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Aquarium celebrates April school vacation week with reopening of Shark and Ray Touch Tank and new film ‘Ocean Paradise 3D’

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Guests encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as tickets sell out


The New England Aquarium is encouraging guests to plan ahead as April school vacation week approaches for public schools in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. In addition to the exciting reopening of the Shark and Ray Touch Tank, a new film, “Ocean Paradise 3D,’ will premiere at the Simons Theatre, and the Aquarium will be open with extended hours the week of April 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets online at neaq.org before they visit, as timed ticket slots might sell out. Highlights for the week include:

Shark and Ray Touch Tank reopening

  • After a months-long closure for exhibit space updates, the Aquarium welcomes visitors back to the Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank. The touch tank features sharks and rays in a mangrove-themed tank surrounded by shallow edges and viewing windows, allowing visitors to have a close encounter with them. Aquarium educators are stationed at the touch tank to help visitors respectfully interact with the animals and answer any questions guests might have.
  • Touch tank hours vary slightly, opening at 9:30 a.m. and closing 15 minutes before the Aquarium.

Animal Encounters

  • Join an educator for an up-close experience with one of the Aquarium’s animal ambassadors. Learn more about the secret world of lobsters, local turtle species, or axolotls during Animal Encounters happening daily at 10:45 a.m.

Daily presentations and feedings

  • The Aquarium’s marine mammals team will hold daily presentations at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. with the sea lions in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center and at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Atlantic harbor seal exhibit.
  • Penguin volunteers and trainers give talks inside the exhibit twice a day at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Aquarium educators are present at the top of the Giant Ocean Tank at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for daily feeding dives and provide in-depth information about coral reef ecosystems and conservation efforts.

New Simons Theatre film “Ocean Paradise 3D”

  • The Aquarium’s Simons Theatre is premiering “Ocean Paradise 3D,” a 40-minute film in which viewers dive into the untouched wonders of the Pacific Ocean and discover some of the most remote islands on earth. This cinematic odyssey reveals the beauty of several remarkable atolls, the challenges they face and the work going on to preserve them for future generations.
  • The Simons Theatre will also be showing the films “ARCTIC: Our Frozen Planet,” “Blue Whales: Return of the Giants” and “Secrets of the Sea.”
  • Tickets and show times are available at all Aquarium ticketing locations by calling 617-973-5206 or by visiting neaq.org.

Boston Duck Tours return

  • Boston Duck Tours, the city’s most popular sightseeing tour, returns in April with a stop in front of the Aquarium. The tours depart hourly from Central Wharf. Duck Tours guests receive $4 off New England Aquarium tickets purchased from their kiosk on Central Wharf Plaza.

Harbor View Café

  • Whether visitors are looking for a full meal or a quick bite, the cuisine at the Aquarium is elevated in a fresh, exciting way, thanks to its new partnership with Sodexo Live! The Café now features healthy and sustainable dishes, as well as favorites from the grill, in an inviting dining atmosphere. The café will be open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. during school vacation week.

Ben & Jerry’s

  • The beloved ice cream maker returns to Central Wharf Plaza this spring. The kiosk outside the Aquarium will be open Saturdays and Sundays until the end of May and during Massachusetts school vacation week, with the exception of April 16. (Note: April 16 is Free Cone Day, with the closest participating Ben & Jerry’s location in the nearby Faneuil Hall Marketplace.)
  • The kiosk will operate from 12–6 p.m. during the spring.

“The New England Aquarium is a nonprofit research and conservation organization that has protected and cared for our ocean and marine animals for more than 50 years. We inspire everyone to form a deeper connection to the ocean and take action to protect it.”

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