An overnight adventure at Newport Aquarium, where you can sleep with the sharks, is an experience that ranks really high on my all time favorite adventure list. That really says a lot considering that our family has been fortunate to have experienced a lot of incredible adventures. I love getting opportunities to experience something that you can’t replicate anywhere else. This is one of those types of experiences.
My younger son was a little nervous about sleeping in the shark tunnel. I feel like Shark Week is partially responsible for both his fear and fascination with sharks.
In the end, fascination won thankfully.
Our overnight started in Shark Ray Bay theater that showcases a large viewing window. You can watch a moving display of aquatic life in one of the larger tanks that holds most of the sharks.
Everyone was asking questions while we waited for everyone on the overnight to arrive. You would think that sharks would be the most dangerous to the aquarium divers but it’s actually “Denver” the sea turtle who is extremely curious who is the source of the most stories from the divers.
The room was divided into groups led by a staff member. Our leader was named David and he did an excellent job sharing so much information.
My boys were also asking lots of questions which I loved, because if you are asking questions, you are learning. It was pretty amazing to have our own personal tour guide the whole evening who was a wealth of knowledge.
The aquarium tour took us back to areas that are not open to the public where we got to feed corn to some of the animals from the top of the Amazon tank.
It’s really incredible to view all of the tanks from above.
We also got to go across the Shark Bridge a few times that allows you to safely walk a few feet above the Shark tank.
Each group took a turn that evening in the cafe to play shark bingo and receive their snack. I would recommend eating a large dinner before you check into the overnight because your snack time can vary depending on your group schedule. I would also recommend bringing a sweatshirt because the aquarium can get cold.
During your tour, you have plenty of opportunities to get up close with a variety of animals at the exhibits and during demonstrations from staff.
When it was time to pick our sleeping quarters, we had a few options. The tunnel areas and the jellyfish room were the two big options to chose from.
That option was a no brainer for us. When given the option to sleep with the sharks, you sleep with the sharks.
The tunnels fill up really quickly.
We chose to lay on top of the area where you could also see the sharks below you too.
The jellyfish room would definitely be a relaxing second place option. I really enjoy watching the jellyfish move in the tanks.
When you sleep in a shark tunnel, you don’t have a lot of room for luxuries like air mattresses. I would suggest a really thick camping mat if you have one. I didn’t sleep great that night but I didn’t care. I kind of enjoyed waking up before everyone with the quiet of sea life swimming above and below me.
My younger son did temporarily forget that he slept in the aquarium when he woke up that morning. It is a bit surreal.
In the morning, we had a light breakfast in the cafe area. We had enough time to pack up of sleeping bags, eat and have some time to play in the Frog Bog area that has a playground structure and interactive exhibits.
Our adventure concluded with another talk in the Shark Ray Bay theater. I was honestly extremely impressed with the staff and the overall experience of the overnight. I would highly recommend it to anyone. An overnight at Newport Aquarium truly is a one of a kind adventure!
Call 859-815-1471 to RSVP!
(must be at least 6 years old)
You can find out more about Newport Aquarium Overnights from their website.
Newport Aquarium is located at One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071.
Disclosure: I received complimentary overnights for review purposes. All opinions are my own.