New England Aquarium, Boston

4 out of 5 stars 34 Reviews

Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 617-973-5200

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • New England Aquarium
    by fdrich29
  • Look at the fish!
    Look at the fish!
    by travelfrosch
  • Seals and Sea Lions
    Seals and Sea Lions
    by travelfrosch
  • fdrich29's Profile Photo

    New England Aquarium

    by fdrich29 Written Jul 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The New England Aquarium opened it's doors on June 20, 1969 and ever since that day has been a major attraction for visitors to Boston. Their website reports 1.3 million people visit them each year. There were three aquariums in Boston prior to it's opening in 1969. The Boston Aquarial Gardens opened in 1860, and was the first public aquarium in the world that was devoted to marine life. Following that was the Boston Aquarial Gardens and Zoolological Gardens then the South Boston Aquarium, which closed in 1954. The Aquarium has aquatic guests from all over the world, including sea turtles, rays, jelly fish, harbor seals, lobsters, octopus, penguins and a host of other species. Exhibits currently include the Marine Mammal Center, Atlantic Harbor Seals, Amazon Rain Forest, the Giant Ocean Tank, Gulf of Maine, Sea Dragons and Amazing Jellies. Oh, and who from Boston could forget the star of the old Aquarium commercials? Penguins! "I can walk like a penguin!" I loved that commercial when I was growing up. The Aquarium also has a whale watch that runs from early April to late October and lasts between 3-4 hours. Pricing for the Aquarium is $20.95 for adults, $12.95 for children 3-11, and $18.95 for seniors. Children under 3 are free. The whale watch is not included in your admission to the Aquarium. Forty years later the New England Aquarium is truly still a place where "It's Fun to Find Out!".

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Aquarium
    • Whale Watching

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    New England Aquarium Open Air Exhibits

    by nicolaitan Updated Jan 10, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Non-enclosed exhibits are always popular, draw big crowds, and the aquarium has several.

    All the way in the back, a pool features Northern fur seals and California sea lions and overlooks the Boston Harbor. Feeding time draws the largest crowds. The fur seals hail from the Arctic seas and are the largest seals, the males much larger than the females, with a dense mantle of fur covering the neck and shoulders. There are believed to over a million in the wild currently but in the 18th and 19th centuries, their population was almost annhilated by hunters seeking the fur for clothing. Laws now regulate hunting.
    The pool, which is nothing special to say the least, also is home to California sea lions, intelligent and trainable and often part of commercial enterprises performing tricks. These seals also are vocal, communicating with loud barking, and are among the fastest of seals maintaing speed of 25 mph.

    The other open air exhibits are for the penguins, the most popular the southern rockhopper species, in a colony of 80 surrounding the giant ocean tank. The rockhoppers are among the smallest of penguins, distinguished by their long yellow eyebrows and, believe it or not, pink feet. Unlike most species, they hop from rock to rock and are the only penguins to enter the sea feet first. The rockhoppers are the most frequent choice for popular media, appearing on everything from a Fleetwood Mac album cover to the Happy Feet movies, voice courtesy the late Robin Williams.
    Having seen penguins in several aquariums, I must admit that I have never seen one actually move much less hop. They seem to just squat immobile. But they certainly are cute.

    California Sea Lion Northern Fur Seal Feeding Time Rockhopper Penguins Check the eyelashes and feet

    Was this review helpful?

  • Icemaiden02's Profile Photo

    Many Marine Mammals

    by Icemaiden02 Written Jan 18, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With incredible emphasis on public awareness and conservation, this aquarium strives to protect marine wildlife and instilling a sense of awe in the beauty and delicacy of this fairly unknown and unencountered environment. Avoid weekends and Fridays.

    Admission Tickets:
    General (Age 12+) $17.95
    Seniors (60+) $15.95
    Children (3-11) $9.95

    IMAX Theatre Prices:
    Adult $9.50
    Senior $7.50
    Child $7.50

    Winter Hours - Day after Labor Day - June 30
    Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
    Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

    Summer Hours - July 1 - Labor Day
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
    Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

    Penguins at NE Aquarium, taken May 2003
    Related to:
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • PupDawg's Profile Photo

    A great walk along the waterfront

    by PupDawg Written Jan 16, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While the aquarium itself is not dog friendly, the surrounding outdoor areas are wonderful. We enjoyed the seals and the stroll along the Harbor Walk. Parking is available nearby in the garage but can get expensive.

    Baxter visits the seals Outside the NE Aquarium Outside the NE Aquarium Beutiful view in front of the aquaium
    Related to:
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • MatthewMetcalfe's Profile Photo

    New England Aquarium is Nice.

    by MatthewMetcalfe Written Sep 11, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The New England Aquarium is nice but I recommend you get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds.

    The Aquarium is centered around a central tank that represents a Carribean Reef. Around this tank are exhibits that highlight aquatic regions from around the world. At the base of the tank is a large penguin exhibit. On our visit there was an exhibit on Jellyfish that was outstanding! It was as good, if not better than the Seahorse exhibit at Chattanooga's aquarium.

    The Pengiun exhibit is what makes this aquarium unique. There are over 60 pengiuns in the pool. The pool is fed directly from the harbor.

    The aquarium is not as large as I expected but it is very good nonetheless and priced right. Our tickets were about $15.00.

    Come Closer... I don't sting.
    Related to:
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • They sure do got a lot of penguins... :)

    by skywarp Written Sep 30, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you love penguins, go to the Aquarium. There's tens of them in a big pool in the ground level. Noisy and cute. Then, as you go up to the other levels you'll see hundreds (thousands?) of interesting fish and sea creatures. There's a small shallow pool with hermit crabs. You may touch them.

    Dragonfish at the Boston Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • Laura_Mexico's Profile Photo

    Nice small aquarium

    by Laura_Mexico Updated Jan 25, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a nice place to see in Boston if you're fond of wildlife as am I. The aquarium is small but they have some nice species exhibited which aren't so common in other aquariums. I particularly liked the jelly-fish exposition, the penguins (some kinds I had never seen in my life - not even in Animal Planet!) and the BIG turtles!

    There's this big transparent tank (very deep) which is the main attraction where all kind of animals live together: sharks, eels, turtles, stingrays, all kinds of tropical fish.... there are people who sink in the tank 3-4 times a day to feed the bigger animals so they don't start eating each other, LOL.... scary!

    Looking at this big pool (which is surrounded by a spiral ramp so you can appreciate it from all angles) is like seeing a small portion of the ocean, where many different animals live together "peacefully" in the same space. You can find the description & interesting facts about many of the species living in the tank printed in small slides around the pool.

    Just a little tip if you're NOT fond of children (like me): DO NOT visit the aquarium during the weekend, as it will be packed with families who spend their weekend there: strollers everywhere, children running and yelling and crying and tapping on the glass of the tanks, etc. It can be really nerve wrecking and it won't let you enjoy your visit fully. I really regretted having left this visit for my last day in Boston, cause I didn't have any choice left: I either visited it on Saturday, or left town without having seen it. So I arrived early and buying the tickets was no problem, but the crowd inside WAS. If you hate crowds like me, you'd better go there in the middle of the week so you can be more peaceful. Now if you're traveling with your kids..... this is a nice option for you to spend a family day (you must be already used to dealing with the brats, anyway, LOL).

    Oh, another tip: they have a very nice souvenir shop! You can find really cute things there (expensive, but nice!).

    Beautiful giant turtle! A not-so-usual kind of penguin!
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium
    • Whale Watching

    Was this review helpful?

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    See the penguins at the New England Aquarium

    by mikelisaanna Written May 4, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The New England Aquarium is located in downtown Boston next to the harbor and features a wide variety of fish and other marine animals. The featured attractions are the penguins and a large tank that simulates a caribbean reef. The aquarium also has an IMAX theatre.

    The penguins and one of their keepers
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • rids's Profile Photo

    New England Aquarium

    by rids Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    New England Aquarium
    More than 12,000 fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians are on display. There is a 200,000-gallon circular ocean tank with a replica of a Caribbean coral reef.

    Was this review helpful?

  • vrage's Profile Photo

    *Boston Aquarium*

    by vrage Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    They have a Huge fish tank with a spiral staircase going around it, you can see divers going into it and hand feeding turtles, fish, and sharks!
    ...Also a great indoor penguin pond which takes up nearly the whole first floor.

    Was this review helpful?

  • hobanma's Profile Photo

    New England Aquarium - We...

    by hobanma Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    New England Aquarium - We decided that we like the Shedd Aquarium better but only slightly. This is a very nice aquarium. When we visited, it was full of several groups of very noisy schoolkids which may have influenced our opinions somewhat. It is definitely worth visiting.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kehale's Profile Photo

    The Aquarium

    by kehale Written May 12, 2010

    We visited the aquarium during my second trip to Boston in January 0f 2008. There's so much to see, and we arrived pretty late in the day. The staff were friendly enough to give us free admission for the next day. It was extremely helpful as there was a Jellyfish exhibit on at the time that we completely missed the first day. You can walk forever checking everything out and the giant tank in the middle of the aquarium is pretty cool. By far, the coolest would be the penguins who live in the middle as well - they have a ton of varieties. There are also a few sealions they have. Worth a trip, would be great especially with kids. Make sure you give yourself a good amount of time to check it all out though.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • nomadig's Profile Photo

    Fish and friends

    by nomadig Written Jan 4, 2009

    New England Aquarium is a good way to spend half a day looking at the wonders of the seas, especially if you are travelling with children. The aquarium is located on the Boston waterfront, easily accessible with the public transportation.

    There are seals, penguins and huge number of fish in the aquarium. The most interesting tank is located in the middle of the area; it is several storeys high and the walkway spirals around it. Various species of fish and other sea creatures swarm in it. Some of them are pretty big and a bit scary, too, so some children might get anxious. There is plethora of other, typically smaller, fish on the tanks circling around the big one.

    As usual, there is a well-stocked shop that focuses mostly on toys, and a café with a nice view to harbour. Nothing spectacular on the menu, mostly snacks and beverages.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • lokibinky's Profile Photo

    Giant Sea Turtle

    by lokibinky Written Dec 6, 2003

    Since we are animal lovers, of course the aquarium was on our list of things to do.

    We spent a lot of time chasing and watching this huge guy!

    There is a HUGE tank in the middle of the aquarium that has a spiral ramp wrapping it from top to bottom...it was incredible

    I think it was like $15/person to get in.

    click to enlarge

    Was this review helpful?

  • stiab3's Profile Photo

    Sea Life

    by stiab3 Written Apr 15, 2005

    I love aquariums and so the New England aquarium was a must for me. I'd recommend it.

    There are seals and sea lions and if you want to know the difference between the 2 I suggest you see the sea lion show (with Tyler).

    If you're lucky you'll see them feeding the penguins.

    There's even a touchy pool where you can touch star fish!

    Tyler the Sea Lion
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Boston

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

31 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near New England Aquarium
4.0 out of 5 stars
4 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Boston hotels