Mermaids will be swimming into Newport Aquarium in Northern Kentucky this fall for the first time in three years.
On select days, from Sept. 23 through Oct. 22, the magical creatures will swim, play and entertain underwater as they meet visitors up close.
Madison Brady, public relations manager at Newport Aquarium said there are three different areas for guests to see and interact with the mermaids.
“You’ll get to meet mermaids, see them swim underwater, and you get to hear all about the adventures they’ve had while swimming the world’s waterways to get to Newport Aquarium, she said. “It’s the closest you’re going to get to the ocean, and a fairytale, without really going that far. The interaction itself is also special. It’s so immersive and interesting. It’s something that people might talk about for years.”
The mermaid experience will begin in Shark Ray Bay Theater where visitors will be welcomed by a mermaid on her throne. This is a photo opportunity while rare shark rays and a curious sea turtle swim nearby. It’s also a chance to become a part of their world while learning about the mermaids’ journey to Newport Aquarium.
Coming from all around the globe, the mermaids share a mission to protect our oceans and waterways from single-use plastics and they engage visitors to help.
“What’s really amazing about the mermaids is you see this special connection with kids of all ages. We have adults who are in awe, and they can’t believe what they are seeing,’’ Brady said. “When you see a child watching the mermaids do a flip, or they blow a bubble kiss at them, their entire face lights up. It’s so cool to be a part of that and make that connection possible.”
Guests will also explore Mermaid Cove, where the mermaids have turned a corner of the aquarium into their own tropical hideaway. This allows mermaids to swim right up to meet their human friends for a photo, song or a story. Mermaids may even let guests touch their tails as they flip playfully in the water.
The mermaids will be diving underwater in the 60,000-gallon Coral Reef Tunnel surrounded by hundreds of tropical fish. There, visitors will take in their underwater acrobatics with flips and beautiful flowing tails.
“Mermaids is the kind of experience that goes beyond the normal to something that is truly extraordinary,” said Rebecca Foster, executive director at Newport Aquarium. “When you see the look on a child’s face when they see a real mermaid swimming underwater, it is nothing short of magic.”
“Mermaids” is included with general admission and Newport Aquarium memberships. The experience will run on select days with the mermaids not on exhibit on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With the aquarium’s Plan-Ahead-Pricing program, visitors can find discounted ticket prices when purchased early at NewportAquarium.com.
“There are also some fun extras online as well, like the chance to have breakfast with the mermaids. We haven’t announced dates yet, but that’s something to keep an eye on,” Brady said.
How to go
What: ‘Mermaids’ at Newport Aquarium
When: Sept. 23-Oct. 22, select days
Where: Newport Aquarium, 1 Levee Way, Newport, Ky.
Online (tickets): newportaquarium.com