New England Aquarium, Boston: Learn More Before You Go

This aquarium is a must-visit destination if you want to observe some adorable birds waddling and diving. The destination is perfect for learning, exploring, and having a great time. This place will leave you spellbound.

Here, we will explore everything about New England Aquarium to help you plan your vacation perfectly.

What is special about the New England Aquarium?

The New England Aquarium will leave you in awe of the diversity of marine life. From the fascinating sea creatures in the Giant Ocean Tank to the interactive exhibits, there’s always something new and exciting to discover here.

Best Time to VisitSeptember – May
Suggested Visit Duration2-3 hours
Visiting HoursMonday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Weekends: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ticket PricesStarting from $25
SpecialtyGiant Ocean Tank, interactive exhibits, Penguin Colony
Address1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA (View on Maps)
Contact Number(s)+1 617-973-5200

What is the History of New England Aquarium?

The aquarium was founded in 1969. It opened to the public in 1970. Peter Chermayeff was a great designer and architect who planned how this place would look.

When it opened, it was known for being the first modern aquarium that featured a large, central tank with surrounding exhibits. Over the years, it expanded and underwent many upgrades. In 1988, the aquarium included the addition of the Simons IMAX Theatre and the Giant Ocean Tank exhibit.

As of today, the New England Aquarium is the most visited in the United States and continues to be a leader in marine conservation and education.

Interesting Facts

  • The Giant Ocean Tank is one of the largest circular ocean tanks in the world. It has more than 200,000 gallons of water.
  • Its harbor seal exhibit features a large rock. This rock was once part of Boston’s “Big Dig.”
  • This place is featured in the movies “Ted 2” and “Patriots Day.”
  • It has a rooftop garden that helps to reduce stormwater runoff and provides a habitat for birds and insects.
  • The New England Aquarium has successfully bred and raised bluefin tuna in captivity.

Does New England Aquarium offer Free Admission?

Visitors can get free admission only with a membership or an MTA/BTA card.

Membership: Visitors who get a membership can visit here without paying for the ticket. The members can get free entry every single day. They can also get invitations to events that are only for members.

Members can also bring additional visitors at a discounted price. They can enjoy access to the Harbor View Cafe and educational programs at a discounted price.

If you get a membership to the aquarium, you can enjoy waived handling fees on any tickets you purchase here.

MTA/BTA: If you hold an MTA/BTA card (Massachusetts Teacher Association or Boston Teachers Union card), you can get free admission.

What are the Ticket Prices of New England Aquarium?

The ticket prices of New England Aquarium are as follows:

  • Adult (12-60): $34
  • Senior (60+): $32
  • Child (3-11): $25
  • Children (< 3): Free
  • Aquarium Members: Free

You can get the tickets onsite from the ticket counter. It is also possible for visitors to reserve tickets for them online. The visitors should reserve their entry beforehand by booking online.

What is the Discount on New England Aquarium Tickets?

There are many ways in which visitors can get discounted tickets. You can avail yourselves of these discounts on-site by showing relevant documents.

Even if you book online, you can claim the discount by selecting the discount type and proving your eligibility.

New England Aquarium offers the following discounts.

  • College Student Discount: College students can get a $2 discount on their tickets. They can redeem this discount online by having their college ID ready while choosing the date and time for entry. This discount is also available onsite.
  • CityPass: If you own a Boston CityPass, you can save up to 47% on four major attractions in the area. It includes the New England Aquarium.
  • Go Boston Pass: The amount that you can save using the Go Boston Pass will depend upon your card’s validity and terms and conditions.
  • Military Discount: Active military personnel is eligible for a $10 discount on the price of the tickets. The children of such personnel can get a $5 discount.
  • Library Coupons: Some library coupons allow you to avail of up to 50% discounts on your tickets.
  • Bulk Tickets: Purchasing bulk tickets to visit the aquarium will allow you to get your tickets at a discounted price of 25%.
  • EBT/WIC Cardholders: EBT/WIC cardholders can get $5 off the ticket cost.
  • MBTA Charlie Card: MBTA Charlie Card allows you to get a ticket at a $2 lesser price.
  • AAA Members: AAA members are also eligible for a $2 discount on their ticket prices.

Does New England Aquarium offer Gift Cards?

The New England Aquarium offers gift cards for admission tickets and purchases in the aquarium’s gift shop and restaurants. Visitors can get these gift cards online or at the ticket booth.

If you wish to offer a gift card to your loved ones, you can purchase one from many external sites.

What are the Animal Encounters at New England Aquarium?

The New England Aquarium offers several animal encounter programs. These programs allow visitors to watch some of the aquarium’s animals closely.

Some of the top animal encounters include the following.

1. Meet And Greet: Atlantic Harbor Seals

The New England Aquarium offers a Meet and Greet program with its resident Atlantic Harbor Seals. During this program, visitors can spectate the seals and learn about their behavior, diet, and conservation.

The program takes place in a private area behind the main seal exhibit. Visitors will have the chance to watch the seals play and interact with each other. You might get to touch and feed the seals.

The program is available for visitors aged 7 and up and lasts approximately 30 minutes.

2. Make Art with Atlantic Harbor Seals

This animal encounter allows visitors to learn more about these marine mammals. Visitors can join the trainers and enjoy an art-making session with the seals. You can take home one-of-a-kind art created by these lovely sea creatures.

The animal encounter allows visitors to learn more about the biology of these animals. This animal encounter lasts 30 minutes and is accessible to visitors ages 7 years and above.

What are the Exhibits at New England Aquarium?

Many interactive exhibits allow you to witness animals more closely. These exhibits offer you a unique educational experience. With the help of these exhibits, you can explore the diversity and complexity of marine life.

1. Shark And Ray Touch Tank

Shark & Ray
Shark & Ray Touch Tank © New England Aquarium

The Shark and Ray Touch Tank allow visitors to witness several species of sharks and rays. You can see cow nose rays and bonnethead sharks.

Visitors can touch and interact with these animals in a safe and controlled environment. They can also learn about their behavior and biology.

2. Giant Ocean Tank

The Giant Ocean Tank is the centerpiece of the aquarium. It is 23 feet deep and contains over 200,000 gallons of water. This tank is one of the largest cylindrical aquariums in the world.

Visitors can see a wide variety of marine animals swimming in the tank. It features turtles, sharks, rays, and hundreds of species of tropical fish. There is also a large viewing window that allows visitors to see the tank from multiple angles.

3. Olympic Coast Exhibit

The Olympic Coast exhibit showcases the marine life of the Pacific Northwest. Visitors can witness giant octopuses, wolf eels, and sea otters.

This exhibit allows you to explore the marine life found in Olympic Coast National Wildlife Sanctuary. You can learn about their adaptations to living in a cold, nutrient-rich environment.

4. Science Of Sharks

The Science of Sharks exhibit at the aquarium explores sharks’ biology, behavior, and conservation with interactive displays and exhibits. You can learn about the types of sharks, their diet, and their role in the marine ecosystem.

Some exhibits allow visitors to simulate a shark’s sensory system and test their ability to detect prey.

5. Penguin Colony

There’s a Penguin Colony exhibit in New England Aquarium. You can find almost 50 African penguins and Rockhoppers.

The exhibit focuses on conserving these species and educating visitors about them.

6. Atlantic Harbor Seals Exhibit

The Atlantic Harbor Seals exhibit features a group of resident harbor seals that live in a large outdoor exhibit. Visitors can watch these playful marine mammals swim, play, and lounge on their exhibit’s rocky shorelines and platforms.

7. Yawkey Coral Reef Center

The Yawkey Coral Reef Center has a diverse tropical fish and coral collection worldwide. You can see colorful fish, such as angelfish and butterflyfish.

This exhibit allows you to learn about the importance of coral reefs to the marine ecosystem. It also includes interactive displays to help you learn about reef conservation and the threats facing these delicate ecosystems.

8. Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest exhibit features a replica of a tropical rainforest environment. It contains exotic fish, frogs, and turtles from the Amazon River basin.

Visitors can witness piranhas, electric eels, and other fascinating creatures native to this unique ecosystem. This exhibit also includes a large viewing window. It allows visitors to see the underwater world of the Amazon River.

What are the Live Cams available at New England Aquarium?

Blue Hole Lobster
Blue Hole Lobster © New England Aquarium

Visitors who cannot visit the aquarium can enjoy watching the marine species from their homes. Several live cams here give you real-time insight into the marine world here.

1. Giant Ocean Tank Cam

This live cam shows the aquarium’s impressive Giant Ocean Tank. It is home to various marine species, including sea turtles, sharks, and tropical fish. You can watch the animals swim and explore their underwater environment in real-time.

2. African Penguin Cam

African Penguin live cam provides a glimpse into the world of the African penguins as they waddle around and swim in their exhibit. You can watch them feed, play, and interact with each other and learn about their conservation status in the wild.

What are the Learning Opportunities at New England Aquarium?

There are many learning opportunities available for visitors to the New England Aquarium. You can educate yourself more about marine species and conservation efforts.

1. Lecture Series

There is a lecture series available for learners. Various scientists, environmentalists, etc., contribute to these lecture series. These are available for free for learners.

2. Field Trips

Schools and institutions can organize field trips to this destination to allow students to learn more than they do in their classrooms.

3. Teen Programs

The teen programs focus on engaging teens in conservation efforts. Such programs help teens learn more about the marine environment. The aquarium has a Live Blue Ambassadors Program that allows students to engage in conservation missions.

4. Homeschool Programs

Homeschool programs are available for different age groups and learning levels. These cover various topics related to marine biology, ocean conservation, and marine ecosystems.

5. Teacher Resources

There are several teacher resources available on the aquarium’s website. These include teacher guides and classroom activities.

What are the Events at New England Aquarium?

Visitors can host several events here. It is an ideal destination to plan a function. The space here can incorporate up to 2,000 people. You can book a space for any event by calling the aquarium’s coordinating team or filling out the online event inquiry form.

Here are some events that you can host here.

1. Corporate and Private Events

New England Aquarium allows visitors to rent the space for corporate and private events. You can work with the team to get everything from meals to decor sorted for the event.

2. Weddings

You can also book space for hosting your wedding receptions here. It offers a scenic view of Boston’s Historic Waterfront. A backdrop of aquatic animals makes your venue look stunning and unique.

3. Social Events

If you want a spot to host your bridal shower, anniversary party, or any other social event, the aquarium offers just the perfect spot. There are many event spaces available at your demand.

What are the Dining Options at the New England Aquarium?

Visitors can enjoy some delicious cuisines here. The aquarium has partnered with Patina Group, which contributes to satisfying visitors’ taste buds.

You can visit the following eateries here.

Harbor View Café

Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. , Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This cafe is on the second floor. It offers a variety of casual dining options. You can explore your options among sandwiches, salads, burgers, and vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Central Snack Bar

Opening Time: Summer Months

It operates an outdoor snack bar. It serves ice cream, snacks, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches, and beverages. You can find it in the Central Wharf Plaza before the aquarium.

Is there a Gift Shop at New England Aquarium?

There is a gift shop that offers a wide range of merchandise related to the marine environment. You can shop for clothing, souvenirs, toys, etc.

You can also access the online gift shop and purchase the merchandise. It will allow you to deliver them directly to your place without visiting here.

What are the Rescue and Conservation Efforts Being Made at New England Aquarium?

Octopus © New England Aquarium

The aquarium conducts regular research and participates in several conservation efforts. It runs the Anderson Cabot Center For Ocean Life with a team of scientists and environmentalists focusing on conservating marine life and oceans.

Does New England Aquarium have a Map?

The map offers you easy access to several levels located here. It will show how to reach all places here. The map also provides information about the restrooms, elevators, dining areas, etc.

Since the aquarium is huge, visitors can often find themselves lost. But this map makes accessing the place simple.

How to Reach New England Aquarium?

What are the Directions to New England Aquarium?

The New England Aquarium is at 1 Central Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. Depending upon your commute, there are several ways in which you can reach here.

  • By Foot: If you are in Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, North End, Government Center, or Financial District, you can easily reach here by taking a short walk.
  • Subway: The nearest subway stop is the Aquarium on MBTA’s Blue Line. It is only 100 yards away.
  • Boat: Many boat services can lead you to the destination. These services include MBTA commuter boats, and they depart from various locations.
  • By Car: Visitors can reach by car via I-93, Route 1A, and other major roads.

Is Parking Available at New England Aquarium?

There is no parking available inside the premises. Visitors can access the Harbor Garage located nearby. It is at a distance of 0.3 miles.

The parking charges can vary depending on the weekday. Usually, the parking charges are $40 for 80 minutes.

What are the Hotels Near New England Aquarium?

You can consider the following options for your stay.

Boston Harbor Hotel (Best Luxury Hotel)

Distance: 0.2 miles

It is a luxurious hotel located on the waterfront. Boston Harbor is just a few blocks away. It has elegant rooms and suites with harbor views, a spa, a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar.

Battery Wharf Hotel (Best Comfort Hotel)

Distance: 0.7 miles

This hotel offers stylish, spacious rooms and suites with harbor or city views. Visitors can access a fitness center, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar.

Omni Parker House (Best Affordable Hotel)

Distance: 0.7 miles

It is a historic hotel in the heart of downtown Boston. The hotel is easily accessible, just a short ride from the aquarium. The Omni Parker House has classic rooms and suites with traditional decor.

It also has a fitness center and a restaurant.

Hilton Boston Downtown (Best Convenience Hotel)

Distance: 0.4 miles

This hotel offers contemporary, comfortable guest rooms with modern amenities and Wi-Fi access. Guests can enjoy easy access to popular Boston attractions.

Marriott Long Wharf (Hotel with Best Views)

Distance: 0.2 miles

Marriott Long Wharf is near the aquarium. Visitors can stay in comfortable rooms with harbor views. The hotel has a fitness center, a seafood restaurant, and an indoor pool.

What are the Restaurants Near New England Aquarium?

Visitors can have a great dine-in experience at several restaurants located nearby. These restaurants offer amazing delicacies that you will surely love.

Legal Sea Foods (Best Seafood)

Distance: 0.3 miles

This restaurant is known for serving the best and the most quality seafood. You can enjoy fresh seafood in its casual setting.

Union Oyster House (Best Oysters)

Distance: 0.4 miles

Union Oyster House is a very old restaurant established in 1846. It serves the best oysters in the surrounding area. This restaurant offers a traditional New England seafood menu.

The Black Rose (Best American Food and Beer)

Distance: 0.4 miles

The Black Rose is a cozy Irish pub at 160 State Street in Boston. The pub serves a menu of Irish and American comfort food. You can also taste a variety of beers and cocktails.

Regina Pizzeria (Best Pizza)

Distance: 0.4 miles

Regina Pizzeria is a well-known pizza restaurant. It offers a variety of pizza toppings, like traditional cheese, pepperoni, and sausage. You can also explore some unique options like BBQ chicken and pesto.

They also serve salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.

The Barking Crab (Best Crabs)

Distance: 0.7 miles

The Barking Crab is a seafood restaurant that offers the best carbs in the area. The menu includes fresh seafood, including lobster, clams, and shrimp.

This restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers live music on weekends.

What are the Other Attractions Near New England Aquarium?

If you visit the New England Aquarium, you should explore the nearby attractions.

Here are some of the top attractions you can’t miss here.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Distance: 0.4 miles

Faneuil Hall is a historic marketplace and meeting hall. It dates back to the 1700s. Nowadays, it’s a popular spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

This destination has various restaurants, stores, and street performers.

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Distance: 0.5 miles

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is a great museum you can explore at this destination. Visitors can learn about the events leading up to the American Revolution. It also allows visitors to participate in re-enactments and historical exhibits.

Paul Revere House

Distance: 1.1 miles

It is a historic home once owned by the famous revolutionary war patriot, Paul Revere. Visitors can learn about Revere’s life and contributions to American history.

Boston Children’s Museum

Distance: 1.1 miles

The Boston Children’s Museum is a museum designed for children and families. The museum offers interactive exhibits on science, art, and culture. It also hosts a variety of programs and events.

USS Constitution Museum

Distance: 1.3 miles

This Museum showcases the history and preservation of the USS Constitution, a historic warship known as “Old Ironsides.” Visitors can witness exhibits on the ship’s history.

There are many interactive displays and demonstrations on maritime history and technology. Exploring these is a great way to add to your knowledge.

Are there any Working options at the New England Aquarium?

Working at the New England Aquarium can be a rewarding experience for those interested in marine science. It can help you learn more about animal care and conservation.

Some of the work opportunities here are as follows.

1. Teen Internships

Teens interested in serving marine life and gathering experience can apply for this internship. This paid internship allows you to have fun while you learn and earn money.

2. Career Opportunities

The aquarium rolls our career opportunities from time to time. You might find an opportunity in various departments, like education, research and development, animal care, etc.

Interested people can check the aquarium’s career page for open positions.

3. Volunteer Programs

Several volunteer programs allow you to become a part of the place. You can volunteer to educate people about marine life, animal conservation, etc.

The volunteer applications roll out from time to time. For the weekend positions, there might be a waiting list.

Does New England Aquarium Accept Donation?

The New England Aquarium accepts donation requests to fulfill the mission of marine conservation and education. It runs a Mission Forward Fund that allows visitors and organizations to support the work.

To submit a donation request, you can visit the aquarium’s website and fill out the online donation request form.

What are the Reviews of New England Aquarium?

The New England Aquarium is perfect for an engaging and educational experience. It allows you to look at a diverse range of aquatic animals worldwide.

Visitors enjoy a range of interactive exhibits and programs, making it the perfect place for a family day out. It is a clean and very interesting place.

There are many positive reviews about this aquarium. It is also because of its picturesque location on the Boston Harbor. It offers stunning views of the waterfront. So, this place is definitely worth a visit to spend your holiday in the best way possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the New England Aquarium?

The New England Aquarium is at Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, United States. It is in the heart of Boston, adjacent to the waterfront, and close to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.

Is New England Aquarium free?

Admission is free only for members. Other visitors have to purchase the tickets on-site or reserve their spots by buying a ticket online.

How much are the tickets for New England Aquarium?

The price of the tickets ranges from $25 to $34. It is free for children below the age of 3 and aquarium members.

How big is New England Aquarium?

The New England Aquarium is moderately sized. It covers about 75,000 square feet of space. A four-story Giant Ocean Tank holds over 200,000 gallons of water. It houses more than 1,000 animals.

How long to spend at the New England Aquarium?

Usually, most visitors spend around 2-3 hours exploring the exhibits and participating in activities. If you want to take your time and see everything the aquarium offers, you can plan for a longer visit.

Where to park at New England Aquarium?

There is no parking space available on its premises. However, visitors can explore nearby parking destinations like the Harbor Garage.

How much is parking at New England Aquarium?

Visitors who park their vehicles in the Harbor Garage will have to pay almost $40 for 80 minutes. This price can change according to the weekdays and other conditions.

Is the New England Aquarium worth it?

Yes, the New England Aquarium is worth visiting if you are interested in marine life and conservation. You can explore many exhibits and participate in interactive experiences.

Other Nearby Aquariums

A word from FishInAquarium

The New England Aquarium is a must-visit destination if you are looking forward to a fun learning experience. Whether you want a fun day out with your friends or kids, it is a great destination as it offers something for visitors of all age groups.

We hope we can cover every piece of information on this destination. Don’t forget to share these details with everyone looking forward to planning a trip to this aquarium.

Minnie B Miller - Professional aquarist and owner of FishInAquarium

About Minnie B Miller

Minnie B. Miller, a professional aquarist and owner of FishInAquarium, has over 8 years of expertise in fish breeding and care, gained through her roles at AquaticTX and Sea Lion Landing. Having honed her skills with various aquatic species, she is dedicated to empowering fellow enthusiasts by sharing her knowledge and experience.