When I told my three-year-old we were going to see Santa, the fear was immediately evident. When I followed up by telling him Santa would be scuba diving at the aquarium, the fear turned to concern: “What if Santa gets eaten by a shark?! Who will bring our presents??” Never fear, son. The Newport Aquarium is ensuring Santa’s safety as he heads down from the North Pole for the annual Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa.
Since 2003, Scuba Santa has visited the shark tank, diving down to swim and chat with his visitors. The entire aquarium transforms this season; adding festive touches throughout the exhibits, with the highlight being a personalized visit with Santa. You’ll find playful bubbles, twinkling lights and friendly elves, ready to make your holiday visit to the Newport Aquarium a memorable one.
When you reach the theatre, you’ll see the signs for Scuba Santa. If you have nervous little ones, this is the perfect Santa experience! They have a line set up, so you can chat with an elf (they share some important info with Santa), and even talk with the big guy himself. They will also capture a photo of your kids with Santa, available for purchase. Make sure to stick around in the theatre for a dance party with Santa and his elves!
Our favorite section of the aquarium is Gator Alley, and those gators are in the holiday spirit as well! The colorful lights hang from the ceiling and the rare white alligators – Snowflake and Snowball – are especially excited this time of year! As you make your way through the exhibits, you’ll find the penguins near the end. Also fans of winter, they are sure to entertain you for as long as you want to sit and watch!
Behind the Penguin exhibit, stop by Scuba Santa’s Post Office, fill out a bubble with a holiday wish and place it in the mailbox! And don’t forget the perfect photo op with the penguins!
Newport on the Levee has always been one of our favorite places to walk around – especially during the holidays! You’ll find large Christmas trees, carolers, plenty of restaurant and entertainment options, with the Newport Aquarium as the must-see destination. Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa runs from November 25 through December 31. Newport Aquarium is also running a special on their annual passes through January 2 — buy 3, get 1 free! Take advantage of this deal and enjoy Scuba Santa, along with all of the watery fun, all year long!
For more info on Newport Aquarium’s Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa, visit their website here.
A native Cincinnatian, Andrea has experienced life in all four corners of this city. After growing up on the west side, she headed north to attend Miami University, then moved east to Hyde Park and now lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.
When she’s not playing trains and doing the “hot dog dance” as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers, Andrea is busy writing for Cincinnati publications and brainstorming ideas for her next children’s book! With a newfound passion for fitness and overall health, she spends a lot of time at her family gym and loves to play outside.
Andrea worked in education for several years and has a special love for children’s literature. She loves showing her children all our city has to offer and enjoys sharing her finds with other parents. Her favorite spots include the Cincinnati Zoo (although she steers clear of the bird house), her local library and any playground.