to Shark Ray Bay Theater for a special one-on-one meet and greet with the jolly underwater elf himself while he swims with a tank full of sharks! Tickets are available here and include all-day access to Newport Aquarium and Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland.

Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa at Newport Aquarium is open daily until Dec. 31If it’s not already, make this a holiday family tradition for the most unique visit with Santa you’ll find south of the North Pole! For more information, check out Newport Aquarium’s website.

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