As usual, I wasn’t prepared for the trip, this time to Newport Aquarium. I packed twice the night before and once again in the morning, because every time I turned around, my two little humans were unpacking the suitcase and using it for a doll bed. I was worried I’d forget an essential item. And worse, I wondered would my kids enjoy the aquarium. Would I forget something? Did the kids have fun on our aquarium adventure? Did we go across the Newport Aquarium Shark Bridge?
A Visit to the Newport Aquarium with the Kids
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Packing isn’t my forte
“Shes not feeling well, mama,” said my 3 year old daughter about the doll. “She needs milk!”
“I have the milk,” my 4 year old son would then announce.
“She feels better!” Exclaimed my daughter.
It was adorable. It was also frustrating. I have to admit to grumbling about it, especially the morning we were trying to leave. They’d strewn the clothes and sundries all over our first floor.
“Please stop playing with the suitcase,” I grumbled. “I’m going to forget something!”
Anxiety rears its head
I felt anxious. This trip had snuck up on me. I’d done all preparations the day before. Some, I had made the day we left. I’d been preoccupied because my older cat was very sick (he ended up getting better).
Again, the morning of our trip found me feeling like things weren’t going as planned (much like this trip). However, once we were on the road, it was smooth sailing. We arrived at the Newport Aquarium at 3 pm. This was plenty of time for us to explore before the 6 pm closing time.
Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky (not Cincinnati. Ohio)
My kids were fascinated and practically running to see the next thing. We did catch the end of the last dive show, where they were still for a few minutes. There was a moment that the diver was talking and out of the darkness came a great white heading straight for him, veering at the last moment. It was awesome!
Don’t poke the shark
When the show was over, I asked the host if the 2nd guy was the muscle, if you will, or a bodyguard. It is important to note: They don’t poke or hit the sharks with the stick (which I didn’t suspect anyway). Sharks can sense the stick and will veer sooner and not run into the diver who was doing the presentation. The 2nd diver was basically traffic control.
“Also, Denver likes to chew on it,” the dry side host informed me. “Denver is a turtle.”
Alligators at the Newport Aquarium – A Mighty Mike Update
Mighty Mike, the largest alligator on display outside of Florida, has a permanent home in “Gator Alley.” He was found in 2000 in Florida and due to his size and potential to be a threat, was declared a nuisance and ordered to be destroyed.
However, the trapper knew he was special (because Mighty Mike is ginormous) and was able to contact a reptile expert and help turn Mighty Mike into an ambassador for his species. He used to be a traveling gator, but now he’s settled down (Source.)
The other alligators we saw are the albino alligators named Snowball and Snowflake. I was only able to see one, but I rewarded with a beautiful picture. I’m totally in love with their cuteness!
July, 2018 update on Mighty Mike: Mighty Mike is leaving the Newport Aquarium and moving back to the Crocodilian Conservation Center in Florida. Mike is 800 lbs and 14 feet long. I absolute cannot imagine the logistics of moving such a large creature. His last day on display at the Newport is September 9, 2018.
There is a lot to see at the Newport Aquarium. I saw some creatures I’ve never seen before. There is enough to keep little people entertained, including a neat play structure in the Frog Bog area. It is a little dark and my kids were nervous on it, but I think with a few more visits, they’d have gotten into exploring it. It looked really cool from the outside. I didn’t climb in to check it out.
Your kids may surprise you
Near the end, there is an opportunity to cross Shark Bridge. I had zero expectations about this attraction. All I knew about it was that it was a bridge over the shark tank. Sounds cool, right? There is a line entrance and the staff member there said you can’t turn around once you are on the bridge. However, you can go right up to it and look at it before stepping on to it. Kids (and adults) have to walk it themselves, they aren’t allowed to be carried. And really, after seeing and experiencing this thing, that’s a good policy.
“You are welcome to look. Your kids may surprise you, ” he said. Thanks for the reminder, staff member! Sure enough, my kids surprised me and walked across Shark Bridge!
Info! The 411! And the answer to: did I forget anything?
Information, including current prices, can be found the Newport Aquarium website. It’s worth a visit if you are in the Newport, Kentucky/Cincinnati, Ohio area! Check for discount tickets online or at Kroger (the local grocery store).
And as promised, the answer to the burning question: did I forget something? Yes! I forgot to pack my clothes. Yes, really.
The Shark Bridge
It is not a normal bridge. Even their website description of “a suspension rope bridge” did not conjure the image of what it actually is. It’s sturdy and safe. It’s also challenging, though not because it’s exactly strenuous. Go try for yourself. You’ll see!
Would we go again? Absolutely. We rushed through everything. I’d like to go back to look and enjoy at a leisurely pace. It’s a great place, even for little kids!
Have you been to Newport Aquarium? What’s your favorite aquatic creature? Would you cross the Shark Bridge?