Aquariums around Cincinnati, OH

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Elegant, quaint Cincinnati. If you’re visiting this charming city to see family, as a vacation, or if you’re a local looking for something interesting to do, look no further than the wealth of aquatic life around the city.  Read on for some of our favorite aquarium experiences around Cincinnati.

Newport Aquarium

The premier attraction for aquatic life here in Cincinnati is the Newport Aquarium, a mission dating from the turn of the millennia that has grown to over ninety species among twenty thousand. In its various exhibits, tunnels, and million gallons of water, visitors enjoy the beauty of aquatic life while learning about conservation efforts and testing their limits in rare experiences. 

One of the Newport Aquarium’s distinct features is the number of acrylic tunnels on-site, giving an immersive and surrounding view into the world of marine life. The first of these is the ‘Surrounded By Sharks’ exhibit, a blood-pumping (but entirely safe) tunnel trip through 385,000 gallons of saltwater and various shark species. For visitors who want more of a challenge, there is also the ‘Shark Bridge’ rope bridge where visitors walk one by one over the shark tank! The less courageous can instead enjoy the views from the safety of the Shark Ray Bay Theater or touch the docile Japanese bullhead sharks at the Shark Touch. 

Next is the ‘Amazon Tunnel’, through the underside of 117,000 gallons of the Amazon River, where pacu, giant ripsaw catfish, Arrau turtles, and the mammoth arapaima swim by you! Enter the colorful neighborhood of a Coral Reef and watch divers cater to icons such as tangs, unicornfish, angelfish, surgeonfish, porcupinefish, and cownose rays! Enigmas of the Northern Hemisphere such as the Japanese spider crab, moon jellyfish, and the brilliant giant Pacific octopus reside in the ‘Ring Of Fire: World Of The Octopus’ exhibit. Gator Alley is an homage to the domain of the American alligator, while Freshwater Falls is a cross-section of the rivers from the Congo to the local falls. 

The stars of the show, however, are the five species of penguin at Penguin Palooza, where kings, gentoos, chinstraps, rockhoppers, and macaroni take center stage with their eccentric and lovable antics on the rocks and cold water of the Antarctic Exhibit. Visitors can also touch rays and a variety of Coastal Aquatic wildlife at a number of touch tanks, for a truly unique experience.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Despite its name, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has a quietly robust community of aquatic fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Fearsome predators such as the King Cobra and American Crocodile reside here along famously stoic Japanese Giant Salamanders and Galapagos Tortoises. The gentle manatee has their own exhibit complete with feedings and regular Q&A sessions, and the hippopotamus and polar bear command their own kingdoms here at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Fans of aquatic birds can also enjoy wood ducks, the eclectic African penguins, and Atlantic puffins. Did we mention the Komodo Dragons?

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