At the New England Aquarium, you can meet old, majestic sea turtles, intimidating sand tiger sharks, mysterious jellyfish, clownish Northern Fur and Atlantic Harbor seals, and many other diverse creatures of the sea. Founded in 1969, this marine animal refuge attracts over 1.3 million visitors a year and is dedicated to preserving the ocean's wildlife through its successful mix of education, entertainment, and work in the field. Its Marine Animal Rescue Program has been rehabilitating sick, stranded, and injured animals throughout the New England coastal region since 1968, and prides itself on educating guests about the many hazards facing marine life today.
As soon as you walk through the doors of this popular tourist destination, over 74 adorable and personable penguins wait to greet you. The Aquarium's penguin exhibit can be seen from almost anywhere in the building, and holds more than 150,000 gallons of fresh water. Three different penguin species live here – the loud African penguins, the colorful rockhoppers (known by the bright yellow feathers on their heads), and the loveable blue penguins, the smallest penguin species in the world. Also impossible to miss is the four-story Giant Ocean Tank, a 23-foot-deep and 40-foot-wide tropical coral reef exhibit that houses over 600 animals. Come face-to-face with stingrays, eels, barracuda, huge sand tiger sharks, and vibrant, colorful reef fish. Be sure to say hello to Myrtle, the Aquarium's famous green sea turtle who has been here since it opened in 1969. The top floor allows you to look down at the tank from above and observe divers feeding the animals.
Other can't-be-missed exhibits include Amazing Jellies, which has 14 tanks of some of the most slimy, mysterious, and just plain weird sea creatures in the world. You will feel as if you have just stepped into a sci-fi movie as you wander through the dimly lit rooms surrounded by glowing neon tanks full of comb jellies, sea nettles, moon jellies, and even green tree pythons. If you have kids in your group, you can't miss the many hands-on areas, which allow children to get close to lobsters, sea stars, hermit crabs, and even to join in a play session with seals. The Aquarium's Simons IMAX Theatre offers viewers the opportunity to observe majestic sea creatures in the most dramatic fashion -- on New England's largest screen. Come tour some of the most mysterious and beautiful seas in the world through the IMAX's variety of shows such as Under the Sea 3D and Jean-Michel Cousteau's Dolphins and Whales 3D.
- Winter (Labor Day through June 30): Monday through Friday: 9am to 5pm, Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 6pm
- Summer (July 1 through Labor Day): Sunday through Thursday: 9am to 6pm, Friday & Saturday: 9am to 7pm
- Adults: $20.95
- Children (3-11): $12.95
- Seniors (60+): $18.95
- Subway Stop:
- Blue line to the Aquarium stop
- Location: 1 Central Wharf, Boston MA (located right near Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market)
- Phone: 617-973-5200
- Website: www.neaq.org