Sharks are in sharp focus next month at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium. July is Shark Month, giving guests the opportunity to learn all about the apex predators from the deep and to find out which sharks and skates populate the waters of the Narragansett Bay.

A shark-themed scavenger hunt, hands-on arts and crafts, and an educational reading from a beloved children’s book are all part of Shark Month activities that will appeal to kids of all ages. To top it off, guests can see and even touch some of Rhode Island’s local sharks and skates inside the aquarium. The Exploration Center and Aquarium on Easton’s Beach in Newport is open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Several types of sharks swim beneath the waves of Narragansett Bay, including the blue shark, mako shark, dogfish and little skates. Skates and sharks are both members of the elasmobranch group, a group of marine life whose skeleton is made from cartilage, rather than bone. Visitors can learn all about these specimens and more by participating in the scavenger hunt around the Exploration Center for prizes, or acting out a reading of “Shark Baby” by Ann Downer. Kids can also create their very own “Robo-Shark” by imagining a futuristic shark based on adaptations sharks will have to undergo due to climate change and habitat restrictions. On Thursday, July 21, from 5 – 6 p.m., a special Feeding Frenzy allows guests to feed the sharks, fish, skates and other animals themselves. Feeding Frenzy takes place monthly on every third Thursday.

The Exploration Center and Aquarium is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport, R.I. The center is now open daily for the summer season, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. General admission is $8; $7 for military and senior citizens. Save The Bay Family Members can enjoy FREE admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children. Feeding Frenzy will take place on July 21st this month, and registration is available online. For more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium, visit savebay.org/aquarium or call 401-324-6020.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.