This was certainly a day of adventure. Our first stop was Newport on the Levee in Newport, KY.
Ride the Ducks Newport
Cost: $18/adult; $12/child (Newport Aquarium pass holders get a substantial discount!)
Time: 1 hour
While this is a somewhat pricey activity, I’ve been wanting to do it since we moved here, so I splurged today. The Ducks resemble the WWII DUKWs and travel on land and water. Our Duck drove from Newport to Cincinnati, entered the Ohio River near Yeatman’s Cove, spent some time rolling on the river and then ended the tour with some sights in Cincinnati and Newport. Our tour guide was awesome – the perfect blend of informative and funny. Actually, I was surprised at how interesting it was and how much I learned about these cities. Matthew, Jordan and Adam loved making noise with the plastic quackers that each guest received when entering the boat, and the tour guide invited them to quack along to the music at different points during the tour. Overall, riding the Ducks was a good experience and I would recommend it to anyone.
Cost: $23/adult; $15/child ($2 off discount tickets are sold at Kroger)
Time: 2+ hours
Newport Aquarium is one of our favorite places to visit in the Cincinnati area. Admission cost is pretty high (although it’s in line with the cost of all other aquariums I’ve been to), so if you live in the area and want to visit the aquarium, then you should consider buying an annual pass. You only have to visit the aquarium 2 times to meet the cost of the pass. Extra tip: they usually hold an annual pass sale in December that is buy 3 get one free. Anyway, as far as aquariums go, Newport Aquarium is small but excellent. They have a lot of unique marine life that I haven’t seen in other aquariums, including a few shark rays which are super cool. Halfway through you’ll find the Frog Bog which houses a good sized indoor playground. I don’t think we could pick a favorite exhibit in this aquarium though because they are all awesome. Perhaps the coolest parts are the glass tunnels that you can walk through and watch fish, sharks, sting rays and more swim all around you. The only negative thing I have to say about the aquarium is that it is SO crowded on the weekends. I have tried getting there right when it opens, after lunch or in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter – on Saturdays the aquarium is crazy. Visit on a weekday if at all possible.
Purple People Bridge
While visiting Newport on the Levee we decided to take a walk on the Purple People bridge. It’s a pedestrian-only bridge that runs from Newport on the Levee to Sawyer Point in Cincinnati. What a beautiful place to see the city! A cute thing about this bridge – there are “love locks” hanging all over the fencing. Couples come to the bridge to attach a lock which represents their love. They leave the lock there on the bridge, throwing the key to their hearts over the edge. Cute!
Lunken Airfield/Sky Galley Restaurant
Cost: $1/kid, and the cost of dinner if you eat at the airport restaurant
On the way home we swung slightly over to the west to visit Lunken Airfield. This smallish airport has a giant, really cool playground. Bring a little cash because it costs $1/child to get in. The small fee is worth it though. There were plenty of things on this playground to keep all of my boys, ages 2 and 7, busy and happy for over an hour. After playing for a while, we went to the Sky Galley restaurant in the airport for dinner. The food is decent but the view can’t be beat. Get a table outside and watch airplanes take off and land while you sit back and eat. My boys, who are all obsessed with airplanes, LOVED this place.
Note that there is also a bike trail just outside the door of the airport/restaurant. Rent bikes or bring your own and ride bikes all the way to downtown. We haven’t done this yet but I plan to!