We only had 3 days in Boston, so we were Uber-ing all over the city to see and do everything we wanted to. One of out stops was the New England Aquarium. Luckily, the day we picked to go was miserable weather, so we were shielded from the elements for a couple of hours. Not only can you enjoy the aquarium, but the New England Aquarium is also home to an IMAX Cinema with a selection of animal themed movies and documentaries to choose from. They also offer a Whale Watching experience. Needless to say, you will not be bored.

New England Aquarium

Location & Entrance Fee

The New England Aquarium is located on the Central Wharf on the waterfront in Downtown Boston. The nearest subway stop is Aquarium Station (aptly named) on the MBTA’s Blue Line. The Aquarium is also a short walk from the Haymarket Station on the Orange and the Green Lines. The New England Aquarium is within walking distance of the North End, Government Center, and the Financial District. We were coming from Cambridge so we just called an Uber and arrived within 10 minutes.

Aquarium Ticket Prices
  • Child $18.95 (under 3 years go free)
  • Adult $27.95
  • Senior (60+) $25.95
IMAX Ticket Prices
  • Adult $9.95
  • Child (3-11) $7.95
  • Senior (60+) $7.95
Whale Watching
  • Adult – $53
  • Child (3-11) – $33
  • Child (under 2) – $16
  • Senior (60+) – $45

Not Just for Entertainment

The New England Aquarium strives not only the provide entertainment, but also to focus on education on the environment and aim to help protect the oceans and all that lives in it. They have a number of conservation projects as well as a Marine Animal Rescue Team. They leads regional efforts to rehabilitate and release endangered species at their Animal Care Centre. To read more about how they make a difference, you can visit their Mission and Vision page on their website

Heading out to explore more of New England? Check out Julie’s post on her ‘Genius’ New England College Town Roadtrip 

Feeding Time!

I’m going to lie, walking in the first thing we see is a massive tank full of penguins was very exciting. The New England Aquarium is home to more that 80 penguins who live in a ‘bustling colony’ surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank. Just as we arrive it was feeding time. The penguins were all very hyper and excitable, diving off the rocks and gliding through the water.

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I have such a fascination with anything to do with water. When I was a kid I used to want to be a Marine Biologist. But really only so I could hang out with Orcas (I blame Free Willy). I would absolutely still do that if it didn’t require like a million years in Uni or to be even remotely good at Biology (Spoiler, I’m not).

It was surprisingly small inside, and given it is one of the most visited places in Boston, you can imagine that it was pretty cramped. There at 4 floors that all spiral around the massive Giant Ocean Tank. Surrounding this are smaller tanks with the likes of Seadragons and Jellies which was really cool. As the Giant Ocean Tank spans all four floors, you can have a peek as you go, but the beauty (in my opinion) is when you get to the top and can look down on it all.

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Giant Ocean Tank

The Giant Ocean tank, at it’s deepest, goes down 23ft. It holds 200,000 gallons of salt water, heated to between 72° and 75° F, which is a perfect temperature range for this tropical exhibit. It’s so massive that they built the Giant Ocean Tank first, then the rest of the New England Aquarium around it!

The tank contains hundreds of Caribbean Reef and animals such as sea turtles, stingrays, eels and fishes. The Green Sea Turtle, Myrtle, is around 80 years old and weighs more than 500 pounds.  There are two other turtles in the tank, Carolina and Retread, who are Loggerhead Turtles. They are considerably smaller and can be spotted them by the brownish red coloring on the top of their head and shell.

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Wait, More Penguins?

As we made our way back down, spiraling around the Giant Ocean Tank, we realised we missed a whole other side of the first floor. Too distracted by feeding time, we didn’t realise there were more Penguins on the other side of the aquarium.

New England AquariumRockhopper Penguins are one of the smallest species of Penguin. I guess you can’t see it so well in the picture, but these are the little guys the with red eyes and yellow feathers on their head. I would be lying if I said they didn’t make me think of Robin Williams in Happy Feet!

The New England Aquarium is a fun place to visit, but a tad overpriced in my opinion. But as we soon found out, so was everything in Boston! We didn’t do the Whale Watching or see and IMAX film, but if we had it would have majorly blown through my budget. None the less, the sea is a wonderful thing to learn about and is super fun for kids to get to see the animals up close. An hopefully learn something in the process.

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32 thoughts on “A Day Out at the New England Aquarium, Boston”

  1. Looks like it’s a nice place to learn and see more about our Oceans. I agree the price is a bit high, but it seems fitting for the maintenance of the marine life. New England Aquarium seems like a nice day out.

  2. Normally I don’t like Zoos or Aquariums, animals should live free in nature and not in captivation so humans can look at them. Some Aquariums can help animals with rescue or preservation but is a questionable topic.

  3. I used to live very close to Boston but somehow I never made it to Aquarium. Ive heard so much about it as you saying is one of the biggest attraction of the city! I do regret not going tho, sea life is so beautiful and look at those penguins ! They are super cute! Its great that you can also see a movies there! Perfect place for rainy day!

  4. I am not a big fan of aquariums and zoos, but I’m glad that they are making many rehabilitation programs and are educating people about keeping the ocean clean. And I think it’s good that they keep the price high, because if it already attracts big masses it would get even more crowded with lower prices.

  5. I wanted to be a marine biologist because of Free Willy too!!! I love going to aquariums and this one sounds like there is a lot to see. I would be very interested in doing the whale watching – thank you Free Willy 🙂

  6. Boston is high on my travel list so I was nice to see your post about a place to visit while I am there! It sounds like such a great place to spend an afternoon.

  7. I’m so interested in the whale watching! We don’t get there here in Singapore. You also mentioned that you mostly uber-ed around the city? I’m wondering if it’s expensive. Uber can get a little expensive here in Singapore. Will love to visit Boston one day though! 🙂

  8. Looks like a fun day out! I love Boston but I am yet to visit the aquarium. I love aquariums that have full length (floor to ceiling) tanks. I could sit there and watch them swim all day long! Great to see Boston has a nice one to visit.

  9. I love shielding away from the weather indoors! What a perfect opportunity to visit the aquarium that day. I’ve only been to the aquarium in Baltimore, but it seems like the Boston aquarium beats it by far! It certainly doesn’t have any adorable penguins like Boston.

  10. I got a very specific opinion on aquariums. Especially the ones that offer shows with animals having them do tricks and all that. The aquarium you are mentioning here seems to focus on education on the environment and aim to help protect the oceans from what you are writing, but there are lots of others that just use this as an excuse to run a zoo, “rescuing” perfectly fine animals out of their natural habitat. I genuinely hope this isn’t the case here and the animals are getting released actually someday… (but I kinda doubt it). For anyone actually wondering what I’m talking about: Head to Youtube and look for the movie “The Cove” – this may ruin your day, but also help rething certain attractions out there.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Everyone has an opinion. I researched this aquarium extensively before visiting. I understand people dislike them, but from what I could seem they genuinely focus and aim to help sea life, which I think it great. I woukd also like to also argue that some zoos and aquariums, some, are vital to saving animals lives.

  11. Ahh, this is so wonderful and perfect timing! We just moved to New England and Boston is one of first places we want to go and see. I also share your passion when it comes to the ocean! I am crazy about dolphins and hope to work around/with them one day! Lovely post, thank you for sharing all the beautiful pictures!

  12. Although we vastly favor seeing marine creatures in the wild, we do understand the need for aquariums. Aside from allowing people to see rarely seen marine creatures, they also let them realize the fragility and magnificence of the oceans. The penguins are cool! We have one like this in Manila.

  13. Love the colours! The jellyfish look amazing as well, like they glow in the dark! Thanks for the info. Tbh I’m still a bit concerned for the captivity of the animals, but I do think it’s great that they have conservation programs as well – that’s definitely important.

  14. It’s always good to have a few indoor activities on the list in case the weather goes bad! Thanks for all the information about the prices and location (it does look a bit overpriced, but I’ve never been in Boston so I cannot tell). Good to know that they also provide education on the environment.

  15. Penguins are so cool! In Melbourne we have little fairy penguins that waddle up the beach at sunset. They are the sweetest things. Love the jellyfish too. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  16. Aquariums are such peaceful places to wander around and it sounds as though this Boston one does a lot of education and conservation work which I think is vital. Visiting when the penguins were at their most frisky sounds like a real bonus. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

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