Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
July 8, 2011
Going to Boston!,
September 3, 2002
The New England Aquarium is a stunner, all giddy angles, soaring open spaces, arching bridges, and a huge central fish tank, dramatically lit and viewed from surrounding spiraling ramps. It’s clear that Chermayeff understood what most attracts visitors to aquariums: the feeling of being undersea, right among the swimming sharks, shoals of silvery herring, and pulsating sea anemones. The aquarium is yet another of Boston’s seminal Big Ideas.
Any good aquarium has a dual purpose: to delight and to educate. The exhibit that dominates the ground level of the New England Aquarium, featuring three types of penguins from South Africa, South America, and Australia, does just that. Penguins are everywhere – loudly calling out to one another (who knew penguins were so vocal?), hopping about on the rocks, and diving awkwardly into the water, unexpectedly transformed underwater into sleek black torpedoes. Fascinated, we stood by the rail watching an aquarium caretaker hand-feed a group of golden-crested Rockhopper penguins. They were surprisingly picky eaters.
Proceeding through the aquarium, we viewed tanks representing different aquatic environments – everything from the frigid Puget Sound to the languid warmth of the Amazon River Basin. No doubt setting up such a diversity of marine environments posed hefty technical challenges. One of my favorite displays recreates the effects of crashing waves on a Pacific tidal pool. In time to a mesmerizing ocean-like rhythm, the tentacles of colorful anemones swirled wildly, tossed by artificial waves. Nearby, visitors entered a darkened corridor, stood for a moment adjusting to the darkness, then gasped in surprise at the intermittent flicker of bioluminescent deep-reef fish.
The heart of this aquarium, though, is one of the world’s largest round saltwater tanks, representing a Caribbean coral reef. Visitors walk around outside the four-story artificial reef, viewing its shelves and crevices. Well over a hundred species are present, though the stars of the show are the huge sea turtles and a ferocious-looking (but generally harmless) nurse shark. Luck was with us: it was feeding time. We watched in awe as a massive green moray eel snaked over a diver’s shoulder to gently take food from her hand. Vying for her attention, a balloonfish clownishly begged for (and received) a handout.
The aquarium is open Mon-Tues-Fri 9-6, Wed-Thurs. 9-8, and 9-7 weekends and holidays. In addition to the exhibits, there are whale watching tours, an Imax theatre, a wildlife rehabilitation center, a floating pavilion featuring sea-lion presentations, and an Exploration Center with numerous educational activities. A café with harbor views and a lively gift shop round off the New England Aquarium experience.
From journal You Say You Want a Revolution
San Francisco, California
June 7, 2000
November 20, 2006
From journal Out and About in Boston
January 19, 2004
The Aquarium's biggest attraction is the large central tank. You wind your way up around the tank or choose an inlet to view the fish. The tanks contains over 100 different species of marine wildlife, from sharks to giant sea turtles to 'rays. From one spot, you can watch the whole tank swim by. Sometimes it is exciting to watch one of the marine biologists dive into the tank to feed the fish.
The penguins are another major attraction. The penguin exhibit stretches around the central tank on the first floor. There are several types of penguins, from South American rockhoppers to African penguins to the Little Blues. The aquarium rescued many of these little guys from oil spills. We enjoyed watching a hyperactive penguin as he flipped, jumped and swam around the exhibit.
Along the outside walls of the Aquarium, you can see fish in a variety of reconstructed environments, from the Amazon river to the Boston harbor. One perennial favorite is the dark room with the flashlight fish. The shark exhibit is currently being remodeled.
The Sea Lion show goes on periodically throughout the day. When you are choosing seats in the dual-sided auditorium, remember that the front seats sometimes get splashed. This is less true now than it was in earlier times. Today's sea lion shows only showcase one sea lion, and focus on conservation and ecology. I think this is a valuable lesson for children to learn, and is far more important than having the sea lions jump through hoops. Of course, the massive lions still display their balancing skill with the classic ball-on-nose trick. Children are selected from the audience to participate in the demonstration and kissed by the Sea Lion. Our exhibition featured Guthrie, who obviously decided to go into premature retirement. He repeatedly left the arena to return to his den, but he did eventually perform all the tricks.
The Harbor Seals are a Boston classic. Two colonies live at the Aquarium. One is visible from the outside of the Aquarium, and the other from the back side. A harbor seal is the New England version of a California Sea Lion, smaller and grey in color.
The Aquarium makes a great half-day trip, and when combined with Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market and dinner in the North End, you will be exposed to some of Boston's best sights. Children could probably spend much longer here, fascinated with the fish.
There is a great deal of walking and children may grow tired. Because of the ramps, the Aquarium is accessible to the differently-abled.
The gift shop at the entrance is quite large, offering quite an array of fishy delights, stuffed and otherwise. Most of the items appeal to children, although there is some adult fish-wear.
From journal The Hub of the Universe
by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
December 19, 2003
The Aquarium is a large cement structure on one of the downtown wharfs, although a few exhibits are on boats or barges berthed along the dock.
Inside, the penguins are one of the highlights inside the main aquarium building. When you walk through the lobby, the main floor is looking down on a large penguin pool, covering the whole floor of the building. Spectators can watch the birds climbing on the rocks and swimming with surprising grace across the pool. During the day, these birds get fed, and visitors are invited to watch.
The penguins may be one of the best parts of the aquarium, but there is much more to see. The building is large and spacious (but dark), and there are walkways close to the walls ramping up to the top of the building. There are displays along most of the walls as you walk up. Along the side you enter on, running the long length of the building, there are skeletons of various sea creatures, giving visitors an idea of the size of some of the aquatic life forms we have. On the two narrow sides are your typical fish tanks. These sides serve as the landings as though you are walking up a large staircase. On one such landing is small pool where people are invited to touch the animals on display.
Connected to one of the sets of landings is a large cylinder tank. There is a ramp around this tank, and people can walk up or down around it instead of the other walkways. This tank is a large reef habitat, which also houses numerous species of sharks. Many times you can observe aquarium employees diving in scuba suits into the pool in order to feed or check up on the inhabitants of the reef.
During the summer months and in the proper seasons, the aquarium offers whale watch tours aboard the Voyager hydrofoil. This whale watch seems to have better whale-finding technology than the others offered such tours offered in Boston. This is because it's not just a sightseeing endeavor for the aquarium, but these trips also allow the marine biologists do research on the whales.
This is one of my favorite aquariums in the world. Many of the others I have been to feel rundown or small. I don't feel that way about the New England Aquarium. Not only is this building large, but the space within is used pretty well. There is a section that focuses on conservation and the clean-up of the Bay, which this place does better than most of its peers. This is another touch that makes this place better in my eyes.
From journal Baseball, Boston
January 20, 2002
To be honest, while the aquarium is a nice diversion, it is not nearly as large as some of the other aquariums I have been to around the country. This surprised me. It seemed as if we zoomed through the whole place in no time. Still, if you have kids in tow, it might be worth a look.
From journal A Couple in Boston
September 13, 2004
The cost is $8.95 for adults and $6.95 for kids. When you enter the first exhibit, the first things that greet you are the silly penguins. They are a riot as they waddle around their make-shift iceberg. You can watch them from all sides. I could spend the whole day here.
The aquarium has shows through out the day. They will announce them over the loud speaker and when you hear a show called, head for the area they tell you. The shows do fill up. We love the sea lion show. Those guys sure are smart and Patrick was lucky enough to be picked for the show. His favorite part was getting kissed by a very large sea lion.
The special exhibit this summer was on jelly fish. It was interesting and a little surreal to see the tanks full of jelly fish just floating in the water. We learned a lot about these creatures.
The aquarium is also attached to the IMAX Theater. We did not go, but you can buy a combination ticket of aquarium and IMAX Theater. There is also a good gift shop with plenty of books about the sea life you visited today.
From journal Democrats in Boston
Fort Worth, Texas
March 13, 2001
From journal BOSTON - THE CITY ON THE OCEAN
May 10, 2008
From journal Boston!