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New England Aquarium: Boston

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Hours:Hours Vary see below
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Teens, Adults
In/Outdoor:Indoor, Outdoor
Cost:$$$ see below
Category:Zoos & Aquariums
new england aquarium boston photoThe New England Aquarium in Boston is located right on Boston's scenic waterfront. Colorful & educational exhibits feature more than 8,000 aquatic creatures, including the playful penguin pool.

A unique central tank as the main attraction complete with small sharks, many varieties of fish and a huge sea turtle.

The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank features sharks and rays in a 25,000-gallon tank surrounded by shallow edges and viewing windows, allowing visitors to experience a close encounter with these animals.

This beautiful space replicates a large mangrove area. The rays glide around the tank where visitors have the opportunity to reach right in and touch these graceful creatures.

Science of Sharks
Dive deep into the Science of Sharks with the newest exhibit at the New England Aquarium. Get up close to some small but mighty shark species from around the world. Hands-on activities illuminate the remarkable adaptations that give them an edge in the water, while the shark and ray touch tank lets you see — and feel! — these adaptations in action.

Shark science comes alive with inspiring videos featuring our researchers and their efforts to help sharks, and dazzling underwater footage featuring National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry transports you to stunning shark habitats.

Plus, this spring’s free evening Aquarium Lecture Series is chock full of vibrant discussions about sharks and their place in our blue planet! The New England Aquarium is the place to find out why these magnificent ocean predators are even more incredibly cool than you thought.

Family Programs
The Boston Aquarium offers age-appropriate classes and programs for children of every age.

See a complete list of Family Programs at the New England Aquarium.

See what's happening today at the New England Aquarium.

Learn more about Birthday Parties at the New England Aquarium in Boston

Simons IMAX Theatre
New England Aquarium features the Simons IMAX Theatre to showcase animals and habitats too big, too rare or too dangerous to be seen in the Boston Aquarium. The theatre features IMAX and IMAX 3D film technology, 12 000 watts of digital sound and New England's largest screen. Call for show times: 617-973-5200. See what's playing at the Simons IMAX Theatre.

Whale Watching
The Aquarium also runs a Whale Watch in Boston Harbor from April through October. Their high-speed catamaran takes participants to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary - the only whale feeding sanctuary in the United States!

The whale watch also features onboard naturalists, guaranteed sighting, and a full galley.

Trips last approximately 3-4 hours. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 617-973-5206 or visit for more information.

Be sure to check with your local library for museum passes to visit the New England Aquarium & more!

Other attraction that are between 7-15 minutes away include Quincy Market, Old North Church, Boston Children's Museum, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, The USS Constitution, Boston Public Garden,The Boston State House, The Museum of Fine Arts, and Fenway Park.

If you live near Boston, you'll want to find lots more ideas on fun things to do with the family in Boston. Check out some of the more popular places to take kids in Boston, that are sure to entertain.

For more ideas on the best places to visit in Boston for all ages, our Things to do in Boston guide is a great place to start! We've compiled some of our favorite spots for you right here.

Message from Management of New England Aquarium: Boston:

See a schedule of the Aquarium's daily presentations & shows.

Residents of Massachusetts can reserve museum passes through your local library for discounted admission to the Boston Aquarium.

If animals are your thing ,be sure to check out our guide to Boston Zoos and Aquariums! You can find many options both in Boston and within a short drive.

HOURS↑ top

Summer Hours (July 1- Labor Day)
Monday - Thursday: 9:00am to 6:00pm
Friday - Saturday to 9:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday & Labor Day: 9:00am to 6:00pm

Winter Hours (After Labor Day to June 30
Mon.-Fri. 9:00am-5:00pm
Weekends and most Holidays 9:00am-6:00pm.
Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Open at noon on New Year's Day.
Ticket sales end one hour before the Aquarium closes each day.

COST↑ top

View Ticket Prices

See prices for tickets that include Simons IMAX Theatre and/or Whale Watches

Discount Passes:
Discount passes to the New England Aquarium, as well as many other Boston Museums and attractions, can be found at your local library.



Central Wharf, Boston, MA map
Phone: 617-973-5200

From the South
I-93 Northbound.
Take Exit 23 in the new below-ground section of I-93, marked 'Gov't Center. North End, Aquarium, Quincy Market, The ramp joins surface streets at North St. Follow the sign to Aquarium, to the left. This loops around 180° and puts you on Atlantic Ave. The Aquarium is three blocks up on the left.

From the west
Take the Mass Turnpike to I-93 North. Take Exit 23 off I-93, marked 'Gov't Center. North End, Aquarium, Quincy Market, The ramp joins surface streets at North St. Follow the sign to Aquarium, to the left. This loops around 180° and puts you on Atlantic Ave. The Aquarium is three blocks up on the left.

From the north
I-93 Southbound. Take Exit 24A Government Center (not Airport 24B). Take the right fork, then stay left. At the traffic light, turn onto Atlantic Avenue. Follow Atlantic Ave. 3 lights to the intersection with Milk Street. Go left on Milk Street and the Aquarium is straight ahead.

From Cambridge
Take Memorial Drive North to the intersection of 28 (McGrath-O'Brien Hwy) and go right, past the Museum of Science. When you come to the intersection of Storrow Drive, go straight across the intersection into the tunnel for 93 South. Take Exit 24A Government Center (not Airport 24B). Take the right fork, then stay left (there is a sign indicating Aquarium) to Atlantic Avenue. Follow Atlantic Ave. to its intersection with Milk Street. Go left on Milk Street and the Aquarium is straight ahead.

TIPS↑ top

  • Take advantage of your local library passes! Many offer a free pass that will admit up to 4 people; (September - June only).

  • Parking can be costly - the parking garage affiliated with the Aquarium that is on the pricey side. Look around for alternative garages in the area or try to find nearby street parking. (Street parking may include a short walk).

  • It seems to work best to visit the Aquarium when it first opens or later in the afternoon, rather than mid-day when it can be crowded and when the sea animals are a bit sluggish.

  • The New England Aquarium is wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly.

4-stargreat penguins
We love to visit the aquarium-- starting with the harbor seals out in front (which you can watch for free-- especially great at feeding/training time), and on in to see all the penguins! The veterinarian shows are my son's favorites and we all love the touch tank on the top floor. The cafe is surprisingly good.
5-starThe Staff - Especially Janine
I was at the aquariam recently and was terrifically iimpressed with the staff - i am pregnant and was low on energy and a lovely blond woman (named Janne, i think) helped me out, gave me her own water bottle and showed incredible concern for my well-being. The fish were great, too!


Going to the New England Aquarium, Grade 2 Student
During my visit to the aquarium, first I saw the penguins! This was one of my favorite sections because I got to trick the penguins by using the light shaped like a fish so they would swim over to it. Another favorite part of the Aquarium was the center fish tank! This was awesome because I got to see so many fish, baby sharks, electric eels and turtles. A huge sting ray rubbed up against the glass I was standing near and I could see its mouth! I got to go outside to look at the sea lions. They were swimming around and playing with the toys in the water. I saw a baby sea lion too! The last thing I did before I left was look at the seals in the front of the Aquarium and one was laying outside of the water near the door. I think that other kids should visit the Aquarium because it is fun and there are lots of great animals to see!


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