Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Whale it up this weekend!

There are some huge happenings around Central Wharf these days—like, school-bus huge. We’re talking about humpback whales, of course! Plan your own whale-a-palooza this weekend with Humpback Whales 3D at the Simons IMAX Theatre and an unforgettable New England Aquarium Whale Watch.

Start on the big screen with Humpback Whales 3D, where these surprisingly agile behemoths appear life size on the largest movie screen in New England.

Imagine this life-size action splashing down in 3D!

Thunderous breaches and in-your-face feeding frenzies are bowling over landlubbers watching Humpback Whales 3D at the Simons IMAX Theatre. In fact, this is the first time these graceful giants have been filmed with the clarity and enormity afforded by IMAX technology, and it’s simply spectacular.

A sense of scale: Humpback whales can grow to be 60 feet long. 60 feet!

Float peacefully in indigo blue water alongside a lifesize humpback whale, hear enchanting whale song in digital surround sound and whiz along the water in a skiff alongside scientists in the field. This film provides a global perspective of this species and its diverse habitats as humpback whales bounce back from the brink of extinction. Buy your Humpback Whale 3D tickets online.

Then a short stroll across the Aquarium's Front Plaza and you’re poised for an exhilarating dose of sea breezes and wildlife as you observe whales in our coastal backyard on board a New England Aquarium Whale Watch, presented by Boston Harbor Cruises!

Passengers on a New England Aquarium Whale Watch get front row seats to see the whales in person, in their habitat.

Have you ever wondered what whale breath smells like? Want to record your own feeding frenzy videos? Be among the first to welcome the whales back to their summer feeding grounds on Stellwagen Bank, which is one of the world’s richest feeding grounds for marine animals, including whales, seals, sea birds and dolphins.

Whale Watch tickets are available online through our partners at Boston Harbor Cruises.

Feeding frenzy on Stellwagen — for whales and seabirds!

As if that's not enough whales for you, check out the Aquarium's Gift Shop windows adorned with the adorable cetaceans created by illustrator and Aquarium educator Maris Wicks.

Playful whales adorn the Gift Shop's windows

If there's one way to make it a big weekend, it's adding some whales. Make it happen! Check out humpbacks in IMAX, artfully drawn and in real life with the Aquarium.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Marathon: Outreach and the Long Run

While spring has been eking ever closer, the New England Aquarium Marathon team has been plodding closer and closer to the start line for the Boston Marathon. That means running, of course, fundraising and, for some runners, a chance to experience first-hand the Aquarium's outreach programs.

Team runners Lauren and Rachel teach children about whales during a recent Aquarium outreach program  

Aquarium runners are raising money to support these outreach programs, which bring ocean education activities to local schools and community centers. Lauren and Rachel recently accompanied Aquarium educators to a program all about whales. Massive plates of real baleen, hands-on activities and engaging posters were among the cool teaching tools these dedicated runners had to share with the enthusiastic young learners at the event. Donating to the marathon team is one way to ensure that the next generation of ocean protectors learns to love this global resource.

The team's longest run set out along the course for 21+ miles in chilly, wet snow. Because of course it snowed.

Running, running, running is another important component of preparation for April 20. The long training runs have gone off without a hitch despite the never ending stream of snow storms and showers. Some team members even flew in from far-flung places like Texas and Virginia to enjoy our snow during the longest run of the training season (or maybe they just wanted to get a feel for the course before the big day).

Jackie from Austin, Texas, is still smiling even though she's running in the snow

Jenna from Arlington, VA, crabbing for the camera.

Still a spring in his step! Luke (air-born) from Washington, DC,
and Lee (a local still smiling after the winter)

The race is just a few weeks away now. Hopefully the snow banks will melt quickly so the rest of us can get out there and cheer on these runners! We'll be posting one more time about the marathon team with a snapshot of the team's shirts so you'll know to look for them on the course. Stay safe, runners. Enjoy your taper!

Start your Duck Tour at the Aquarium!

Soak in history on the streets of Boston and then plow into the Charles River with the charismatic crew of Boston Duck Tours, now departing daily from the New England Aquarium. Make a day of it! Visit the penguins and other animals at the Aquarium, then climb aboard one of the amphibious DUCKs that go from land to sea and back again.

DUCK boat Annie Aquarium splashes into the Charles River | Photo: Boston Duck Tours

Tours leave from the Aquarium's Front Plaza on Central Wharf (conveniently located just steps from Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall) daily:

  • April – June 15,:   Monday–Friday starting at 3:00 pm, weekends starting at 12:00 pm
  • June 16 – September 2:   7 days a week starting at 12:00 pm
  • September 3 – October 31:   7 days a week starting at 9:00 am

Photo: Boston Duck Tours

Click here to learn how to combine your Aquarium adventure with a Duck Tour ticket. Members receive special discounts!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Celebrate World Oceans Day with the Aquarium!


Enjoy hands-on, family-friendly activities, seafood cooking demos, tastings and more. And learn how you can help protect the oceans, too!

Sunday, June 7
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Central Wharf, Boston

Participating partners include
Boston Harbor Cruises
Ben & Jerry's
Magic 106.7
Boston Sea Rovers
New England Aqurium Dive Club
Charles River Watershed Association
Rozalia Project
Shoals Marine Laboratory


Check this page as we get closer to the event for details about how you can win tickets to a special World Oceans Day Boston Duck Tour excursion.

The best part of World Oceans Day: All activities are free and open to the public, but this does not include Aquarium admission. There's even more to come about this special event, so keep checking back. We hope to see you here on Central Wharf June 7!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The New England Right Whale Festival

Sunday, May 3, 2015
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Did you know that there are less than 550 right whales left in the North Atlantic? Did you also know that there are a variety of efforts taking place in our backyard to protect this species? Come to the 2nd Annual New England Right Whale Festival to celebrate the work being done to save North Atlantic right whales from extinction!

The idea for a right whale festival was initiated by the Calvineers--a group of 7th and 8th grade students from the Adams School in Castine, Maine with a mission to educate the public about right whales and promote conservation. Hosted by the New England Aquarium, the public is invited to learn about this endangered species from the people who know them best- scientists, researchers, educators, and the Calvineers! Find out why whale poop is a goldmine, how to match a right whale to a catalogued individual, and what the biggest threats to the population are. There will also be opportunities to take part in family-friendly activities and games!

Last year’s event was attended by over 1,200 adults and children, with 18 organizations represented*, including:
  • Calvineers
  • NOAA Fisheries 
  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • New England Aquarium
  • Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation
The festival will take place at the Aquarium's Harbor View Terrace Tent, located around the back of the main building, rain or shine. The event is free; Aquarium admission is not included. We hope you’ll join us for a whale of a good time!

*If your organization does right whale related work and would like to participate, please fill out this registration form by April 10, 2015. Each organization is asked to provide a hands-on activity to help  engage families in the group's mission. But never fear, you do not need to have programming planned- the Education Department at the New England Aquarium can work with you on how to present your work in a family-friendly way!