Boston New England Aquarium
By Susan M. Keenan © 2007
Located on Boston’s waterfront at Central Wharf, the New England Aquarium offers an exciting afternoon’s adventure. Including both indoor and outdoor exhibits, the aquarium has a wealth of amazing sights to see that lend themselves to fantastic photographic opportunities.
With more than 600 species of aquatic animals and fish and over 20,000 specimens, the New England Aquarium can boast that it has something to interest everyone. From live exhibits to glass tanks to educational lectures, the aquarium offers a wide range of sights and sounds- all of which focus on marine life.
The outdoor seal tank allows visitors to enjoy watching the seals as they frolic in and out of the water. A special presentation features sea lions on stage.
A circular glass tank that is four stories high showcases a recreation of a Caribbean coral reef community. The Giant Ocean Tank is located in the center of the building and holds over 20,000 gallons of water. Hundreds of marine life and tropical fish live within it, including sharks, moray eels, and turtles.
On the aquarium’s ground level, visitors are delighted with an adorable colony of penguins. The second floor has an exhibit of Australian sea dragons. An Amazon exhibit features tropical reptiles, 12-foot long eels, color changing cuttle fish, frogs, and more.
The Edge of the Sea Exhibit, showcasing the New England habitat, allows visitors to touch tide pool animals including crabs and anemones. The Twilight Dwellers Tropical Gallery exhibit offers a fascinating look at fish whose lower eyelids glow in the dark.
The Aquarium Medical Center is an interesting place complete with veterinarians and biologists who provide treatment and routine care to the Aquarium’s residents. The Georges Bank exhibit explains everything about the fish in the area.
Special events and programs take place throughout the year. Reservations are required and should be booked at least two weeks in advance by calling 617-973-5206. An admission fee is charged with a less expensive rate for members of the aquarium. Age restrictions do apply to many events.
A regular event is the “Gallery Behind-the-Scenes Tour,” which occurs on a monthly basis. During the tour, visitors are taken to one of the four galleries for an all-inclusive expose of the gallery including maintenance, feeding, and care.
Special members only open house events are also held throughout the year. Other popular events include field trips through salt marshes or Spectacle Island, family sleepovers, Holiday Parties, and more.
The Celebrate Seafood Dinner event, held in the Harborview Café, features three varieties of ocean-friendly seafood. The meal is provided along with cooking demonstrations, educational facts about fish and selecting fish, and more.
Educational programs designed for children of various ages are also offered at the aquarium, typically on a monthly basis. Toddler preschool
Admission fees are charged, but varying prices are offered for children, college students, adults, and senior citizens. Identification is requires in some cases to prove the age requirement. The Aquarium is open daily with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and December 25. Hours vary according to weekends, holidays, and season.
Whale watching cruises are available for a fee during the months between April and October.