(Photo from NEAQ/Facebook)

(Photo from NEAQ/Facebook)

The New England Aquarium is teeming with life. Bring your family here on a unique adventure to learn about animals, plants and sea life in an up-close and personal way. Even if you’ve visited in the past, the new renovations and exhibits provide experiences you’ve never had before.

New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 973-5200

Several Boston-area summer camps feature outdoor activities and field trips. (Credit: New England Aquarium)

(Credit: New England Aquarium)

General Information

The New England Aquarium offers a totally new experience for visitors since the main building has been renovated from top to bottom. Even the central exhibit, the Giant Ocean Tank, has been refreshed and renewed. It is now filled with even more animals and a new Caribbean coral reef. View the time-lapsed transformation of the tank here. Your adventure at the museum will include time with stingrays, sea turtles, seals, penguins and several child-friendly touch tanks. To make the most of your time at the museum, schedule a guided tour, create your own or stop by one of the daily presentations. Daily events include live animal presentations, dives in the Giant Ocean Tank, seal training and penguin feedings. View the schedule here to plan accordingly.

Admission Rates: Adults $24.95, Seniors $22.95, Children $17.95, under age 3 free, aquarium members free
Click here to view whale watching, IMAX theater and combo ticket rates.

Photo credit: New England Aquarium/Facebook

Photo credit: New England Aquarium/Facebook

Exhibits and Animals

The aquarium is featuring many new animals right now, along with some old favorites. The giant Pacific octopus, leafy seadragons and lionfish are sure to keep you entertained. Check out the Atlantic harbor seals in the front and then head out back to see the California sea lions and Northern fur seals.

Be sure to stop by the newest exhibits at the aquarium during your visit. The Blue Planet Action Center presents the challenges faced by the oceans and the global search for solutions. The Yawkey Coral Reef Center sits atop the Giant Ocean Tank. It features a seven-tank exhibit for easier viewing of reef animals.

(Photo: New England Aquarium) credit: The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank/ S. Cheng

(Photo: New England Aquarium) credit: The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank/ S. Cheng

Enjoy a hands-on experience with the Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank. The tank is surrounded by viewing windows and shallow edges to allow for a close encounter. Visitors are welcome to reach out and gently touch the Atlantic rays, cownose rays and epaulette sharks as they swim by.

The Amazon Rainforest Exhibit brings the dense forest and Amazon River right to Boston. This diverse habitat is home to electric eels, poison dart frogs, anacondas and piranhas. A mixture of live plants and life-like replicas complete this lush exhibit.

Dining and Shops 

If you need a lunch break or snack, head to the second floor to the Harbor View Cafe. This cafe serves up soups, salads, pizza, burgers, deli sandwiches, snacks, beverages and even sustainable seafood. Seating is first come, first served, so eating at off hours is advisable. During warmer weather, refreshment carts can be found on the aquarium plaza.

Stop by the Aquarium gift shop to pick up a souvenir from your visit. Books, DVDs and CDs provide more in-depth learning of your favorite exhibits. You can feel good about your purchase, as all proceeds directly support conservation, research and education programs.

Related:  A Guide To Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo

New Events and Entertainment

(credit: New England Aquarium)

(credit: New England Aquarium)

Penguin Feedings
Daily at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Watch the penguin colonies gather around as the staff members bring out buckets of food. The penguins are hand fed so staff can record exactly how much food they ate.

Giant Ocean Tank Talks
Daily at 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

This talk introduces the thousands of animals now living in the Giant Ocean Tank. The glass railing around the tank allows visitors to peer in while learning about the different species, how aquarium staff cares for them and how they coexist.

Live Animal Presentations
Daily at 10:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

A variety of animals are featured in these up-close presentations. Learn the details of each animal, its behaviors and why there is nothing to fear.

Getting There

The Aquarium is located on the Boston waterfront and can be reached by subway, by car and by foot. Click here for detailed driving directions. The Aquarium does not have a parking garage, however, validated and non-validated parking is available. Parking at an MBTA station and taking the T in is also an inexpensive way to park. If you choose to take the subway, connect to the blue line and get off at the Aquarium stop. If you already happen to be in the Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Government Center, Financial District or North End area, the museum is just a short walk away.

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Kim Vareika is the owner of Vareika Personal Training and Yoga in Plainville. She has been in the fitness industry for over ten years, and believes that wellness is about more than just physical health. When she is not teaching, practicing, or writing, she resides in Bridgewater where she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her nephew Caesar. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.