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New England Aquarium, Boston

3.8
#1 of 14 in Zoos & Aquariums in Massachusetts
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
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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 itinerary planner to visit New England Aquarium on your trip to Boston, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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4.3
  • see what I did there?? Fantastic aquarium, great exhibits, wonderful layout, so much different sea life and a special shout out goes to the penguins because hey, they are penguins after all! Definitel...  more »
  • The exhibits were bare minimum with a few highlights like the penguins and the main tank in the center. The real standout was the seal exhibit in the back. We ended up seeing a couple of them play aro...  more »
  • Very enjoyable experience of sea life. Your kids will love it, especially the section with the seals and penguins!  more »
Google
  • I cannot tell if it is because we did not originally plan on coming here or if there was so many people in here that I did not enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. I have been promising my daughter a duck boat tour for 6 months now. When the Patriots won, she saw the duck boats on TV and she was hooked. I said this summer, we will go. So, we go down there for father's day and wow it's hot out. We walked from the constitution center. Which isn't a huge deal, unless you have a 3 year old who is intrigued by everything and stops and says hello to everyone. Suddenly a 20 minute walk turns into an event all its own. So, anyhow, we get down to the area of the tours and NOTHING has duck boats. We finally find the duck boat tickets for sale outside the aquarium and its a 2 hour wait. Boy, the aquarium never looked so good. Hit the wallet for slightly less than the duck boats would have but, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't. We are talking wall to wall back to back people in here. I can smell other people's sweat. They hit us for 70+ going in the door and then before we even have a foot in the door they are trying to get us to do pictures. Hey, it's cool. The experience and all. Just not for that kind of money. Every time I tried to take a picture or read a plaque I was pushed out of the way by someone else. WAY too many people. I can say I will cross it off my list of things to do. Nothing that makes me want to come back ever again. It is what it is.
  • To my surprise I actually enjoyed this experience. I am from NY, so the thought of ever seeing a whale in person - boggles my mind. Like who gets to see whales? It was so surreal to see all the different types of whales come above the water, in their natural habitat. We were at sea on our way to their feeding ground for about 45 minutes. Once we arrived we were able to see a NUMBER of whales on every side of the boat. Which was enjoyable, it did not matter where you were standing you still got a view. I also appreciated their disclaimer where they told us, if we did not see a whale when we out they would give us a free pass to go on another cruise on a day of our choice for free (& the voucher is valid indefinitely). Companies do not have to do that, but this company offered that option. Just a tip - definitely wear something warm - no matter how good the weather is. Once the boat picked up speed, that cold air took my boyfriend and I by surprise. Beautiful experience, so happy I was able to see so many whales and learn about them as well.
  • A huge aquarium with so much to see, but as other reviewers have said, it's incredibly crowded. Despite that we had a good experience & enjoyed our time here. There are some interactive exhibits that I'm sure are especially exciting for children & a theatre showing nature/wildlife films, we watched one about blue whales & it was a nice break from walking before finishing up the tour. As you leave you pass through the obligatory gift shop & of course the point where the photos taken on the way in are for sale. We bought our photo package & of course it's extremely overpriced, but it was a memorable moment for a first date weekend so we bought them anyway.
  • If you're an aquarium fan, you'll get a lot out of your visit here. This is one of the oldest large aquariums I've visited, and its architecture is unique. I loved the central, columnar tank surrounded by penguins at the bottom. I think we spent most of our time just going up and down the helical staircase wrapping around it. However, this place is not well-equipped to deal with the hordes that visit it, and you should prepare yourself to jockey with the crowds to get good views of the fish. At least they have a nice cafe and outdoor area with seals to recharge your energy. Try to come here during "off" hours if at all possible.
  • My tween daughter and I visited on the afternoon of July 5 and stayed about 20 minutes. Unless you REALLY feel like you need to see the aquarium, I wouldn't recommend it. My local NJ zoo has the same seals / penguin / sea lions / touch tank exhibits - without the huge crowds in the small space. Outside the zoo for free you can see the sea-lion exhibit. There are many different types of penguins inside so if you are a penguin lover, it's not to be missed. Included on the Boston Go Card.