Along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, the town of Newport, Oregon welcomes visitors to discover its gorgeous scenery and breathtaking views. This vacation hot spot sits in central western Oregon and offers plenty of fresh air and opportunities for outdoor exploration. You can find a Newport vacation rental with ocean views or a trendy accommodation in the downtown area. While staying in the area, you and your family will have the chance to visit the beach, bike around town, and spend time reconnecting with nature. To keep your little ones engaged, here’s a quick look at the top nine things to do with kids in Newport.

1. Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium covers 23 acres along Yaquina Bay and has many live animals, including native birds, seals, sea lions, and jellyfish. It also has a deep water aquarium, where your kids can take a gander at the sea creatures that live beneath the waves. Depending on the aquarium’s schedule, your kids might be able to spend the night in the Passages of the Deep with water all around them. They can also attend one of the beach clean-up events, where they’ll learn the importance of conservation and community.

2. Yaquina Head Light

Nestled on 5 acres, the Yaquina Head Light first started warning sea voyagers of danger in the 1870s. Take your kids to the lighthouse and its surrounding area for an afternoon of fun and beautiful views. You can climb up to the top of the lighthouse as part of a park ranger-led tour and see the Pacific Ocean. During the tour, the ranger will share the history of the lighthouse and some history of shipping and shipwrecks in the area.

3. Beverly Beach State Park

Just a few minutes north of Newport, your family can spend a day on the beach in Beverly Beach State Park. Gather up your sunscreen and cooler before you leave your vacation rental so you can spend the whole day. This state park offers bathroom facilities and other small amenities. Let the kids splash in the surf and fly kites as the breeze from the Pacific sails the kites up into the air. You can also walk up the shore and check out the small tide pools if the tide is low.

4. Seal Rock State Recreation Site

Spend an afternoon hiking, climbing, beach combing, and getting your feet wet at the Seal Rock State Recreation Site. Hike down to the beach or settle onto one of the benches above the beach, and use binoculars to get a better look at Seal Rock. This large rock juts out of the ocean, and depending on the season, plays host to seals and sea lions who want to relish some sunshine. Pack a picnic lunch at your vacation rental and eat it on the beach.

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5. Moolack Beach

At Moolack Beach, your family can explore an ocean with a different look. At this beach, you’ll find many tiny rocks that give the beach its unusual look and feel. Gather rocks with your kids, or check out the sea life in the tidal pools. Walk around the shoreline or explore the nearby forested area. Moolack Beach is a great place to fly a kite or get your feet wet in the water on a warm day.

6. Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area

Explore the Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area, where a sea cave has collapsed, and watch the water rolling around inside from your higher vantage point. On the north side of the Punch Bowl, you’ll find tide pools teeming with a variety of sea critters. This is a popular sight for whale watching. The park also offers several hiking trails, so you can explore the area and view the rock formations.

7. Hatfield Marine Science Center

When you have your fill of fresh air and sea breezes, take the kids to the Hatfield Marine Science Center. While walking through the exhibits, your kids will learn more about science and the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest. One of the most exciting events at this small science center is feeding time for the octopus. Your kids will watch in amazement as the staff feeds these interesting sea creatures.

8. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Newport

On a rainy afternoon, gather the kids together and head to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Newport. This unique museum, based on a comic book and an old television show, goes out of its way to provide a selection of incredible and unique items, including shrunken heads and the bones of exotic animals. You’ll enjoy a show with the shrunken heads and get a chance to make your way through a hall of mirrors.

9. Oregon Undersea Gardens

Don’t have the time to learn to scuba dive? Just take the family to the Oregon Undersea Gardens. You’ll get to go down into a secure room with large windows and enjoy the underwater world. This attraction includes an audio guide to help your kids learn more about the sea, and scuba divers educate visitors by teaching them specific things about sea life and sea creatures.

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