New England Aquarium
Within its compact exhibit space, the aquarium shows off everything from a 500-pound sea turtle to a ghostly swirl of jellyfish just inside the front entrance. Flap your wings at the African and rockhopper penguins basking in the floodlights, then follow the spiral walkway up and around the Giant Ocean Tank. Ask about feeding times--sometimes you can stand inches from divers hand-feeding undersea creatures. Kids will want to catch the sea lion presentation (you'll enjoy it, too, if you're a fan of unabashed animal cuteness); the tricks are amusing, but won't be mistaken for a sophsiticated SeaWorld performance. Crowds can be a problem at this aquarium. On weekends, arrive either at opening time or toward the end of the day to avoid them. On weekdays, things quiet down after school trips depart mid-afternoon.
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