There are times in our lives when we experience something so special it takes our breath away. These times typically happen to us when we visit a new place or try something out of the normal realm of our typical day. Being an avid animal lover and having a lifelong fascination with the ocean and the creatures that live there, having the chance to visit the New England Aquarium and Whale Watching Experience in Boston, Mass. was indeed one of those moments for me.
Day 1 of our big trip and I wanted to begin with a huge bang. I hit that mark and then some with our visit to the New England Aquarium. Living in Chicago we are no strangers to big city museums; what New England has that most cities can’t touch is the Ocean Waves crashing up against its back doors. In the Harbor there is a giant catamaran waiting to take you out to the Stellwagon Bank Marine Sanctuary where the whales migrate every year. It is here past the beauty of Boston, past the light houses and sandy beaches that you will have the opportunity to see a giant humpback whale jumping out of the deep waters to catch some fish, an experience that will take your breath away.
We began our day inside the aquarium, saying hello to the penguins that are enjoying their morning breakfast in an open pen while the visitors watch. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Harbor View Café where you can chose from a large variety of food including sustainable seafood, which is one of the most important messages the Aquarium tries to convey. We then made our way up and around the exhibits of ocean life all placed around a giant coral reef aquarium that houses a vast variety of fish and wild life including Myrtle the Giant Green Sea Turtle that has lived here since 1970 and believed to be 80 years old and over 500 pounds. The exhibits within the Aquarium include lovable sea lions that are always ready to entertain, octopus, shark, sea dragons, and even a large Green Anaconda.
The aquarium has the Shark and Ray Touch Tank where you can pet cownosed rays and bonnethead sharks. It doesn’t matter how old you are, sticking your hand in a pool and petting a shark is a thrill! There is also an edge of the sea exhibit where you can shake hands with a live lobster and hold a sea urchin in your hands. It was a great afternoon that both my teenage son and I really enjoyed together. Looking around, I didn’t see one kid who was not having a great time. After we came back from our whale watching experience and were both exhausted, we sat down in the giant IMAX theater next to the aquarium to see Deep Sea 3D, a wonderful film about life in the ocean.
Jake and I had a packed trip full of amazing places and new things. However when you ask either of us what our favorite part of this trip was, we both without hesitation will tell you that Whale Watching at the New England Aquarium was above everything else. An experience that cannot be put into words, except that it’s a do not miss.
To reserve your whale watching tickets and begin planning your trip to the New England Aquarium, visit www.neaq.org. I promise it will bring your family together in ways you can only hope for. I’m already looking forward to visiting again.
*I received media tickets. All opinions are my own.