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New England Aquarium – tickets, prices, discounts, what to expect, FAQs

New England Aquarium in Boston is home to more than a thousand marine species.

From Green Sea Turtles to Bonnethead Sharks to Stingrays, you get a glimpse of amazing majestic sea creatures that are sure to overwhelm you.

The aquarium showcases the marine species in their natural habitats and is a massive hit with both kids and adults.

This article covers everything you must know before booking tickets for the New England Aquarium.

Top New England Aquarium Tickets

# New England Aquarium tickets

What to expect at New England Aquarium

Come and meet Myrtle, the green sea turtle, Tatoosh, the octopus, penguins, sea lions, and many more fascinating creatures at the New England Aquarium, Boston’s most popular tourist attraction.

Visit the Olympic Coast Exhibit, which features tidepool invertebrates such as hermit crabs, sea stars, sea cucumbers, and anemones.

The aquarium features a variety of marine life, including seals, sea lions, penguins, turtles, jellyfish, and three species of sharks.

The New England Aquarium’s main attraction is the Giant Ocean Tank, which holds 200,000 gallons of water.

Get to touch the stingrays in their pool and see other fascinating marine animals from the Pacific Northwest region.

Don’t miss out on the chance to see Tatoosh, along with many other fascinating marine animals, as you explore the Olympic Coast Exhibit.

Where to book tickets

Tickets for the New England Aquarium are available at the attraction or online in advance.

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the attraction.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the ticket counters.

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.

Because some attractions sell a limited number of tickets, they may sell out during peak days. Booking online also helps avoid last-minute disappointment and delays.

How do online tickets work

Go to the New England Aquarium booking page, select your preferred date and time and the number of tickets, and buy the tickets right away.

After the purchase, you will receive the tickets via email.

You don’t need to carry printouts.

Show the smartphone tickets at the meeting point on the day of your visit and get on board.

New England Aquarium ticket prices

Adult tickets for the New England Aquarium can be purchased for US$32 for visitors aged between 12 and 59 years.

Tickets for children between three and 11 years are available for US$24.

Senior Citizens aged 60 and above can get the tickets for US$30.

Infants up to two years of age can join for free.

New England Aquarium tickets

Touch pool at New England Aquarium
Image: Neaq.org

Buy this ticket and enter the New England Aquarium, along with access to all of the featured exhibitions.

The New England Aquarium offers an exciting array of exhibits and educational experiences, ranging from the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast to the Giant Ocean Tank and much more.

These experiences aim to promote discovery and instill a sense of wonder in ocean animals and habitats.

You can also obtain aquarium guide maps in various languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, German, French, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Please note that the New England Aquarium operates a timed ticketing system, which means that every visitor must select a time slot when purchasing tickets.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (12 to 59 years): US$32
Senior ticket (60+ years): US$30
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): US$24
Infant tickets (up to 2 years): Free

Note: Visitors using wheelchairs and those visitors with visual impairments are welcome at the Aquarium free of charge.

How to reach New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is located at 1 Central Wharf, near Long Wharf, and close to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market.

Address: 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110. Get Directions

You can reach the New England Aquarium by both public and private transportation.

By Bus

Get down at the Atlantic Ave @ Milk St stop to reach the aquarium.

Take Bus 4.

By Subway

Take the blue T line or subway to the Aquarium station to get to the New England Aquarium.

After you reach the station, take the escalator up and walk towards the Boston waterfront area. 

The Aquarium is a four-minute walk from the station. 

By Car

If you’re driving by car, turn on Google Maps and get started!

The Aquarium does not own or operate any parking garages. 

However, visitors can access five parking garages within 0.3 miles (half a km) of the Aquarium. 

View the New England Aquarium parking map

Opening hours

From 27 May to 6 September, the New England Aquarium operates from 9 am to 6 pm on all days of the week except Friday. 

On Friday, the Aquarium operates from 10 am to 8 pm. 

During the summer months, Shark and Ray Touch Tank opens at 9.30 am from Saturday to Thursday and at 10 am on Friday.

From 7 September to 26 May, the aquarium operates from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. 

On Saturday and Sunday, it runs from 9 am to 6 pm. 

On Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, the Boston Aquarium remains closed. 

Best time to visit the aquarium

The best time to visit the New England Aquarium in Boston is as soon as they open.

The marine animals are active in the morning, and you can watch them paddling through the glass enclosures. 

If you can’t make it in the morning, the next best time to visit the Aquarium is after 3 pm. 

You won’t get stuck behind the crowd if you visit the aquarium early or after 3 pm. 

Weekends and public holidays are the busiest at the aquarium.

How long does the Aquarium take

Most visitors spend around 90 minutes exploring the marine life at the Boston Aquarium.

Families with kids spend two to three hours at the aquarium because they tend to spend more time at the marine animal exhibits. 

New England Aquarium map

New England Aquarium - Level 1
Image: Neaq.org
New England Aquarium Level 2
Image: Neaq.org
New England Aquarium Level 3
Image: Neaq.org
New England Aquarium - Level 4
Image: Neaq.org

New England Aquarium Boston is spread over a vast area and is extremely big.

Having a map with you is better for reaching the exhibits easily, especially if you visit with kids, who tend to tire easily. 

The map also helps you locate restrooms, dining areas, ATMs, gift shops, etc. 

Must-see exhibits at New England Aquarium

What can be better than exploring the ocean’s wonders without diving into the sea? 

The New England Aquarium has the following exhibits that are worth exploring. 

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef

Situated across the Giant Ocean Tank, this man-made coral reef brings you closer to biological species of the Indian Ocean and Western and Central Pacific Ocean. 

The Reef is also dubbed as “Rainforest of the Sea.” 

This exhibit hosts diverse marine species like Tomato Clownfish, Longnose Butterflyfish, and Organspine Unicornfish, whose shape, color, and size will leave you amazed. 

Atlantic Harbor Seal Exhibits

Atlantic Harbor Seal Exhibit introduces you to a small corner of the New England rocky coast, where Atlantic harbor seals are found naturally.

This exhibit became quite famous due to Hoover, the Aquarium’s renowned talking harbor seal, who could say several phrases like “How are you?” and “Come over here.”

After the demise of Hoover, his grandson Chacoda is now training to learn new phrases. 

The Atlantic Harbor Seal Exhibit is located outside the Aquarium and is the only exhibit you can see before buying aquarium tickets. 

Penguin Colony

Who said you need to go south of the Equator or Antarctica to catch sight of penguins?

Visit the New England Aquarium and see these beautiful flightless birds in action.

Penguin Colony at New England Aquarium is home to two graceful species of penguins – African Penguins and Rockhoppers. 

African Penguins are famous for their loud calls, which sound like a donkey bray, while the Rockhoppers are famous for jumping. 

New Balance Foundation Marine Center

This open-air exhibit houses two important species, the Northern Fur Seals and Californa Sea Lions. 

The center has designed an open structure with shallow pools and large decks that let these creatures fly through the water, lounge on the deck and play in the pool. 

The goal of this center is not just to display these mesmerizing creatures but also to show the visitors the strength, intelligence, and athleticism of seals. 

The open space lets you see Northern Fur Seals and Sea Lions face-to-face.

Giant Ocean Tank

Giant Ocean Tank is a Caribbean coral reef exhibit.

The 4-story giant water tank goes down 26 feet, is 40 feet wide, and holds 200,000 gallons of salt water.

This exhibit is so big that it was built before the Aquarium was built. 

This exhibit is a nursery of thousands of marine animals that couldn’t have survived hadn’t this Reef been constructed. 

The iconic four-story spiral has more than 50 windows and viewing bays, offering plenty of opportunities to catch glimpses of the myriad fish leaping from the water. 

Olympic Coast

The Olympic Coast exhibit provides shelter to various marine animals from this region of the Pacific Northwest.

Some of the species that you can spot here include:

-Tidepool invertebrates: Hermit Crabs, Sea Stars, Sea Cucumbers, Snails, and Anemones.

– Octopus: Giant Pacific Octopus, the largest known species of Octopus. 

– Fishes: Wolf-eel, Starry Flounder, Spotted Ratfish, Kelp Perch, and Pacific Spiny Lumpfish.

This exhibit shows diverse and vibrant marine life in the shallower tidepools and kelp forests of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Food at New England Aquarium

If you feel hungry during your visit, the New England Aquarium has you covered. 

Central Snack Bar

Central Snack Bar, located on Central Wharf Plaza in front of the Aquarium, offers quick-bite snacks, salads, and beverages that are tasty and fulfilling.

The restaurant operates from 11 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday, and from 11 am to 4 pm on weekends. 

The Harbor View Café

Harbor View Café offers sandwiches, pizza, grilled items, soups, salads, and snacks that will tantalize your taste buds.

Aside from food, the cafe’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular views of Boston Harbor.

The restaurant operates from 10 am to 3 pm from Monday to Friday and from 10 am to 4 pm on weekends. 

The Reef

The Reef, a bar on the Aquarium Plaza, offers light bites, including appetizers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, and New England clam chowder. 

You can also enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

The cafe operates from 12 pm to 7 pm throughout the week. 

FAQs about the New England Aquarium

Here are some questions visitors usually ask before visiting the New England Aquarium.

What exhibits are available at the New England Aquarium?

The aquarium has a wide range of exhibits that showcase marine life from around the world. Some of the popular exhibits include the Giant Ocean Tank, the Edge of the Sea Tidepool Touch Tank, and the Amazon Rainforest exhibit.

Should I pre-book tickets for the New England Aquarium?

Yes, it is best to buy tickets in advance to ensure availability and have a hassle-free experience.

Are there any special events or shows at the New England Aquarium?

Yes, the aquarium hosts many special events and shows throughout the year. Some of the popular events include the IMAX films, the Penguin Feeding, and the Shark and Ray Touch Tank.

Is there a gift shop at the New England Aquarium?

Yes, there is a gift shop at the aquarium where visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts related to marine life.

Is there a parking facility available at the New England Aquarium?

Yes, there are several parking facilities around the aquarium. However, parking can be expensive, so it’s best to use public transport.

Can I bring my own food to the New England Aquarium?

No, outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the aquarium. However, there are food options available inside the aquarium.

Are strollers allowed inside the New England Aquarium?

Yes, strollers are allowed inside the aquarium. However, they are not allowed in some exhibits due to space constraints.

Can I bring my pet to the Boston Aquarium?

No, pets are not allowed inside the aquarium, except for service animals.

Can I take photographs inside the Boston Aquarium?

Yes, visitors are allowed to take photographs inside the aquarium. However, flash photography is not allowed in some exhibits.

Is the New England Aquarium wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the aquarium is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available for rent at the aquarium.

Is the New England Aquarium suitable for young children?

Yes, the aquarium is suitable for young children. There are many interactive exhibits and activities that children can enjoy.

Sources

# Neaq.org
# Travel.usnews.com
# Tripadvisor.com
# Wikipedia.org

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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