The all-new Coral Reef Tunnel at Newport Aquarium boasts more than 40 species of colorful fish and replicas of dozens of types of colorful coral. Families will be surrounded by breathtaking views in this 360-degree underwater oasis. Look for the unicornfish, butterfly fish and the dog-face puffer fish, too, while you’re at it! Kids of all ages will love it, but do be aware of their attention spans:
Visiting the Aquarium with Littles
— Give your toddler the scoop on the scene: If your toddler is scared of the dark, make sure you tell him that the aquarium is dark and cool because it helps keep the fish healthy.
— Plan out a schedule for your aquarium visit: A toddler will probably have had his fill of fish after an hour-and-a-half or two hours, so make sure you leave time for kids’ favorite attractions, like live demos and touch tanks.
— Scope out the stroller policy: Some aquariums make you park your stroller at the entrance because of narrow paths between tanks. Newport Aquarium allows strollers but also suggests that your kids may enjoy their visit more without the stroller. If your wee one’s not much of a walker (or if you don’t have an easy, lightweight stroller for your toddler), you may want to hold off on the aquarium visit for a while.
— Be ready to retreat: Newport has tanks over, under and all around you. This can be overwhelming to a toddler, who’s still figuring out how the world works (so fish above his head and below his feet can be confusing). If your child seems scared or overstimulated, head somewhere low-key, like the café, to take a break. If necessary, abort this toddler outing and try again in a couple of months.
The aquarium is located at One Aquarium Way in Newport, Kentucky. Call 1-800-406-3474 or visit newportaquarium.com for more information.