New England Aquarium

#23 in Best Things To Do in Boston
New England Aquarium picture
Yiming Chen/Getty Images

Key Info

1 Central Wharf

Price & Hours

$27.95 for adults; $18.95 for kids 3-11; free ...
Hours vary seasonally

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.6

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Your kids will find plenty to love at the New England Aquarium, starting with the harbor seals that hang out just beyond the ticket booth. Inside, you'll find thousands of marine critters to study, and at the center: the Giant Ocean Tank. This four-story tank includes a coral reef habitat that houses more than 1,000 underwater creatures. While you're here, you'll spot a myriad of fascinating aquatic species, including green sea turtles, eels and barracuda. In other parts of the aquarium, you'll find exhibits dedicated to penguins, sea jellies and seadragons, plus an IMAX Theater.

While some previous visitors bemoaned the aquarium's compact size, many appreciated the attraction's variety of animals. Several travelers also recommended watching a penguin or seal feeding. Feeding times vary depending on the day and animal, so ask an aquarium employee for the day's schedule. And don't forget to check out the Shark and Ray Touch Tank, which allows visitors to graze sharks and rays as they swim by.

The New England Aquarium's hours vary depending on the season and day of the week, but generally, the aquarium welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 5, 6 or 7 p.m. Tickets cost $27.95 for adults and $18.95 for children between 3 and 11; visitors with CityPASS tickets or Go Boston Cards receive complimentary admission. All tickets include access to the aquarium's main exhibits, restrooms, a gift shop and a cafe. To participate in a whale watching tour or watch an IMAX film, travelers will be charged an extra fee. The easiest way to get to the aquarium is by riding the "T" to downtown's Aquarium subway station since parking in the area is limited. For more information about aquarium fees and exhibits, visit the attraction's website.

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Faneuil Hall Marketplace1 of 26
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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Four buildings – Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market – constitute Faneuil Hall Marketplace, with the oldest being Faneuil Hall. Built in 1742 and now located on the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall has had a long and important history in Massachusetts politics. Samuel Adams once stood here to push for resistance against the British, and abolitionists and suffragists have stood on their soapboxes here. In fact, this is where Jonathan Mayhew famously challenged the Sugar Act of 1764 by proclaiming, "no taxation without representation." Since Mayhew's declaration, the marketplace has expanded to include more than 100 shops and restaurants. 

Some former visitors caution that the items sold at Faneuil Hall Marketplace are a bit overpriced. However, if you're looking to kill some time or snap some great photos, consider strolling through the market's halls. You'll also find various cuisines served in Quincy Market if you're in need of a quick bite. Keep in mind that this market gets crowded quickly (especially on weekends and in the summer), so it's best to visit during a weekday if you don't want to encounter hordes of people. 

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