Giant Sea Life Sand Sculptures Taking Shape at Newport Aquarium

Didn’t get to make it to the beach this summer? Newport Aquarium is bringing the beach to you. #SharkSummer has been extended with the addition of giant sea life sand sculptures to be discovered along the adventure. During this promotion, one child gets in free with each full price adult on select dates and times.

14.5 tons of sand help comprise three large sand sculptures in Newport Aquarium. This one celebrates the aquarium’s 20th anniversary.

 

International grandmaster sand sculptor Damon Farmer is producing the custom sculptures. They will feature dozens of animals from the aquarium and will reach up to 8 feet tall. The sculptures are produced from more than 14.5 tons of sand. Guests visiting from Monday July 22 to Thursday July 25 will get to see the artist in action, actually producing the huge sculptures. Starting Friday July 26 they will be fully complete and on display through the end of #SharkSummer on September 8.

Guests can see grandmaster sand sculptor Damon Farmer in action this week while he builds the 6-8 foot tall sand sculptures.

 

In honor of #SharkSummer, each of the sand sculptures will include sharks and hidden elements for families to discover. “These sculptures are just so detailed. Everything from sharks to sea turtles and penguins will be seen but the closer you look, the more you’ll see down to the smallest of fish and corals,” said Newport Aquarium Executive Director, Eric Rose. “They really are a celebration of all the animals, perfect as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary this year.”

Each sand sculpture has a different theme. This is the beginning of “Turtle Reef” inside Stingray Hideaway, it will feature sea turtles, stingrays and many more aquatic animals. Each sculpture will also include a shark, signifying #SharkSummer.

Shark Capital of the Midwest
Guests can journey through the aquarium, discovering what makes this Tri-State gem the shark capital of the Midwest. See sharks like never before when you “dare to cross” Shark Bridge over the open waters of the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. Touch five different species of sharks in Shark Central. Then, get nose-to-nose with sharks when they swim next to you and above you as you venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic tunnels.

Sand sculptor, Damon Farmer, references some of his inspiration as he sculpts a shark on top of this sand sculpture.

#SharkSummer is the perfect time to visit with extended hours, Newport Aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until August 31. The 1 Kid FREE offer is available during select dates and times until September 8, and tickets must be purchased online.

Shark Summer Takeover Tuesday: Raising Sharks

Hello, my name is Sam and I am one of the aquatic biologists here at Newport Aquarium! If you are looking for me around the aquarium you will most likely find me behind the Dangerous and Deadly gallery or working in Shark Central. Working with aquatic animals, especially elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) is my passion and I am thankful every day that I have the opportunity to use my passion here! Sam

 

Fuji is one of our Japanese Bullhead Sharks in Shark Central. He came to us malnourished and not eating on his own. Scott Brehob, the biologist who took care of the sharks in Shark Central before me, developed a method of tube feeding him nutrient-packed slurry and Fuji started to gain weight and his health improved. I was able to use what Scott started to get Fuji eating solid foods with little assistance and I am excited to say that he is doing better than ever!

It’s breakfast time in Shark Central. I hand feed Fuji, one of our Japanese bullhead sharks.

One of my favorite parts about being a biologist is seeing the animals I take care of grow and show signs of improved health. A method I use to measure the growth of my animals is to periodically record weight and length. Here two other biologists, Matt and Jen, are helping me measure the length of Fuji. I am very fortunate to be part of such a supportive and helpful team of biologists here at the Aquarium!

Assistant Curator, Matt, and Senior Biologist, Jen, assist during our Shark Central checkups.

One way that I ensure my animals are getting proper nutrition is by feeding them a variety of food sources and supplementing their diets with vitamins.

Most animals will not just eat the vitamin tablet by itself, so I have to hide it in the food I feed them!

Another cool animal I get to take care of is an electric eel! If you notice I am using a plastic feeding stick because full grown electric eels, such as this one, have been known to produce electrical pulses of up to 700 volts! So when I work with him I have to be sure to use equipment that does not conduct electricity!  electric eel

This little guy is a porcupine pufferfish. He has one of the biggest personalities out of all of my animals. When I come up to his tank he will swim right up to the surface of the tank expecting food. If I am not feeding him that day he will actually spit water at me! I never realized that fish could have such different personalities until I started working with them on a regular basis!

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Meet this friendly pufferfish in our Dangerous & Deadly gallery.

 

Lionfish are as beautiful as they are dangerous. They have 18 venomous spines and so I have to be extra careful when I am cleaning their exhibit. While they are not a problem in their native Indo-Pacific habitat, they have become a destructive invasive species in the Caribbean Ocean and are a threat to many of the native fish.

Lionfish

Lionfish are beautiful and dangerous. They’re also an invasive species.

Although most people think piranhas are vicious, they are in fact quite docile when they are well-fed. They run in packs for safety, not strength. And, they aren’t apex predators—they’re prey. Piranhas will leave you alone if you leave them alone. They travel in “shoals” to protect the inner fish in the group from attacks. When they swim in groups like this, they tend to have a hierarchy of larger, older fish towards the center and younger fish on the outer edges.

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Thanks for following me along on this #TakeoverTuesday. I grew up watching Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin, and they inspired my dream and passion to be a biologist at an Aquarium. I absolutely love working at Newport Aquarium and I can honestly say that I have started my dream career here!

Thanks for following me along on this #TakeoverTuesday. I grew up watching Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin, and they inspired my dream and passion to be a biologist at an Aquarium. I absolutely love working at Newport Aquarium and I can honestly say that I have started my dream career here!

Celebrate #SharkSummer and Meet a Baby Shark at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — Just when you thought you got the “Baby Shark” song out of your head, it’s time to celebrate Shark Summer at Newport Aquarium, with a brand new baby shark! The Shark Capital of the Midwest is kicking off the summer season and Memorial Day weekend with free kid’s admission and a fintastic event celebrating sharks! During #SharkSummer, guests will get the opportunity to journey through the aquarium, discovering fun shark facts and shark related exhibits around every corner. They’ll even get to touch sharks in Shark Central.   Plus, Sundays through Fridays, one kid (ages 2-12) gets in free after 4 p.m. with the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. This offer is available for a very limited time only from May 26 to July 21 and must be purchased online at NewportAquarium.com.

SharkSummer_BabyShark_1080New Baby Shark
Newport Aquarium is excited to announce a baby epaulette shark, born at Newport Aquarium, will be on exhibit for the first time ever during Shark Summer! Guests will also get a chance to help name the baby shark this summer. Once grown, the epaulette shark will follow in her parents’ “fin-prints” and become an ambassador for her species through the WAVE Foundation’s Wave on Wheels community outreach efforts. In the meantime, guests can watch her grow up in her new home inside the Seahorses gallery.

Extended Summer Hours
Just in time for summer, Newport Aquarium is extending its summer hours and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily between May 25 and August 31.

Two Summers of Fun with an Annual Pass
For a limited time only, guests will get two extra months free when they purchase an Annual Pass.  That’s 14 months of fun and discovery for the price of 12 months, plus exclusive Passholder events, bring a friend free days and additional savings throughout the year. Plus, be the first to know about VIP experiences as Newport Aquarium celebrates its 20th anniversary all year long.02SharkSummerLogoWithSurfBoards_PNG - Copy

#SharkSummer
With extra time and free kid’s admission, guests have the opportunity to visit Newport Aquarium for Shark Summer, which runs May 26 to July 21. See sharks like never before when you cross over the open waters of the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit on Shark Bridge. Experience what it feels like to touch five different species in Shark Central. Then, get nose-to-nose with sharks when they swim next to you and above you as you venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic tunnels.

Shark-Infested Activities during #SharkSummer

Shark Nursery – See shark eggs from three different species of sharks. Guests will have the opportunity to see the early stages of life as a baby shark grows in the egg.

Shark Bridge – More than 3 million thrill-seekers have dared to cross Shark Bridge! Included with admission, Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long rope bridge suspended just inches above nearly two dozen sharks.

Shark Talks and Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks in Shark Ray Bay Theater. Divers take questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the huge habitat.

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Explore the tunnels, and be Surrounded by Sharks!

Shark Tank Feed – Guests can watch biologists feed the sharks and shark rays from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, Surrounded by Sharks tunnels or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Tank Overlook.

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Guests can touch more than a dozen different sharks in Shark Central.

Touch Sharks – Inside Shark Central, guests have the opportunity to touch more than a dozen kelp forest sharks including Japanese bullhead sharks, Port Jackson, Leopard Catshark and Striped Catshark species. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper technique to touch sharks and helps them understand each species in this international collection.

For more information, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).

Newport Aquarium Named One of Top Aquariums in the Country

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium was just named one of USA Today’s 10 Best Aquariums in the country. A panel of experts in zoo and family travel nominated the aquarium into the top 20, and thanks to thousands of fans who voted for their favorite, Newport Aquarium came in at #6.Newport-Aquarium_54_990x660

Newport Aquarium is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with a year full of announcements and new exhibits. The 20th anniversary year kicked off with the opening of Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown AdventureFreshwater Falls just opened in April, and features dozens of species of plants and animals among 13 tanks. Highlights of the new exhibit include a cross section of a cascading stream and waterfall both bursting with aquatic life. A trip through a tunnel will give nature lovers a look beneath the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat that often goes unseen.Freshwater Falls Family 2

Aquariums put us face to fin with aquatic life from the world’s oceans, lakes and waterways in a fun and educational setting. The best aquariums also play a vital role in animal conservation by taking part in rescue efforts and advocating for the environmental health of our oceans. Newport Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and nominated by a panel of 10Best experts, representing the best in North America for high quality exhibits and visitor interactions.grandparents

To learn more about Freshwater Falls, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

New Freshwater Falls Exhibit Now Open at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — A new exhibit is now open to the public at Newport Aquarium. Freshwater Falls lets guests take a peek at what lies below the rippling surface of cascading streams and waterfalls around the world. The exhibit includes several species never before seen at Newport Aquarium including a pair of eastern hellbenders, large aquatic salamanders who breathe through pores in their skin. The new exhibit is in dedication to the aquarium’s 20th Anniversary which is being celebrated this year.Freshwater Falls Now Open

Freshwater Falls features dozens of species of plants and animals among 13 tanks. Highlights of the new exhibit include a cross section of a cascading stream and waterfall both bursting with aquatic life. A trip through a tunnel will give nature lovers a look beneath the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat that often goes unseen.

Cascading Stream:
See into a cross section of a cascading stream through the Congo. Discover animals like the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air, and the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose.

Freshwater Falls

Discover animals like the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air, and the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose.

 

Waterfall Cross Section:
Peer into a cross section of a Central American waterfall, home to a diverse collection of cichlids. These brightly colored fish come in countless sizes and shapes and are known for their social structure and being very attentive parents.

Freshwater Falls Family 2

Beneath the Falls:
Enter the first tunnel of the aquarium and experience what it’s like to be underwater beneath a Kentucky waterfall. See fish like bass, black crappie and perch as you’ve never seen them before amid the turbulent, bubbling waters.

To learn more about Freshwater Falls, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

Freshwater Falls Exhibit Opening at Newport Aquarium in April

NEWPORT, Ky. — As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, Newport Aquarium announced today they will be opening a new exhibit this spring. Freshwater Falls will let guests take a peek at what lies below the rippling surface of cascading streams and waterfalls around the world.FreshwaterFalls_ComingApril2019_640x300

“There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of water cascading down a stream and nothing more invigorating than the roaring rush of a waterfall,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium’s Executive Director. “The movement of the water draws us to these places but the rippling surface often hides the real wonder that lies beneath.”

Freshwater Falls will feature dozens of species of plants and animals among 13 tanks. Highlights of the new exhibit include a cross section of a cascading stream and waterfall both bursting with aquatic life. A trip through a tunnel will give nature lovers a look beneath the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat that often goes unseen.

NPAQ_FreshwaterFalls2019_CascadingTankRendering

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Cascading Stream:
See into a cross section of a cascading stream through the Congo. Discover animals like the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air, and the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose.

Lungfish_1920x1080

The West African lungfish can breathe air.

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The elephantnose fish has electroreceptors used for finding food and navigation.

 

Waterfall Cross Section:
Peer into a cross section of a Central American waterfall, home to a diverse collection of cichlids. These brightly colored fish come in countless sizes and shapes and are known for their social structure and being very attentive parents.

Beneath the Falls:
Enter the first tunnel of the aquarium and experience what it’s like to be underwater beneath a Kentucky waterfall. See fish like bass, black crappie and perch as you’ve never seen them before amid the turbulent, bubbling waters.

Special Admission Offers:
Through February 24, 2019, all Annual Passes are on sale for just $34.99 when purchased online at NewportAquarium.com. That’s a savings of up to $16. The aquarium is also offering one free child admission with each full price adult through February 28, 2019.

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To learn more about Freshwater Falls, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

 

 

Newport Aquarium Kicks Off 20th Anniversary with Opening of New Exhibit and Free Child Admission Offer

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NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium began celebrating their 20th Anniversary today with the opening of a new exhibit, Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure. Just in time for winter weather, the new area provides an indoor space for kids to play and learn as they explore environments from the popular PBS KIDS series, Splash and Bubbles. The aquarium has also announced that now through February 28, 2019, families can get one free child admission with each full-price adult ticket.

Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure lets kids climb and slide through Coral Cove, a three-level play structure. Families can also visit the Kelp Forest, an entirely new area never before available to guests. There they can color their own fishy friends before setting them loose digitally into the animated world of Splash and Bubbles. As they explore and learn about our One Big Ocean and the animals that call it home, kids can also become a Reeftown Ranger, just like in the show.

“As we start our 20th Anniversary year, it’s inspiring to think about the millions of visitors who have built special connections at Newport Aquarium.” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium’s Executive Director. “This new experience gives us even more opportunities to help parents teach their little ones that it’s fun to learn about animals and important to protect our oceans.”

Highlights of the new experience include:

Reeftown Adventure:
Just like Splash and Bubbles do on TV, guests will “Catch a current” as they enter this fun new experience on their way to explore and play in Reeftown, Coral Cove, Kelp Forest and other environments from the show.NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_Entrance_1080

 

Reeftown Ranger:
Kids can learn about the importance of ocean conservation through fun hands-on games as they earn their status as an official “Reeftown Ranger.”
NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_ReefftownRangerStation_1080

Kelp Forest:
Parents and kids can color a fish that reflects their own personality. Then, through the magic of technology, they’ll bring their creations to life and watch them swim through the world of Splash and Bubbles, along with popular characters from the show.NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_KelpForest_1080

About Splash and Bubbles:
Splash and Bubbles are the stars of the ocean-themed animated kids’ series of the same name on PBS KIDS. The show encourages children to explore the natural undersea world and features endearing and humorous characters on fun-filled adventures. Splash and Bubbles can be seen on local PBS station, CET. The TV show is co-produced by Herschend Entertainment Studios and the Emmy Award-winning The Jim Henson Company, creators of Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train.

npaq_1kidfree_snb_outdoorposter_20191 Kid Free Offer:
From January 7 to February 28, 2019, Newport Aquarium is offering 1 free child admission with each full-price adult ticket purchased. Advance ticket purchase online is highly recommended to secure your time of entry and is available at NewportAquarium.com. Tickets can also be purchased in advance by calling 800-406-FISH (3474).

To learn more about Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.