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Oregon Coast Aquarium Adds Some Attractions, Means for Play

Published 06/24/22 at 3:55 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Aquarium Adds Some Attractions, Means for Play

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(Newport, Oregon) – Something new this way comes to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. Indeed, it's a few new things you'll find in terms of attractions, ways to play and be entertained. They've recently installed a Nature Play Area, Outdoor Amphitheater and a new feature called the headwaters, which lets you glimpse the relationship between streams, the ocean and the inland area.

A host of new projects were just completed at the Newport favorite and are now open to the public. They're the initial phase of the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s multi-phase remodel and upgrade, created to further enhance their mission of creating engaging experiences while completing much-needed improvements.

“We have anticipated this for years,” said the aquarium's President/CEO Carrie Lewis. “We are elated to offer these new experiences to our guests, and we’re so grateful for the support we have received along the way.”

The Nature Play Area speaks to the aquarium's s historic origins as a former timber mill site. Visitors can engage kinetically with nature when they clamber over massive logs, explore a faux eagle’s nest, climb a watchtower, and plunge down a meandering slide that acts as a mock river chute.


The Outdoor Amphitheater is a space created for educational programs and ambassador animal presentations, boasting a larger number of seats to accommodate sizable groups. The amphitheater provides guests with an up-close view of Oregon’s native species and opportunities to engage with animal caretakers and educators.

Oregon Coast Aquarium's Headwaters Feature is rather different but it fits in seamlessly with the overall vision. This unique attraction includes a recirculating stream that represents the relationship between watersheds and the ocean, emphasizing the importance of headwaters and the role they play in Oregon’s coastal ecosystems.

The renovated lobby delivers a view of the scenic estuary bordering the aquarium, and streamlines foot traffic by giving guests a direct route to the headwaters feature and center of the facility. Lobby renovations include improvements to the existing café and the addition of a moon jelly exhibit, which will be completed this summer. Updated wayfinding signage and interpretive materials will also be installed throughout the building later this year.


Oregon Coast Aquarium contracted Dangermond Keane Architecture, Andersen Construction, and Walker Macy to carry out the design, construction, and landscaping for this phase of the Capital Campaign.

The second phase of the aquarium’s Capital Campaign will begin in fall 2022, and focuses on improvements to the Newport attraction's indoor galleries. In 2023, they will begin the final phase of the campaign, which includes the construction of a new Marine Rehabilitation Center. Stay up to date on the Aquarium’s progress via the progress page. Learn more and buy tickets at aquarium.org.

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