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New England Aquarium, Boston: Learn More Before You Go

The New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusettes is a fascinating attraction with some of the most incredible aquatic exhibits in this part of New England.

It overlooks the famous Boston Harbor and houses over 20,000 different varieties of aquatic animals.

The aquarium has several exhibits that have stood out from the rest. The aquarium has over 1.3 million footfalls each year and has piqued the interest of people in every age group. It is an excellent blend of education and entertainment that would enthrall every visitor.

The New England Aquarium animals that can be found here are giant octopuses, sea turtles, green anacondas, California sea lion, Atlantic Harbour seal, African Penguin, cownose ray, northern fur seal, Southern rockhopper penguins, lionfish and lots more.

The New England Aquarium whale watch is one of the most famous attractions here and visitors are guaranteed to see whales on their cruise.

After exploring all the beautiful exhibits head to the New England Aquarium restaurant to enjoy a meal and also learn about how to pick sustainable seafood.

The New England Aquarium membership owners can enjoy several benefits at the aquarium including movie night at the New England Aquarium Imax theatre. There are several special discounts for members as well as different groups.

New England Aquarium tickets can be bought online or from the counter at the facility. However, several discount sites offer a wide range of New England Aquarium discount codes giving visitors a great reduction in prices.

Visit the New England Aquarium Boston to enjoy the various antics of the marine animals here as well as the various incredible exhibits. Click on the video to know more about the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Visit the official website to know more about the aquarium.

Interesting Facts

  • When the New England Aquarium opened in 1969, its Great Ocean Tank exhibit was the largest aquatic exhibit of this kind in the whole world.
  • The New England Aquarium has hatched over 80 penguins and raised them in the aquarium.
  • The New England Aquarium has an active rescue program and they have a record of returning nearly 90% of their sick and rescued turtles into the wild.
  • The Great Ocean Tank exhibit is so big that it was the first thing that was built and the rest of the aquarium was built around it.
  • The shark and ray touch tank in the New England Aquarium is the largest of its kind on the East Coast.
  • One of the harbor seals at the aquarium paints unique paintings with a modified brush. He does this twice a week and the painting is available for purchase as a souvenir.
  • The New England Aquarium has a lobster nursery where it hatches and raises lobsters. Visitors get the opportunity to watch these lobsters in different stages of development.
  • The Lobster nursery also has a wide variety of rare and colorful lobsters
  • The New England Aquarium Octopus, Octavia, is from British Columbia and she can change both her color and texture to blend with the environment she is in.

Highlights

Noteworthy Exhibits

The New England Aquarium has a collection of some of the best exhibits that would fascinate visitors of all age groups. The Giant Ocean Tank is a four-storeyed tank with a Caribbean coral reef and 1000 different types of marine animals.

There is the shark and ray touch tank filled with cownose rays, Atlantic rays and epaulette sharks. The Indo-Pacific Coral Reef exhibit is a 9000-gallon floor-to-ceiling habitat filled with some of the most colorful corals in the ocean world.

There are more than 60 penguins in the New England Aquarium and they are of two types – the African Penguins and the Rockhoppers.

The Mammal Centre is an open-air exhibit that has fur seals and California sea lions playing about and interacting with the trainers and the visitors.

Virtual Animal Encounters

Indulge in the exciting animal encounter from the comfort of your own homes with the New England Aquarium Virtual Tour. The experts at the aquarium will share interesting facts about the animals and also answer any questions.

Enjoy a virtual encounter with sea lions, harbor seals, penguins and the famous Giant Ocean Tank.

Learning Programs

The New England Aquarium has several learning programs including lectures by eminent environmental writers, scientists and others. These lectures are free to the public however registration is requested. These lectures start at 7 PM in Simon’s Theatre at the Aquarium.

There are several interesting learning resources and activities specially designed for schools, teens, groups, educators and communities. Aquarium field trips and virtual encounters are also part of the learning programs.

Know more about the various learning programs from the New England Aquarium’s official website.

Volunteer Programs

The New England Aquarium volunteer program is available for all those who are passionate about marine animals, marine science, the environment and the ocean world. These programs are useful for those who choose to build their career in this field as well as those who want to be part of this learning opportunity.

Special Discounts

The New England Aquarium offers various entertainment and learning programs that can be enjoyed by people of all age groups. There are special discounts available on several sites such as Groupon, AAA, etc for the general tickets and the other shows at the aquarium.

Host an Event

The New England Aquarium is an excellent place to host events such as weddings, birthdays, corporate events, anniversaries, bridal showers and any other social function.

The New England Aquarium events are backed by exclusive in-house catering services prepared by their professional executive chef and staff.

The aquarium also offers a variety of unique event space options with amazing views of the iconic Boston harbor and skyline.

Exhibits

New England Aquarium exhibits are truly fascinating and house thousands of aquatic animals that would pique the interests of the most discerning visitors. Some of the most noteworthy exhibits are listed below:-

The Giant Ocean Tank

The New England Aquarium Giant Ocean Tank is a spectacular exhibit that is 40 feet wide and holds 200,000 gallons of saltwater. It features a coral reef, an underwater communication system, Caribbean reef animals such as turtles, eels, stingrays and a variety of fish.

New England Aquarium Myrtle is a sea turtle that has lived in the Giant Ocean Tank with 1000s of other aquatic animals since 1970. This exhibit is a coral reef exhibit and the corals are handmade and painted by the aquarium artist

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef

This is a 9000-gallon, floor-to-ceiling exhibit that features the colorful corals of the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The exhibit showcases the ‘rainforests of the sea’ and their importance in supporting the lives of thousands of species of aquatic animals.

Some of the New England Aquarium animals that inhabit this colorful exhibit are tomato clownfish, longnose butterflyfish, orange spine unicorn fish and lots more.

This exhibit also stresses the importance of coral reefs to ocean health. The coral reefs around the world support over 4000 species of fish and several hundreds of marine animals.

Shark Science

Three different species of Sharks house the New England Aquarium Sharks exhibit. These are Marbled Coral Cat Sharks, Halmahera Walking Sharks and Epaulette Sharks. They live in harmony within a natural ecosystem along with butterfly species of fish.

Shark Science is an incredible exhibit that showcases shark species from across the world. National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry brings the world of New England Aquarium sharks alive with live videos that teaches shark anatomy and how these incredible animals have evolved.

Shark and Ray Touch Tank

Indulge in a close encounter with sharks and rays in the Shark and Ray Touch Tank which features a mangrove theme tank with viewing windows. Visitors can gently touch the various animals such as the Atlantic rays, cownose rays, epaulette sharks, etc. as they swim around in the tank.

New England Aquarium Jellyfish is one of the major attractions. This exhibit is present in the lower level of the aquarium and houses many species of Jellyfish like the Mediterranean Jelly, the Moon Jelly, Sea Nettle and the Lagoon Jelly.

The New England Aquarium Animals

Octopus

At level 3 of the aquarium, there is the New England Aquarium Octopus exhibit. It houses the two Octopuses, Ruddy and Edmond, a female and a male Giant Pacific Octopus. You can spend time spotting these octopuses or take photos of these creatures who are masters of disguise.

Myrtle

The New England Aquarium Myrtle is the star exhibit of the Giant Ocean Tank. Myrtle is a green sea turtle and has been a member of the aquarium since 1970. She is 90 years old and shares her home with eels, other turtles, and reef fish.

Seals

You can engage with the Atlantic Harbor Seals at the New England Aquarium Seal section. The virtual encounter consists of training, feeding and question-answer sessions about these amazing seals.

Penguins

The New England Aquarium Penguins consists of two different species of Penguins, the African Penguins which can be identified by their loud call and the Rockhoppers Penguins who have a strange hairdo that represents rock band performers. You can enjoy the penguins burrowing or swimming. There are daily events when biologists swiftly feed the penguins.

Special Discounts

There are numerous New England Aquarium Groupon and discounts for various visitors belonging to different social and age groups.

  • The New England Aquarium prices range from 18$ for children to 55$ for adults. However, these prices vary if you are a member of the aquarium or belong to a group.
  • The New England Aquarium Student Discounts apply to college students who enter the premises with a valid Identity card. The discount allows 2$ off on their tickets.
  • Many New England Aquarium Discount codes offer up to 10$ off on purchases of tickets. These are available online and can be bought upon their availability.
  • You can avail of the New England Aquarium Coupon Codes that are updated daily and gives a discount. They vary every day and according to the group you belong to.
  • New England Aquarium Whale Watch Promo Code can be bought at the local booth of the aquarium or online.
  • Similar to other specific promo codes and discounts, there is a New England Aquarium Military discount that accounts for special discounts to military personnel and their families. The adults receive a discount of 10$ and the children receive a discount of 5$ off on their tickets.
  • The New England Aquarium AAA Discounts are available for AAA members. These allow a 2$ off on the tickets by showing a valid membership card at the counter.
  • Membership plans of the aquarium offer numerous New England Aquarium pass that the visitors or members can avail of. These passes offer various discounts as well as entry to movies and exhibits.
  • A Gift shop is present on the premises that offer New England Aquarium Gift Card. These gift cards can be used to enter the aquarium and enjoy all activities. These are not available online. You can purchase New England Aquarium Gift Certificates and gift them to your family and friends.
  • All teachers from New England or K-12 teachers enjoy the New England Aquarium Teacher Pass which grants free entry to the aquarium for all teachers and gives an additional 10% discount on gift shop purchases.
  • The New England Aquarium Tickets Groupon allows entry to the aquarium and movies at IMAX as well, for everyone, including kids in groups. The prices of these Groupon tickets range from 10$ to 76.37$.
  • You can avail the New England Aquarium Free passes through advanced reservation using the Boston Public Library. It allows entry for up to 4 people. Similar other libraries also offer discounts that give 10$ passes. Children under the age of 3 are free.
  • The New England Aquarium Tickets are available both online and offline, at the counters. The normal rate for adults is 32$, for children (3-11) it comes at 23$ and for senior citizens, the tickets are priced at 30$. Children under the age of 3 do not require tickets.

Special Outings

Whale Watch

The New England Aquarium whale watch is an amazing experience where the visitors are taken on a cruise to Stellwagen Bank. Here, whales, dolphins, sea birds and several marine animals can be seen clear as day.

On this trip, visitors are guaranteed to see whales and if by any chance they do not then the aquarium gives a free ticket for a future whale watch.

Volunteer Programs

There are multiple New England Aquarium Volunteer Programs available for those who are passionate about marine animals, educating people about the environment and conservation. The aquarium offers volunteer programs all year round for teens as well as adults.

Those that are below 18 years and above 16 can apply for the Teen Program and visitor educator programs.

As volunteers, you get to discover several aspects that are involved in running an aquarium such as the New England Aquarium. Gain valuable experience, meet like-minded people and network with experts and other professionals.

Volunteers help in food preparation for the animals in the aquarium, feed the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank, interact with visitors, make ice toys for the seals and sea lions, conduct research on different aspects of conservation, take photos of events and lots more.

Live Cam

New England Aquarium Webcam offers live streams of the Giant Ocean Tank that show marine animals enjoying their real-time activities. The various fish, corals and turtles present in the Giant Ocean Tank can be enjoyed thoroughly by the virtual tour.,

The Penguin’s Colony has more than 70 penguins who engage in swimming, preening and playing. You can enjoy their activities through the New Aquarium Live Cam.

Shows and Events

The New England Aquarium has a full calendar of events, especially for members.

Members’ Movie Night

Members can enjoy special movie nights at the newly renovated Simon’s theatre. These screenings are 40 minutes each and are held at 5 pm, 6 pm and 7 pm. There are also concession and cash bars which are available 30 minutes before the screening.

Members are requested to make reservations and will be able to register for one screening.

Aquarium After Dark

This is a special event that is held every Friday night in October. Visitors can spend a leisurely evening with the various animals in the aquarium, especially those that are more active at night.

Each week there is a new theme such as

Nocturnal Animals where you learn about the different animals that come out at night.

Pyjama Night is where you learn how fish sleep and how other marine animals are at night.

Sustainable Seafood Night is when you learn how to choose sustainable seafood and also collect recipe cards.

Ecosystem Sounds features the different sounds that are used in the exhibits and also why they are important to the exhibits.

Haunted Aquarium is a fun celebration where members come dressed in costumes, enjoy some spooky music and see jack-o-lantern in the tanks.

Personal Celebrations at the Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is a great place to host various personal events and social programs.

Birthday Parties

The aquarium has several options for birthday parties which also include the Simon Theatre birthday parties. Movie birthday parties are the most popular at the aquarium.

The New England Aquarium birthday parties are specially designed for children above 5 years of age or older.

Movie birthday parties include a feature film on the largest screen in New England, a special greeting for the child before the screening of the film, a digital photo of the child displayed on the large screen and a self-guided tour of the aquarium.

Weddings

The aquarium offers the perfect backdrop for a waterfront wedding with views of the Boston harbor and spectacular aquatic animals in the background.

A New England Aquarium wedding would be a one-of-a-kind experience for both the couple and the guests.

You can also save on a lot of your New England Aquarium wedding costs as the aquarium has its own events management team as well as an in-house caterer headed by a professional executive chef.

You can choose from the vast menu created by the chef or choose the dishes along with the team. There are also several hotels near the New England Aquarium to put your guests up for the wedding ceremony as well as the reception.

Social Celebrations

The New England Aquarium is a perfect venue for several other celebrations such as bridal showers, anniversaries, sit-down dinners, bat and bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners and so much more.

There are several event spaces to choose from depending on the size of your group and your celebration. The New England Aquarium animals provide the best backdrop for any event that is celebrated at the aquarium.

Learning Opportunities

The New England Aquarium also offers an extensive learning program for different age groups and backgrounds. These programs are held for teens, school children, professionals and educators.

Schools and Groups

The aquarium offers a wide range of learning resources for schools and other groups of young learners. Some of these programs are organized at the aquarium itself in form of field trips, teen programs and community-based programs.

There are also outreach programs where the experts from the aquarium take the lessons to the schools and other facilities.

There are virtual encounters with the various animals at the aquarium where students can ask questions about the animals.

Teacher Resources

The New England Aquarium learning resources also offer a wide range of learning opportunities for educators. These range from professional development and skill enhancement to teaching resources to make learning more fun and activity-oriented.

Summer Programs

The New England Aquarium Summer camp known as the Harbor Discoveries is a great way for children and teens to learn about the ocean and the natural habitat of marine animals. These camps give hands-on experience to campers in conservation learning and marine science.

Summer Teen Internship Program

The New England Aquarium internship program is a great learning opportunity for teens to develop useful skills and learn marine science and conservation. This is a paid internship with one week of training and six to seven weeks of work.

Homeschool Programs

The New England Aquarium Homeschool program has specially designed learning resources for homeschooled children that enhance concept learning. These resources are designed to assist in in-depth learning of the subject matter which helps in improving science skills, math and literacy development.

Homeschool field trips are available with school rate admission if called one day ahead of the trip. There are also dedicated Homeschool Days which are from September to December.

Careers

If you are passionate about marine science and want to be an active part of ocean conservation then a career at the aquarium is one of the best choices for you. A New England Aquarium job entails passion, hard work and dedication but is filled with rewards and benefits.

For those interested in New England Aquarium employment opportunities you can choose from different profiles such as animal care, science-based development, education, visitor services, research and conservation, financial analysts, technology, marketing and human resources to name a few.

Important Information

Operating Hours

New England Aquarium hours vary in summer and winter.

Hours during Summer – July 1 to September 13

  • Sunday to Saturday – 8 am to 6 pm

Hours during Winter/Fall

  • Monday to Thursday – 10 am to 5 pm
  • Friday 10 am to 8 pm
  • Saturday -Sunday 9 am to 6 pm

For reservation and advance booking the counter timings are: Monday to Sunday 9 am to 4:30 pm

Before you plan your trip to the Aquarium make sure you get the timings right. Check the New England Aquarium website for any changes in timings and reservations.

Address

The New England Aquarium address is 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, United States.

The Aquarium is located on Boston’s iconic waterfront and is close to popular landmarks such as Faneuil Hall, the Seaport District, the Financial District and the North End.

Directions

If you are driving or new to the area you can call on the New England Aquarium phone number given on the official website for assistance.

You can also use the map on the website for the New England Aquarium directions on reaching the facility.

Parking

The aquarium does not have any parking spaces of its own but there are five parking garages within 0.3 miles of the aquarium. Check the New England Aquarium map for the most convenient parking.

The Harbor Garage is the closest parking option for New England Aquarium parking and they offer special discounted rates only for New England Aquarium members, Whale Watch Visitors and Simons Theatre patrons.

Gift Shop

Whenever you visit the aquarium make sure you visit the New England Aquarium gift shop. The store has an assortment of educational as well as fun products including CDs, DVDs, books, toys, clothes, plush animals and lots more.

The proceeds from the gift shop go directly to support learning, research and conservation programs.

Dining

While visiting the New England Aquarium visitors have quite a few options to choose from. The aquarium has partnered with Patina Restaurant Group for all its food services.

The New England Aquarium food showcases ocean-friendly sustainable seafood and chooses the best products from sources that support selective fishing methods.

Harbor View Cafe

This is a wonderful cafe with floor-to-ceiling windows offering perfect views of the Boston Harbor and the city skyline. The menu features sandwiches, shakes and juices, soups and salads and combo meals, etc.

Reef Bar (Seasonal)

This is a waterfront dining area with the best outdoor seating overlooking the Long Wharf. Its specialties include fresh seafood, gourmet sandwiches, salads, craft beer, an extensive wine list and specialty cocktails.

This is also one of the event spaces of the aquarium and it is ideal for family celebrations and gatherings.

Dog ‘n Claw (Seasonal)

The Dog n Claw cart in the Aquarium Plaza offers gourmet hotdogs, chowder, lobster rolls, juices, shakes and lots more for aquarium visitors.

Hotels Nearby

Boston Yacht Haven

This is one of the most conveniently located hotels near New England Aquarium at 0.18 miles distance. The hotel is a waterfront property and it has its marina. It is a 10-room boutique hotel overlooking the Boston Harbor.

It has a fitness center and free wifi and it serves an excellent continental breakfast every morning.

Boston Harbor Hotel

Located just 0.2 miles away from the New England Aquarium, this is a wonderful 5-star property overlooking the iconic Boston Harbor. This luxurious hotel has a full-service spa, minibar service, in-house restaurant, a gift shop, a business center and lots more.

Mariott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House, Boston

Located 0.3 miles from the aquarium this is one of the luxury hotels near the New England Aquarium. The hotel has a gym, suites with a kitchenette, a game room, free wifi and many other amenities. It is close to famous landmarks such as Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and Freedom Trail.

HI Boston Hostel

If you are looking for a budget accommodation near the aquarium then this is a great place to stay at 0.87 miles away. This is a modern hostel with private rooms as well as dorms with free breakfast, wifi and walking tours.

Club Quarters Hotel, Boston

This casual hotel is just 0.4 miles away from the New England Aquarium and it features comfortable rooms, a club room, a business center, a fully equipped gym, etc. the best part about this hotel is its proximity to several major attractions in this area.

Restaurants Nearby

There are several restaurants near New England Aquarium that are within walking distance so that you can enjoy a great meal or snack after or before you visit the aquarium.

Chart House

This restaurant is within walking distance from the New England Aquarium. It serves a great selection of local cuisine, fresh seafood, soups and several vegetarian items as well. The restaurant offers great views with a wonderful ambiance for its diners.

Waterline

This is one of the best places to enjoy breakfast near the New England Aquarium. The restaurant serves an excellent breakfast buffet and a great selection of seafood and other local delicacies for lunch and dinner. There is also a bar with a wide selection of spirits of your choice.

Basile – Fine Italian Restaurant

This restaurant comes highly recommended and it lives up to its image. It serves some of the best Italian fare this side of town. It also has special diet items such as vegan, gluten-free, etc.

Every meal is complimented with a fine selection of wine.

Top 10 Attractions Nearby

  1. Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
  2. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
  3. Boston Public Garden
  4. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
  5. Boston’s Children’s Museum
  6. Museum of Science
  7. Boston Harbor Cruises
  8. The Boston Stone
  9. Rose Kennedy Greenway
  10. Boston Harbor Islands State Park

Conclusion

The New England Aquarium Boston is not only a creative entertainment fish tank but also a place where people of all age groups can learn about the ecosystem in the ocean.

How marine animals live and support each other’s existence. How we as humans are ruining this wonderful world of corals, sharks, whales, turtles and other marine lives. And how as humans we can conserve this very important part of our existence for the future.