You'll need to make many decisions as you set up your Aquarium field trip. Use this step-by-step field trip planning guide to make sure that you have covered everything. For your convenience, we also have a field trip orientation video, a field trip checklist (pdf) and a printable in-depth version of this guide for download (pdf).
What Do You Want Your Class to Experience?
Please allow at least two and a half hours to visit all of the galleries, the IMAX Theatre, Gift Shop and Harbor View Café. Here are some options for your field trip:
- Aquarium/IMAX combo package
- Onsite classroom programs
- Behind-the-Scenes Tours
- Whale Watch
- Daily scheduled presentations and shows
- Pre-trip activities
- Scavenger hunts or other activities while exploring the Aquarium
- Gift shop
When Do You Want to Visit?
- We recommend having a first and second choice of dates. The Aquarium is at its busiest at the end of the week from 9 a.m. – 12 noon, April through June. Please make your arrangements at least two weeks in advance to receive your preferred date and time.
- The Aquarium opens at 9 a.m., and the Simons IMAX Theatre’s first film varies. Please call the IMAX Theatre at 617-973-5200 for film times.
Who Will Be Attending?
- How many students?
- How many chaperones? The number of chaperones needed is determined by the age and number of students. Chaperones are required to stay with their group at all times. Please do not leave your students unchaperoned.
- Please assign a group leader. This person is responsible for of all communication between the Aquarium and your school.
What about Lunch?
- Lunch options include vouchers for our Harbor View Café (9.00 per student), bringing and storing lunches (Please bring a clearly labeled container for storage of all the group's lunches) or having lunch offsite.
Making the Case for Your Field Trip
We can help you tell your community foundation, school administration, principal or parent-teacher organization why an Aquarium field trip would be beneficial for your students.
Making the Reservation
- Please make your reservation at least two weeks in advance to qualify for the group rate. Book your field trip or program with Central Reservations at 617-973-5206, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a group inquiry form.
- Most programs require a non-refundable deposit. See our pricing and payment policies for more information.
Confirming the Reservation
- You will be emailed a confirmation packet. Please review this packet carefully as it contains helpful information that will ensure a successful visit. Make sure the date, time and program match your records.
- This email contains a reservation confirmation number. This number is important. Please refer to it when calling the Aquarium as well as when checking in your group upon arrival.
Preparations to Get the Most Out of Your Trip
- Share this fun and engaging field trip orientation video with students and chaperones.
- Watch this informative video about how to interact with the sharks and rays.
- Classroom activities prepare your students to learn from their experience at the Aquarium.
- Our guided tour for teachers and various teacher workshops help you maximize their learning.
- Kits, educational films and other materials are available for loan from our Teacher Resource Center.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
- Do you have your Reservation Confirmation Letter with your confirmation number?
- Do you have directions to the Aquarium?
- Do you have a map of the Aquarium?
- Have you printed out the daily schedule to help plan your students' time at the Aquarium?
- Do you have the bus parking permit from your confirmation package to post on the dashboard of your bus?
- Do you have the bus parking directions and pricing? The Aquarium has no on-site bus parking.
- Do you have materials for field trip activities (scavenger hunts, etc.)? Do you have pens, pencils and a hard writing surface for every student? We recommend bringing clipboards as writing on our exhibit glass is prohibited.
- Do you have your signed field trip behavior contract? If you do not bring this contract with you on the date of your visit, we will give you one at the time of check-in and ask that you read and sign it before your group enters.
- Have you made your deposit? Final payment will be due one week prior or upon arrival, depending on the program you booked. If you do not have payment in full by the deadline, your group may be refused admission.
Reinforcement Back in the Classroom
- Follow up your field trip with classroom activities.
- Plan some ocean-related outdoor activities.
- Request an Aquarium classroom visit, assembly or exhibit program for your school.
- Get kits, educational films and other materials available for loan from our Teacher Resource Center.
Field Trip Survey
After your field trip, please fill out the field trip survey to help us improve our services and your future experiences at the Aquarium.