Sep 082014
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Last weekend my family decided that we wanted to spend the day in Boston.  There is so much to do in the city, so we like to get the kiddos in there as much as we can.  Since it was a lovely day out, we decided to take the new Cultural Connector, which is a first-of-its-kind water transportation service that provides a water shuttle linking Boston’s waterfront cultural destinations.

The Cultural Connector can bring you to six different cultural destinations on Boston’s historic waterfront:

  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  •  Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • New England Aquarium
  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • Faneuil Hall
  • USS Constitution and Museum

We decided that we wanted to spend our day at New England Aquarium


I have been to the New England Aquarium many times over the course of my life.  My very first school field trip was to the aquarium (kindergarten) and I love that the aquarium really hasn’t changed much over all these years.

As soon you you walk into the aquarium, the penguins are the first thing you see.  They are so cute.


During our visit we were able to watch some of the aquarium employees carefully washing and scrubbing the penguin habitat with soap & scrub brushes.  I never really gave much thought to how everything got cleaned, but it was nice to see how much care they were taking.


After we spent some time watching the several different species of penguins who live at the aquarium, we went to see the Atlantic Harbor Seals, which is an outdoor exhibit.

Seals outside

Next we went into check out what was living inside the Giant Ocean Tank, which is four-stories tall.  At its deepest point, the tank goes down 26 feet, it is 40 feet wide and holds 200,000 gallons of salt water.  Inside the tank we saw Myrtle the green sea turtle, dozens of species of fish, barracuda, stingrays, moray eels and some sharks.

Big tank

Another cool thing we got to see that was were several divers inside the Giant Ocean Tank hand-feeding the sea life that lives in there.  We watched them for quite a while.

feeding fish

We made our way to the top of the Giant Ocean Tank and watched the sharks & rays who swam up at the top for a while.

top of pool

The Edge of the Sea Touch Tank was really popular with my boys.  They loved touching all the starfish and hermit crabs who live in there.


The highlight of the day, though, was definitely the Shark and Ray Touch Tank….well at least for my 10 year old.  My little guy said that the rays were slimy and quickly lost interest.

shark and ray pool

We had so much fun at the aquarium and absolutely loved taking the Cultural Connector.  Keep in mind, the last boat sailed on Labor Day, but if you’re in the city next summer, it’s an awesome way to get around.  You can hop on and off all day – or choose a single connection .

  • One way between any two destinations: $5.00
  • All-day fare for unlimited on-and-off travel between various destinations: $15.00
  • Children three years of age and under: FREE

Stops for the Cultural Connector include Central Wharf, Fan Pier and Fort Point Channel, Boston.

**Masshole Mommy and her family received complimentary admission for the New England Aquarium and the Cultural Connector.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

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  108 Responses to “A Day at the New England Aquarium via the Cultural Connector”

  1. The touch tank was my favorite part! My boys loved feeling the fish.

  2. Fascinating and fun. The Connector sounds like a great way to get around.

  3. My girls love the aquarium too and have taken them to the one out in Riverhead here about 45 minutes away and also the one in Mystic (when were on vacation 2 years ago). But my first time was actually at the one in Coney Island as a young kid for a school trip and will never forget it, because I made my parents take me back a few eels later, because I loved the starfish and just the whole experience so much! 🙂

  4. The NE Aquarium is always a lot of fun. I love going to the top of the shark tank and just watching from above. I would love taking the Cultural Connector, that would be as exciting as the actual destination! (for us country bumpkins! lol)

  5. We always loved the New England Aquarium so much. I chaperoned a few field trips there in my day! Such great memories.

  6. That is so cool, I love aquariums! We need to take a trip to one soon, it’s been a while – I think San Fran was the last – way too long ago!

  7. That does look pretty awesome. It’s fun to take the kids where we went as kids too. 🙂

  8. How fun! Looks like you had a busy day. I love it when cities have kid friendly things. Speaking of, my kids would have loved that aquarium. If only we didn’t live on the other side of the country.

  9. Our aquarium is nowhere near as cool as yours! But it does remind that I should take the boys back soon.

  10. We don’t have an aquarium here. I loved the one in Chicago. There is a small one in the big zoo we have. I love looking at the jelly fish the most.

  11. We love this aquarium! I love the set up of the building

  12. It has been a long time since I’ve been to an aquarium. Seems we have to drive hours to find anything cool in our area. Looks like a fun day!

  13. LOVE visiting Boston!! My fave city, for sure. I haven’t taken my kids to the Aquarium up there, I think we should do that this fall!

  14. My family loves aquariums – especially my son. This looks like a fantastic one, and it’s reasonably priced!

  15. The aquarium is the next thing on our bucket list!!!!

  16. That’s pretty cool that you can touch the stingrays. It’s also pretty cool that you can watch them feed the animals and such like that.

  17. My daughter just loves the touch tank. The aquarium is always such fun, and educational too.

  18. I love taking the kids to aquariums. Such a fun experience!

  19. My boys love the aquarium. This one looks great!

  20. My kids love going to aquariums. I went to the one in Boston once on a business trip – it was so much fun and great that it was right there in the harbor!

  21. What an awesome experience. I love aquariums. Like you, I’ve never given much thought to how they were cleaned but the soap and scrub brushes puts it into perspective. I’ll look at the aquariums differently next time I go.

  22. The New England Aquarium looks great! I’d love to take the family.

  23. This looks like such fun. I’d love to go with my husband and daughter. She loves aquariums.

  24. I love a good aquarium, and this certainly looks like a good one! I love aquariums.

  25. Aquariums are great. The lifeforms that live in our oceans are just the coolest!

  26. That looks like a great aquarium. We visit our local aquarium often, mostly because my kids love NEMO and like to see the Clown Fish.

  27. You guys go on the best adventures. Can I be one of your kids for a day?

  28. What a fun day… The Giant Ocean Tank sounds HUGE…. 4 stories high is pretty high for a tank.

  29. I was in Boston for a few days this spring and we wanted to go here so bad! We ran out of time but it is at the top of our list for next time!!

  30. What an amazing aquarium! I bet Boston is a great city, would love to visit there one day.

  31. There’s something about aquariums which I just love. I’m a little skittish about the touch tanks though. I’m such a wimp.

  32. This looks wonderful! I love aquariums. They’re such a great way to combine learning and fun.

  33. I have been wanting to bring my kids here for a while! I had no idea of the prices and thank you for sharing about them.

  34. I always love seeing divers feeding the fish at the aquarium. It’s such a cool experience.

  35. What an awesome day! These are the types of activities that your children will remember and refer to throughout their entire life! Also, I need to get up to New England! So much fun!

  36. My kids and I love going to aquariums. What a fun day!

  37. We love going to aquariums and always try to hit different ones when we go on vacations. It is so much fun to see how different states offer different things.

  38. We don’t have an aquarium by us but there is one at the beach so we visit when we go. Of course my kids always talk about the highlight of their visit – seeing the penguins poop. They are such sophisticated creatures. My kids not the penguins.

  39. I would love to visit here with the kids. Hmmm now that we have passports I should check how far of a drive Boston is from us.

  40. What a wonderful day. We need to plan another aquarium trip!

  41. Looks like a great place to visit, so much to do and see. I am sure my kids would enjoy it.

  42. This looks like such a nice aquarium! At our local aquarium they have a touch tank, and we love it!

  43. Looks like you had a fun family day. Next time I am in Boston, I will check them out.

  44. I have so many memories from that aquarium 🙂 love it! I haven’t heard of the cultural connecter before, that’s so cool!

  45. I love aquariums. We have a great one in our area, that during the holiday season, they have a holiday light show. It is really neat to see the lights and the aquarium together. None the less, looks like everyone had a great time!

  46. The Cultural Connector sounds like the perfect way to get around. Adding icing on the cake by visiting the aquarium is even better.

  47. That ocean tank is HUGE! This sounds like a really nice aquarium.

  48. That looks like a fun aquarium!!! I love how colorful it all is!!

  49. I think this is an aquarium my older daughter would love. She is dying to be a marine biologist, and watching the divers would have given her great joy!

  50. How cool! Don’t get gross out, but I love eating stingray fish, they are delicious any way you cook them. 🙂

  51. The Cultural Connector sounds like a great way to see Boston. I have not been to Boston in years – I think it is time we go back for a visit. We will definitely check out the sites and ride the boat.

  52. A Shark Touch tank?? Holy cow that’s scary to me! Aquariums are so much fun though! I imagine we’d spend HOURS getting lost in this one!

  53. I have a friend that is going to be visiting there and this aquarium is on their list of places to visit. I am jealous, it looks like a great place to go.

  54. Looks like a really fun place to visit! Our Aquarium here is wonderful, but doesn’t have most of the stuff I’m seeing in these photos which is amazing! I love going to the Aquarium… so do my kids!

  55. Looks like you guys had a great day! My kids love the aquarium but we are at least an hour away from both of the ones closest to us. I wish we could go more often

  56. I don’t care how old you are – aquariums are always SO much fun to go to. It’s been years since we’ve been to one, we totally need to make a trip and take our little guy. He’d love it.

  57. I have not been there since I was a kid, I loved ti back then though and once I feel brave enough to drive in Boston traffic, I will take my kids. I know this is a great place to visit for sure. I remember loving the penguins as a kid!

  58. We just went to an aquarium last weekend and the kids always love it. I love the penguins!

  59. We were just there a couple of weeks ago. It’s such a terrific place to take kids. We especially love the outdoor area and watching the seals.

  60. The aquarium looks awesome. I love the idea of the Cultural Connector, too. That is very neat. I wish we had something similar down here in Florida; I would definitely use it often.

  61. This looks like it would be so much fun. I would love the touch tank. Jelly fish are fun to watch as well. I wonder if we have a place like this in Ottawa.

  62. You really are an amazing mom! I love all the outings, this looks like so much fun!

  63. What a fun place. I am all about penguins when I get to be near them.

  64. Wow, 200,000 gallons of salt water and four stories high? That is a huge tank! I also am a bit envious of those divers (can we say coolest job ever?!), LOL! I’m so glad you had fun and you’ve reminded me that I need to take the Tiny Tupps to the aquarium. 😉

  65. We haven’t been to the New England Aquarium since we lived in Boston before the kids were born. Looks like you all had a ton of fun!

  66. That looks like a beautiful aquarium! I would love to visit it one day.

  67. Looks like so much fun! I want to go to Boston so bad!

  68. The one thing I wish Baltimore had was a better mass transit system. The city would have so many more visitors if folks didn’t have to mess around with traffic and parking. Looks like you guys had another super fun day!

  69. Our aquarium isn’t half that of Biaton’s so jealous. I love when I get a glimpse of the behind the scenes like you did with the scrubbing

  70. I need to go here the next time I’m up that way! I just love New England and hope to go again soon.

  71. I love Boston! We went to the aquarium back before we had kids. I would love to take my family there now!

  72. this looks like a great aquarium! I love all the hands on experiences offered!

  73. Sometimes I think I missed my calling! I think the zoo and aquariums are fascinating! I wish I had gone to college for zoo-ology. When the kids are out of the house I just might go back for that. LOL! Would that be weird???

  74. I have always wanted to visit New England & this post just gives me another reason to go! Especially since it looks like your family had such a fun time!

  75. The New England Aquarium sounds like a great place to visit with family. Love your photos!

  76. Aquariums are so awesome! We just took our kids to the one in Mall of America and they loved it! They especially loved touching starfish!

  77. I love going to the aquarium! It’s a fun time for all I think 🙂

  78. I always sat that I am going to stick my hands in the touch tank at the aquarium and then the stingray swims past and I loose all courage!
    My kids would love to go there!

  79. My kids would like the touch tanks and all the hands on, what a lot of fun!

  80. Oh, that looks like fun. I love aquariums, especially when they promote interaction like this one does. Great!

  81. My family and I always love to visit aquariums when on vacations! This one looks amazing!

  82. The Edge of the Sea Touch Tank sounds awesome! Our kids would definitely be into this place!

  83. Sounds like a wonderful day. The penguins are definitely super cute too.

  84. Oh I would spend HOURS here! absolutely hours…. and that’s just to see those adorable penguins. they are kinda my favourite. what an amazing place – my kids would love touching all the sea life too. my son would love to see the rays and sharks. I wish we had something like this around here.

  85. My kids would LOVE this! They are huge sea creature fans! Looks like you had a blast

  86. I think our trip to the aquarium was my kids’ favorite trip ever! We go to the one in Baltimore, but I’d love to visit this one too! There’s always so much to see when it comes to sea life!

  87. My kiddos love our local aquarium too! Such a fun family outing!

  88. Thanks for the tip. I would like to take y boys someday soon hopefully.

  89. I never realized that there were so many things for the family to do in Boston. We actually have family there that we could visit too.

  90. We did our senior trip in Boston back in high school and went to the aquarium as part of it. I loved it! There are so many fun things to do in Boston.

  91. I love aquariums! It looks like you and the boys had a lot of fun!

  92. My son would love that! I will have to see what there is to do here like that.

  93. Boston is one of my favorite cities to visit with my family. One of our favorite places is the Boston Public Library.

  94. Can’t believe that you can actually touch the rays…. That’s in my bucket list now!

  95. I would love to go to Boston. It is on my list of places that I really want to visit. My friend went in the summer and loved it.,

  96. I didn’t even know that existed!!! So incredibly cool!

  97. Nice aquarium– I loved the one we had in Cleveland growing up. The Cultural Connector sounds pretty cool too.

  98. Oh for fun! I love doing things like this with my kids.

  99. Looks like fun! I’ve missed seeing pix of your boys 🙂

  100. I had no idea that there were so many things for families to do in Boston. My husband actually has a lot of family there that we could visit too.

  101. I love aquariums, especially ones that allow the up-close interactive experiences. Good point about the cleaning. I never think about how much work is involved even though I should — I used to live in SF and know what seal rock looks like.

  102. This looks like a lot of fun! They sure have a lot to see there.

  103. We love going to aquariums. We haven’t been to one in awhile though.

  104. No way! I can’t believe they get to touch the sting ray! I love looking at aquarium pictures! Sea animals are so fascinating but a little freaky at the same time which is the reason I’m so intrigued by them! Lovely pictures!

  105. What an awesome aquarium and so cool they got to touch a sting ray!! Penguins are always my fav!

  106. Great photos! we went to the aquarium this summer and had a blast!