The Newport Aquarium is ranked among the best aquariums in America thanks to its impressive 70 exhibits and tunnels spanning over 200 feet. A trip to this aquarium involves close encounters with fish, frogs, jellyfish, octopuses, penguins, and other marine life.

There’s much to see, including the scheduled aquarium activities and the baby animal habitats (including little puffer fish and tiny lobsters) – all at the Hatchling Harbor.

We have tips for buying discount Newport Aquarium tickets so you don’t have to waste time trying coupons, promo codes, and deals that don’t work.

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If you’re visiting on a peak day, these are your cheapest Newport Aquarium tickets.

Quick Overview of the Newport Aquarium

The Newport Aquarium is located in Newport, Kentucky, and it allows visitors to discover the wonder of ocean life in a captivating underwater world. Dozens of exhibits house exotic fish, mollusks, jellyfish, amphibians, invertebrates, rare white alligators, and more.

Interactive exhibits let you and the kids encounter thrilling adventures with marine life. The Shark Tank Overlook lets you walk a rope bridge suspended just inches above sharks and stingrays. You can even pet a shark or skate in the 5,000-gallon Shark Central exhibit. 

Note: Many animals in interactive exhibits are fed various fish and shellfish, so anyone allergic to either should avoid touching them.

Tunnels wind through the aquarium, giving you a panoramic view of the amazing sea life within its walls. Surrounded by Sharks is an 85-foot expanse that features three Sand Tiger sharks, which are part of the Species Survival Plan. You may also be able to spot a sea turtle named Denver as you take in this coral reef ecosystem.

Among the many exhibits and galleries, there’s a play area for kids called Splash and Bubbles. It’s an interactive adventure that teaches kids about marine life while they climb and slide through Coral Cove. They can also stop by Kelp Forest and color in their own fish, then see them turn into 3D using a special scanner. 

Overall, Newport Aquarium is a family-friendly place that’s fun for all ages. You can stop by for a full day or split our exploration into a two-day trip. I’d recommend this if you have little kids who likely won’t make it for hours in their strollers.

Important Newport Aquarium Ticket Tips

Gate Prices for Tickets

Currently, the Newport Aquarium advises everyone to purchase tickets in advance. Capacities are limited, and popular days and times tend to sell out quickly. You may not get into the aquarium if you haven’t already purchased tickets for the day you plan to visit.

Buying Newport Aquarium tickets at the gate is possible, but there is no guarantee that enough space will be available for everyone in your party to enter. It’s super easy to buy beforehand and then reserve your visit online.

Newport Aquarium uses variable pricing, so the cost of tickets changes depending on the season, time of day, and demand.

Gate Prices are as follows (will vary depending on the day and season):

  • Adults (age 13+): $35.28
  • Children (age 2-12): $27.63
  • Children (age 0-1): Free
  • These prices do not include tax.

Each general admission ticket grants one person access to the aquarium and all its exhibits, galleries, and activities for one day, except for Penguin Encounter. Those tickets are sold separately.

Reservations are required

You can have one active reservation at a time and book a reservation up to 45 days before your planned visit.

You must cancel your reservation and select a new date to change your visitation date. After you use your reservation, you can book your next one.

Again, reservations are required for everyone, but the booking process changes slightly depending on your situation. 

If you bought Newport Aquarium discount tickets online that are not date-specific:

  • Log onto the aquarium’s website, click “Reservations.”
  • Click “Start Reservation”
  • Enter your ticket barcode
  • Select your visit date and time
  • Confirm your information 

If you buy Newport Aquarium tickets directly from the aquarium online, you’ll select a date and time before checking out.

Newport Aquarium Discount Ticket Options

If you want to save money on Newport Aquarium tickets, buying your tickets through a verified third-party vendor is the best way to do that.

1. Discounted Single-Day Admission

We have tickets that we offer through aRes Travel, an authorized ticket seller to theme parks across the U.S. that helps families access amazing attractions and adventures around the U.S. for less. 

There is a $2 convenience charge if you book with aRes Travel. All sales tax is included in the final price.

Even with this fee, you’ll likely save money on your Newport Aquarium tickets, especially on peak days when they’re at their highest price points.

Once you have your ticket, head onto the website and book your reservation. You’ll just have to enter your ticket barcode into the system, and you’ll be good to go.

A colorful lizard on a branch at Newport Aquarium.

2. Annual Membership Ticket Savings

You can also buy annual passes to the Newport Aquarium, which can save you a lot of money on admission if you plan to visit regularly.

There are three membership options:

Silver Annual Membership

Silver members get unlimited visits yearly and save 10% on food, souvenirs, and Penguin Encounter tickets. The cost of a Silver Membership is $59.99 plus tax.

Gold Annual Membership

The next tier up offers additional benefits such as select Bring-a-Friend-Days in the spring and fall. These days, Gold members can bring a guest with them to the aquarium and receive free admission.

Gold members also get a 15% discount at all aquarium stores and dining options, access to exclusive member-only early opening dates, exclusive invitations to new exhibits, discounts on birthday parties, $5 off guest tickets, 50% off select attractions, first access to special events, and two free parking vouchers. 

You can get a Gold Membership at the Newport Aquarium for $79.99 plus tax.

Platinum Annual Membership

Platinum members receive all the benefits of Silver and Gold members, but their only discount at shops and dining facilities is 20%. They also never need to book a reservation, so their unlimited visits for the full year can go a long way.

They’ll also receive two bonus guest tickets they can use anytime and invitations to special VIP Platinum events.

A 12-month Platinum Membership costs $109.99 plus tax.

3. Discounted Group Ticket Rates for the Newport Aquarium

Groups of 10 get a special discount when they pre-register 48 hours or more before arrival. Still, the aquarium suggests booking early because they tend to fill up quickly. There may not be enough availability for all party members if you wait until two days before your trip.

Exact pricing discounts vary according to availability, season, and demand.

Important Note: All weekend group visits require full payment 48 hours before your intended arrival. There is no guarantee you’ll receive a discount on your group tickets if you book later.

Tickets for groups of up to ten cost between $19.99 and $31.99 for adults (13+) and $11.99 and $23.99 for children ages 2–12.

If you buy ten child tickets, you receive one chaperone ticket free.

4. School Field TRip Discounts

School field trip prices vary depending on the time of year. They cost $11 for children and $17 for adults from September through February. From March through May and August, student tickets cost $17, and adult tickets cost $23.

No student rates are available during the summer (June, July, and major holidays). 

School groups can provide a tax exemption form to save more on tickets. Without the form, a 6% Kentucky state tax rate applies.

For an additional $1 per person, you can receive a field experience curriculum, which includes a teacher’s guide with questions and answers based on state education standards for grades K–12. 

Boy in tunnel points at rays swimming above at Newport Aquarium.
Photo courtesy of aRes Travel

5. Scout Group Pricing

Boy and Girl Scout Troops can receive discounted rates year-round at the Newport Aquarium. Adult tickets (13+) range from $19.99 to $31.99. Children’s tickets (2–12) cost $11.99–$23.99.

All group tours are self-guided and require 48-hour advance registration. Remember that for every 10 children’s tickets, an adult chaperone gets one ticket for free. 

6. Newport Aquarium Kroger Discounts

If you buy tickets at a Kroger store in Cincinnati, Dayton, or Northern Kentucky, you can save up to $3 on each. 

7. AAA Discount to Newport Aquarium

The Newport Aquarium AAA discount qualifies some members to receive discounts on tickets. When booking, contact your local AAA office to see if they participate in the discount program.

8. Newport Aquarium Military Discount

Active and former U.S. service members can receive $2 off each ticket they purchase. You must verify your military ID online through and present it when you arrive. 

9. AARP Newport Aquarium Discount

AARP members get $1 off their own ticket. You must purchase the ticket in advance by calling 1-800-406-347 and presenting your AARP card at the gate.

Colorful sea anemones in a tank at Newport Aquarium in Kentucky.
Various Anemones, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky

10. Company Discounts

You may receive an employee discount on Newport Aquarium tickets if your company is in the area. Ask your Human Resources department if your company participates. 

11. Newport Aquarium + Hotel Ticket Package

Bundle your accommodations and aquarium admission into one package! You can choose from 91 hotels in the area, perfect for single travelers, couples, and families.

Customize your stay by choosing the right hotel and room, selecting your tickets, and booking everything in one place for an easy vacation.

Important Tips for Visiting the Newport Aquarium

A family crosses a rope bridge over water.
Photo courtesy of aRes Travel

There are interactive exhibits to touch sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, anemones, and more. These are great learning experiences for kids.

The museum has many activities, including the Octopus Den, Coral Reef Tunnel, Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels, Gator Alley, and Penguin Palooza.

Times for viewing the penguins vary by season because the team keeps them on a Southern Hemisphere cycle. You can plan your trip around their schedule; if you stop by while they’re asleep, you’ll still see them curled up under some simulated Northern Lights.

No outside food or drinks are permitted inside the aquarium, except for bottled water. The cafe offers on-site dining and features typical American fare and a kids’ menu. 

Newport Aquarium Tickets FAQ

What Other Newport Aquarium Discounts Are Available?

Some special group activities are also available, depending on the size of your party. Groups of 10 or more can book lunch at Sharky’s Café one week before their visit (payment is required in advance).

Groups of 30 or more can enjoy breakfast at the aquarium before it opens to the public and enjoy a biologist’s presentation on penguins and sharks. They’ll also enjoy early access to the aquarium without any other visitors. This package has to be booked 30 days in advance.

Finally, you can book a picnic at the aquarium to enjoy a grilled menu along the terrace with views of the Ohio River. This makes a great location for small weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, and more.

When is the best time to visit the Newport Aquarium? 

Weekends are the most popular days, so there will be heavy crowds on Saturday and Sunday. Mondays and Fridays can also be busier from people taking three-day weekends.

You can expect more kids and tourists when school is out in the summer.

On weekdays, you’ll be best off arriving sometime after 2 p.m. On weekends, it’s best to arrive before 11 a.m. and after 2 p.m. Arriving particularly early or toward the end of the day could also be beneficial, but this could affect the visibility of some animals and access to some activities.

What Newport Aquarium Coupons are available?

Fortunately, you don’t need a Newport Aquarium coupon to take advantage of discounts as most of the discounts are already available through online promotions.

Does the Newport Aquarium offer a discount for seniors?

No, but AARP members can get an AARP discount if they book in advance. 

Does the Newport Aquarium offer a student discount?

No, there are no student discounts at the Newport Aquarium. Only discounted ticket prices are available for schools booking field trips.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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