NEWPORT, Ky. -- It's been months in the making, but kids and families can finally enjoy the Newport Aquarium's latest exhibit, Stingray Hideaway, when it opens to the public at 10 a.m. Friday.
The highlight of the exhibit is the 17,000-gallon stingray touchpool where guests can interact with about two dozen stingrays. The touchpool features a 30-foot tunnel where kids and adventurous adults can explore the stingrays’ world from below the water, while watching stingrays swim past them.
The immersive tropical experience also features a tropical island habitat with iguanas, other species of lizards and several species of fish.
“Never before have guests been able to experience stingrays like this at Newport Aquarium,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium Executive Director, in a news release. “From seeing them soar through the water, to actually feeling what it’s like to touch them, guests will develop a lifetime of love and respect for these animals and the ocean they live in.”
The more than $1 million project transformed the space previously occupied by Canyon Falls, which closed in December. Stingray Hideaway: Enter Their World will be open year around and will be included with general admission.
In conjunction with Stingray Hideaway, WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium is expanding its outreach efforts, with a new outreach vehicle and a new state-of-the-art mobile stingray outreach cart – the only one in the country.