“Crazy Cool Fish” is this month’s theme at Save The Bay’s Exploration  Center and Aquarium, where guests can learn about some of the more unique inhabitants of Narragansett Bay.

An interactive story hour featuring “Flossie Flounder: A Tale of a Flat Fish” teaches visitors of all ages about different fish types. A “Can You Make a Fish?” scavenger hunt sends guests on a hunt around the Exploration Center for pieces of fish that will create one large fish once the hunt is complete. And this month’s craft invites kids to make their own crazy cool fish out of a paper plate. Posters around the aquarium will highlight such crazy-looking fish as the red hake, oyster toadfish, big eye, and flounder, and compare fish with bones against fish with cartilage. The Exploration Center is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“These critters have such unique features that it’s absolutely worth drawing our guests’ attention to them.  For example, the oyster toadfish has a vestibular, or balance, system very similar to humans. So, in 1998, NASA sent an oyster toadfish to space with John Glenn so it could study the possible effects of microgravity on the human balance system,” said Celina Segala, Save The Bay’s aquarium outreach coordinator.

Also in January, Feeding Frenzy will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, from 5 – 6 p.m., when visitors can help aquarium staff feed the fish, turtles, sharks and more. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online.

The Exploration Center and Aquarium is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport, R.I. General admission is $8; $7 for military and senior citizens. Save The Bay Family Members enjoy FREE admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children thanks to Corvias, Save The Bay’s Family Days sponsor. Get more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium online or at 401-324-6020

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).