Show Map

New England Aquarium

Upon arrival, playful northern fur seals will greet you from their outdoor tank. Inside, the African penguins take over welcoming duties. Highlights include a giant, four-story ocean tank and a new "touch tank," where you can actually pat rays as they swim by.

Boston may not be high on the priority list when planning a tropical vacation, but the New England Aquarium does a great job of taking you away to the diverse marine habitats of the world with 70 international exhibits, as well as highlighting those closer to home. The New England Aquarium sits right on the magnificent Boston Harbor, surrounded by stunning views, spectacular yachts and occasional cruise ships. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by four penguin species racing around at eye-level in outdoor tanks. Then you’ll be taken aback by the Giant Ocean Tank, which is the architectural core of the museum and is home to a vast Caribbean coral reef, green sea turtles, sand tiger sharks and Great Pacific octopus. Also noteworthy is the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center- a naturally lit, open-air pavilion outside the entrance that gives visitors a front-row seat to witness Northern fur seals in action. After taking in the marine life, sit back and experience an unforgettable IMAX film on New England’s largest screen at the aquarium’s own Simons IMAX Theatre.

Exhibits include:

  • Shark and Ray Touch Tank: Experience gentle contact with cownose rays, bonnethead sharks, Atlantic rays, and epaulette sharks at hand-level and learn about their fragile ecosystems.
  • Amazon Rainforest: The bizarre animals that call the Amazon River and its dense ecosystem home are here in force, including piranhas, anacondas, electric eels, and stingrays, as well as live termite mounds, rainforest trees and vines.
  • Gulf of Maine: See the famous Maine lobster! Put your wallets away, these tasty crustaceans are not for sale at market price. You’ll also see the giant sea stars, crabs, dogfish sharks, cod and halibut that reside in Maine’s cold waters.
  • Pacific Community Reef: A stunning tropical exhibit that will take you on a fantasy trip to the waters off some of the world’s most desirable Pacific islands. You’ll see coral cat sharks, unicorn tangs, blue-striped cleaner fish, palette surgeonfish (Dory, from Finding Nemo), and beautiful coral habitats.
  • Seadragons: These leafy looking creatures are truly unusual, and this exhibit houses them in their lifelike habitat, designed to replicate the waters of Australia’s temperate reefs.
  • Penguin Power! A program that lets children learn about the super-cool penguin, its natural habitats, and what we can do to protect them so these awkward-looking friends are around for centuries to come!
  • Atlantic Harbor Seals: Two seal families call NEAq Boston home, and visitors can get to know each seal’s distinct personality and traits! Learn about the aquarium’s former resident, Hoover, who was actually able to speak phrases such as “how are you?” and “come over here”. His grandson, Chacoda, now lives at NEAq and is learning to speak as well!

The New England Aquarium is wheelchair and stroller-accessible, and visitors can enjoy a meal at The Reef, a family-friendly waterfront diner. Pick up a souvenir from the Aquarium Gift Shop—all proceeds go to support education, conservation and outreach programs! Don’t miss the New England Aquarium—one of Boston’s premier attractions, which delights over 1.3 million visitors each year!

Reviews for New England Aquarium

Review Snapshot® by PowerReviews Express
 4.3 out of 5 stars (based on 8 customer ratings)
Average Rating for the New England Aquarium
0% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Tried it? Write a Review
Reviewed by 8 Customers Sort by:
Displaying Reviews 1-8 of 8 Back to Top Previous | Next
5
Good Family Fun
By Floridian Family Verified Reviewer from Fleming Island, FL on
Pros:
Family Friedly
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

This was a very nice aquarium. Lots to do see. The highlights were the interactive exhibits (sting ray) and the dozen or so other animals the kids could touch. Nice café inside was a plus. Kids were disappointed they didn't see whales or sharks, but overall it was easy to get to, in a good location, and family friendly.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

[3 of 3 customers found this review helpful]

5
Must See
By Vacationer Verified Reviewer from Florida on
Pros:
Touch Tanks
Cons:
Parking
Best Uses:
Great for all
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

The aquarium was wonderful. We enjoyed the unique exhibits, like the open aired penguins. The touch tanks were wonderful! Also, make sure to check out the special events like the training show and the living animal talk. They are short and interesting. Don't forget the jelly fish down stairs! :-) Pre-plan for parking. Parking at the pier and the surrounding areas cost an outrageous $35!

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

4
Nice to see
By Heidi Verified Reviewer from Belgium on
Pros:
Loved the pinguins
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

This aquarium was great. Lot's to see. You can spend hours in there without getting bored. The pinguins are for me the number one to see.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

3
cute penguins
By Mandy Verified Reviewer from London Ontario Canada on
Pros:
Skip the line
Cons:
very busy
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

this was an ok display of the fish... the large centre aquarium was interesting... the penquins were smelly but cute to watch... it was very busy so lots of pushing and shoving... touching the stingrays was cool...

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

[1 of 1 customers found this review helpful]

5
Great Experience for all ages
By Throwerkris Verified Reviewer from Bridgeport, CT on
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

Absolutely worth it. My whole family loved it

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

[2 of 3 customers found this review helpful]

4
Great experience!!
By Tuteja from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on
Pros:
Wide marine life variety, Skip the line, Marine animal coulmn
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

we greatly enjoyed our trip to the New England Aquarium. Go Boston card was great as we visited during the labor day weekend and were able to avoid long line-ups. The aquarium itself has a wide variety of marine animals and there is a clear column at the ctr which has got sharks, large fishes, huge tortoise, etc. Well worth the trip!!

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

[6 of 7 customers found this review helpful]

3
Overpriced, but Good for Go Card
By JenWan Verified Reviewer from Fort Worth, TX on
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

I was surprised how small this place was. It really only took 2 hours to see everything! If I had paid cash, I would have been disappointed, but since we combined this with other things the same day using our Go Boston card, it was a good stop and worth our time. I have 3 children, ages 4, 6, and 8. It certainly was appropriate for their ages. The best feature is the huge cylindrical aquarium which features several sharks, a huge sea turtle, sting ray, blowfish, and other fun sea creatures.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

[17 of 20 customers found this review helpful]

5
Mesmerizing!
By Happy Host Verified Reviewer from Wellesley, MA on
Pros:
Jellyfish, Sharks, Skipped the line, Enjoyed the variety, Huge tank
Cons:
Can get congested,
Best Uses:
Waterfront touring, Adults and kids,
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations New England Aquarium:

We walked here along the waterfront from the ICA and then walked from here to the Paul Revere House in the North End. Incredible variety of attractions along this route. Park near Seaport Blvd and avoid the more expensive parking near the Aquarium. We found a meter on Seaport Blvd for a full day of free Sunday parking.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No- You may also flag this review.

New England Aquarium details

Phone: 617-973-5200
Address
1 Central Wharf
Boston, MA 2110
Hours
Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm; Extended summer hours. All hours are subject to change without notice.
Although the Aquarium may be open later, Go Boston Card is only accepted until 5:30 pm. During all other times, standard admission will apply.
Note
Go Boston Card is accepted for admission until 5:30 pm. Once inside the Aquarium, all guests are welcome to stay until closing.
Closings
Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. All holiday hours are subject to change without notice.
  • Open year-round
  • Good for families
  • Parking available
  • Restaurant or snack bar
  • Restrooms
  • Disabled access
  • Reservations not required

Directions and transportation

Address
1 Central Wharf
Boston, MA 2110
Public Transportation
Take the T: Blue Line to the Aquarium stop.

Admission and Offer Information

Skip the line by presenting your pass at the main ticket booth Will Call-Passes Line". Present your admission pass for entry. Get in and enjoy!"

New England Aquarium Packages

Save even more with these pre-built discount packages that include New England Aquarium bundled with other great Boston attractions.

  • Loading Packages…