Sleeping with the Sharks at Newport Aquarium

Sleeping with the Sharks at the Newport Aquarium

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.

Newport Aquarium 8

What to Expect During the Newport Aquarium Overnight

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 the staff questions while we waited for the rest of the overnight guests to arrive.

Newport Aquarium 9

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.

Newport Aquarium 19

Tour the Aquarium with a Staff Member

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 about the animals and sea life inside the aquarium.

Newport Aquarium 11

My boys were also asking lots of questions which I loved, because if you are asking questions, you are learning.

Newport Aquarium 18

It was pretty amazing to have our own personal tour guide the whole evening who was a wealth of knowledge.

Overnight at the Aquarium 11

Behind the Scenes Tour at Newport Aquarium

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.

Overnight at the Aquarium 8

Get Upclose with Animals

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.

Overnight at the Aquarium 9

The touch tanks are always popular where kids can touch sharks after they learn the official “two-finger” technique. 

Overnight at the Aquarium 6

Walk Across the Shark Bridge

During your tour, you also get to walk above nearly 2 dozen sharks as you cross the world’s first and only shark bridge.

Overnight at the Aquarium 7

The net is very sturdy and safe ( for both humans and sharks)allowing you to safely walk a few feet above the Shark tank.

Newport Aquarium 12

Snacks and Games in the Cafe

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.

Overnight at Newport Aquarium

Where can you Sleep During the Overnight at the Aquarium?

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.

Newport Aquarium 6

Sleeping in the Shark Tunnel 

The tunnels are a very popular spot to sleep and the spaces in the tunnels fill up really quickly.

Overnight at Newport Aquarium

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.


Newport Aquarium 15

We chose to lay on top of the section of the tunnel where you could also see the sharks below you too.

Newport Aquarium 4

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. It was totally worth it!

Newport Aquarium 3

Sleep in the Jellyfish Room

The jellyfish room would definitely be a relaxing second place option. 

Newport Aquarium 5

I really enjoy watching the jellyfish move in the tanks.

Overnight at the Aquarium 3

There is also more room to spread out in that space. 

Overnight at the Aquarium 18

A Quiet Morning Waking Up in the Shark Tunnel

I really enjoyed waking up before everyone with the quiet views of sea life swimming above and below me.

Overnight at the Aquarium 16

It’s not completely dark while you sleep which makes it easier if you do need to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. 

Overnight at the Aquarium 21

My younger son did temporarily forget that he slept in the aquarium when he woke up that morning.

It is a bit surreal.

Overnight at the Aquarium 22

Morning Activites 

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.

Newport Aquarium 14

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!

Overnight at the Aquarium

More Information on Newport Aquarium Overnights

Call 859-815-1471 to RSVP!

(Overnight guests must be at least 6 years old)

You can find out more about Newport Aquarium Overnights from their website.

Newport Aquarium 2

Newport Aquarium is located at One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071.

Disclosure: I received complimentary overnights for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Save this article for later. Pin the image below>>

Sleeping with the sharks Newport Aquarium

5 thoughts on “Sleeping with the Sharks at Newport Aquarium”

  1. I have had this on my must to adventures, too! We have two under 6 still so we have to wait till another year of one parent take the bigger two, lol

Leave a Comment