Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Touring Boston - What to Know About Visiting the New England Aquarium with Kids

The New England Aquarium is one of those places that seem to show up on all of the "Top Things to do in Boston" list so of course we had to check it out.

The New England Aquarium is in a huge building near the Boston Harbor. The center of the aquarium is characterized by a giant, round, multi level tank filled with all manner of sea life.  There is a spiral incline that follows the tank and at each level there are also smaller tank exhibits on the outside walls.  The vast majority of the aquarium is housed in one huge room with lots of paths leading in different directions so you can easily access what interests you.

New England Aquarium with Kids

Things to Note:

1) Price
Fairly expensive. $27/Adult, $18/Children, 3 and under free.  However if you're a Boston local check out the library for discount passes.

New England Aquarium with Kids
2) Stroller Friendliness
Super stroller friendly.  There is tons of space to maneuver a stroller around and the walks ways up to each level are huge ramps, but if you get there and decide you don't want to take your stroller along they also have a free stroller check at the entry.

3) Child Friendliness
Again super friendly.  This place was built for children to explore and while most of the things to do are visual (look into the tanks and various fish) there are also some interactive areas with buttons little ones can push as well as two different tanks where you can touch live sea creatures.  (Thankfully hand washing stations and sanitizer and everywhere near the stations)

4) Crowds
This is a really popular destination and every time we've been the place has been crowded, I think it comes with the territory, however the exhibits are spaced out enough that we've never had a problem seeing the things we were interested in, though we have had to wait a few minutes to "pet" the sea creatures in the petting area.
New England Aquarium with Kids

Summary and Rating ★★★★☆

Four stars.  The giant fist tank and penguins are super fun to see but without a pass/discount this place is quite expensive. We've been to the aquarium a couple of times, it's a great activity during the cold winter months when you need to get out of the house and walk around someplace warm. We always enjoy seeing the sea creatures, but the crowds paired with the big open space and low lighting makes my son feel the need to dash around like a mad man until he is worn out and cranky so most of our visits have been short lived.  :/

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below.

New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-973-5206

Fall-Winter Hours
Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday - Sunday 9 am - 6 pm

Summer Hours
July 1 - September 7 (Labor Day)
Sunday - Thursday 9 am - 6 pm Friday - Saturday 9 am - 7 pm

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