Mom Report: Stingray Hideaway

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Newport Aquarium has always been a family favorite in our house. From the sharks, the large Grouper named Brutus, and the waddling penguins, my family always enjoys trips to the aquarium. Newport Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Stingray Hideaway opened May 5. The stingrays are located in a newly renovated area where the otters formerly were. The Stingrays are housed in a 17,000 gallon pool which includes areas to touch the stingrays.

My daughter was pumped to see the new exhibit and nearly tripped over her own feet trying to rush to see it. She immediately fell in love with the tiny stingray which we learned is named Finn! Finn is only a few months old and was born at Newport Aquarium as one of the stingrays was pregnant when she was rescued. (Insert impromptu vocabulary lesson on the word rescued!)

The new exhibit includes a “tunnel” open to kids and adults (FYI, it is sized for kids) where you can go under the tank and watch the stingrays swim. I crawled in with my little girl and we loved watching the rays “smile” at us as they swam over and we pretended that they were playing games of tag. After watching them swim for a while, we made our way to the tube in the middle of the tank and popped our heads up to get a 360 degree view of the tank and the stingrays gliding through the water. Finally, we exited the tunnel and made our way to touch (with two fingers, of course) the stingrays!

After checking out Stingray Hideaway, we made sure to enjoy all of the other fabulous parts of the aquarium including the penguins, sharks, Frog Bog, and of course Shark Bridge! My daughter was a bit nervous, but made it across by herself and finished up by flexing her “strong girl” muscles.

Before leaving, my daughter BEGGED to take a stingray home. I had to explain to her that we are unable to care for one in her bathtub. She was pumped to see a table in the gift shop full of stingrays and decided that a plush ray would be just fine. Of course, as soon as we got home she immediately ran into her brother’s room to tell him all about the new exhibit and now he is counting down the days until he can go and check it out. Stingray Hideaway was a BIG hit!

Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!

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