New England Aquarium, Boston

3.8
#1 of 14 in Zoos & Aquariums in Massachusetts
New England Aquarium is home to a 760,000 liter (200,000 gallon) tank simulating a Caribbean coral reef. A spiral walkway takes you around the tank, where you can spot sharks, stingrays, eels, barracuda, sea turtles, and more through its 52 windows. Once you reach the bottom, you will be met by the aquarium’s penguin exhibit, though you will most likely hear the noise of the cheerful birds before you see them. The temperate gallery features ancient fish, rare sea dragons, and thousands of schooling fish, while the freshwater gallery hosts piranhas, anacondas, and electric eels. Outside the aquarium, you can enjoy a free viewing of the harbor seal exhibit. They have daily training sessions open to the public. There's an on-site IMAX theater. Use our Boston planning tool to add New England Aquarium and other attractions to your Boston vacation plans.
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New England Aquarium Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
4,861 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid the queues. We managed to get a discount from a trolley tour we used. This meant we avoided a 15 minute queue. It’s still fairly pricey though but there are l...  more »
  • We enjoyed the aquarium, but it was very crowded and sometimes hard to see because of excess people. The penguins at the entry were cute to watch. My daughter also liked the touch tank where she could...  more »
  • Is a good option when we are with young children. The Aquarium is not very big, but has many varieties of fish and other marine animals.
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  • I've been coming to the New England Aquarium since I was a child. Either it has gotten smaller, or I've gotten bigger - when I was younger I used to think it was immense. But now it seems much smaller, especially to other aquariums I've visited. The main tank, which is still impressively massive, was refaced a few years ago and is now a 'Caribbean reef' instead of basically a shark and large creature tank. Personally I liked the old tank better. The coral in the tank is in poor condition - there just isn't enough light for the coral to thrive and a lot of the more colorful fish would be better presented in a smaller tank, I think. I did like the new sea dragon, with leafy and weedy sea dragons, display, although we saw a similar display in Melbourne which was better (of course, Melbourne is a bit closer to where they actually live!) I was also sad that the sea lions and dolphins that used to inhabit the Discovery barge are gone, along with the barge! All in all, we went through the entire aquarium, including visiting the harbor seals and the cafeteria, at a very slow pace, in a little under two hours. At $50 for one adult and one child ticket, that seemed like a poor value to me. Also, we happened to visit on a day when there were several high school groups visiting so the aquarium was super super crowded. While I love aquatic life and aquariums, if you aren't a super fan, there are probably better museums to visit in Boston!
  • Very beautiful and well-maintained. Loved the penguin exhibits. A special treat for the eyes was the 538 pounds sea turtle, the green eel, moon jelly fish, the sea dragon, and the interaction with stingrays. We took almost 2 hours to visit all the exhibits, though it was a bit crowded being a Saturday. It is a perfect place for a family outing. Kids too will love the place. Marine biodiversity at best!!!
  • Large tank in the middle with a variety of fish swimming around, very nice. Smaller displays on the periphery of the central tank that are nicely curated as well. Most of the exhibits are in the main building so if you like staying away from the sun it's a good thing. Much smaller than other aquariums like the one in NY but that perception is also due to everything being inside. The sharks are very small if you are a shark lover. Penguins have a very large section to play.
  • The aquarium was a fun stop for our family on our last visit to Boston. Their are hundreds of exotic fish that are mesmerizing to watch. The tank in the center of the aquarium extends 4 stories high and is spiraled by a walk way. The layers of seaside were incredible. We watched a sea lion show, enjoyed the sea turtles and loved the ray touch tank.
  • Decent aquarium, but far from the best. This aquarium is okay. Essentially, the building is one large tank with a spiraling ramp going around it. It is also way to busy to be completely enjoyable. I would love to see the aquarium incorporate more of the natural environment like the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in California. I'd also recommend checking out the nearby Mystic Aquarium as an alternative. Regardless, it is still worth a trip. Many local libraries offer discounted or free passes to visit and they have good deals for community employees like teachers.
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