Are you vacationing with children this summer? If you are, then check out this blog!
First, bring your family to Yachats, Oregon for some really memorable kid’s adventures this year. Yachats (YA-hots), located on the Central Oregon Coast, offers a plethora of things to do to bring out the kid in everyone. Probably, one of my favorite kid’s adventures when staying in Yachats is visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium in nearby Newport. Get up close and personal with octopus and star fish and sea anemone, and lions and tigers and bears. Oh, my! Well, maybe not lions and tigers and bears, but plenty of other equally interesting creatures that live in the sea.
Kid’s Adventures in Yachats, Oregon
This blog is part of a series entitled “Kid’s Adventures in Yachats, Oregon”, where I share with you many of the things to do in the area that will build long lasting family memories.
Fortunately for me, one of the most fun parts about writing a blog for my vacation rental home is going out to experience all the fun things I think kids would enjoy while visiting Yachats. I get to put on my kid hat for awhile.
Putting on my kid hat for the Oregon Coast Aquarium
Therefore, on a very rainy day recently I headed to the aquarium in Newport. It is about a half hour drive from Yachats and is very worth the drive and the couple of hours you might choose to stay. And, adequate parking is nice. Once you enter the main doors and pay the entrance fee you will be photographed against a green screen. Yes, just like a real celebrity! You have the opportunity to purchase your photograph when you complete your self-guided tour.
Certainly, I recommend you check the animal feeding schedule that is posted just past the entry desk. It is a totally fun experience for kids and adults alike to watch as aquarium personnel feed pelicans, otters, seals and sea lions. Once you know the feeding schedule you can wander through interesting aquarium exhibits until time to check out an animal feeding.
Secrets of Ship Wrecks
First, kids enjoy entering the, “Secrets of Ship Wrecks”. Various exhibits and kid interesting sites are arranged inside what appears to be a real ship wreck. Touch rusty old metal of a sunken vessel. Watch videos and learn how shipwrecks are located and the process of discovering and retrieving items found in the deep, sometimes from wrecks that are hundreds of years old.
Next, an epic time can be had by all in the tide pooling room. There is a large display where kids both young and old can touch star fish and sea anemone and crabs and other little sea critters and plants. Feel the hard surface of starfish and poke a finger into a sticky sea anemone. Additionally, learn how deep water starfish are soft and smooth compared to the usual spiny starfish we are familiar with. Volunteers are on duty to help answer questions.
Up close and personal with an Octopus
Also, one wily character that I especially enjoyed, was the octopus in the tide pool room. An octopus can hide its body inside all kinds of little nooks and crannies in rocks in the ocean. If you are lucky maybe you will see the bottle trick where Oscar (my name for him) can fit his tentacles and beak all inside a soda bottle. Oscar didn’t cooperate with the soda bottle trick for me, but he did move and position himself across the glass front of his tank so I could see all the suckers on his tentacles. His large beak has a weird shape and is interesting to inspect. Furthermore, it is fun to see how his body moves and adjusts as he tucks into a corner of the tank.
In addition, fun learning displays are on hand in three rooms designated as Sandy Shores, Rocky Shores and Coastal Waters. View a variety of fish and shellfish creatures. Watch a video as sand dollars scoot across the sand like little roombas. Enjoy the organic dance as orange jelly fish glide beautifully up and down and around inside a blue lit tank. Watch whirling spools of Abalone fish as they twist and wind through the water.
Feeding the Otters
On queue, I stepped outside to check out the otter feeding. Two otters swim with gleeful anticipation of buckets of fish and crab. Be sure to watch through the large glass window that reveals their underwater activities. They swish and swoop quickly as they move over and about the pool, sometimes on their backs. It is amazing how effortlessly they move through the water. Check out their weird looking powerful back flippers as they zip around. Finally, feeding time arrives as they get out of the water and perform a couple tricks for the trainers. Consequently, they are rewarded with tasty fishes. Yum! Kids and adults alike enjoy the show as otters grab their food with front claws and often lay on their backs and float as they eat.
Puffins and raindrops
I wandered through the aviary and got lots of photos of puffins. It had started raining quite steadily and I love how the raindrops appear in my photographs. Volunteers in the aviary were dressed in full rain gear and umbrellas, but the seabirds were happy as could be in what is perfect weather for them. Residents of the aviary are accustomed to people and will cooperate to allow for your close inspection. However, they are still wild creatures so you are not allowed to touch them.
Wow, kids! Back inside the aquarium you will love, “Passages of the Deep”.
Watch in amazement as you wander through acrylic tunnels where fishes large and small swim all around you; above, beside and underneath. Most of all, I was thrilled to watch a shark float magically overhead, seemingly close enough to touch. Halibut, Sting Rays, Rockfish and many other species of fish abound. Schools of silvery abalone and sardines dart and whirl beautifully about.
Finally, the tour ends through the gift shop. Need I say more about that? You can purchase all kinds of toys, plushy critters, magnets, snow globes, key chains and those kinds of trinkets. Or, you might choose from a wonderful selection of beautiful artwork pieces of watercolor sea creatures, hand-crafted jewelry, pottery and photographs to replicas of beautiful jelly fish caught inside blown glass. Remember that green screen photo that you posed for as you entered the aquarium? The green screen is replaced with a tunnel from Passages of the Deep. It is a perfect backdrop and, of course, you have the opportunity to purchase your photo.
My blog would not be complete without a report from local Ladies Room Aficionado, Lucy Cheeks,
“Restrooms are plentiful around the aquarium with plenty of seating. They are wonderfully clean and stocked; a perfect place to refresh and regroup.”
Thank you, Lucy, for your interjection.
Kid’s Adventures in Yachats, Oregon – Octopus & Star Fish & more
In conclusion, I spent about 2 hours total at the aquarium and could easily have stayed longer. Additionally, there is a small restaurant and coffee bar available for lunch or snacks. I highly recommend a visit to the aquarium for a memory building and fun learning experience for everyone. Your family will reap the rewards of a vacation to the Central Oregon Coast for many years to come. Staying in Yachats and visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is one of my Top 10 Kid’s Adventures in Yachats, Oregon.
What cool story do you have from your visit to an aquarium?