See firsthand the artistic abilities of our harbor seals and take home a beautiful memento of your close encounter.

Participants in each painting session will be invited into the Atlantic harbor seal exhibit to learn about this intelligent local species while working side-by-side with a trainer.

As part of the day’s exercises, your seal will paint a masterpiece using a specially adapted brush and three colors of your choosing.

How it works

  • Check in at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby by 10:45 a.m. A trainer will meet you in the Aquarium Lobby and escort you behind the scenes of the Harbor Seal Exhibit by 11 a.m.
  • You will get information on how to safely interact with the seals, then head out to meet one of these charismatic animals during a training session. You will also select the colors for your painting.
  • Once in the exhibit with the trainer, the participant will kneel close to the water’s edge and the trainer will introduce the seal, explaining its unique traits and teaching the participant about how the seals are trained.
  • The participant will have the unique opportunity to be hands-on with the seal and possibly feed it. Interactions vary depending upon which seal is involved and how comfortable the participant and the seal are interacting with each other. You will also be able to watch your painting be created as the trainer guides the seal through the process.
  • Throughout this program participants will gain a strong appreciation for marine animals and learn how to conserve and protect our oceans.
  • After the program, the trainer will escort the guests off the exhibit and they will be free to explore the rest of the Aquarium. The painting will need to dry, and staff will instruct the visitor when and where to return to pick up the painting later during their visit.

Program Details

  • Ages: 9 and older
  • Maximum number of participants: 1 participant per reservation
  • Program offered Mondays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • 16-by-20-inch painting: $150 per person plus Aquarium admission ($135 for members)
  • 8-by-10-inch painting: $100 per person for plus Aquarium admission ($90 for members)

Program Guidelines

  • Wear closed-toe shoes with traction. High heels are not allowed. The exhibit is outdoors so dress accordingly. Please note that you may get salt water on your shoes and clothing, and the deck can be slippery. Rain jackets can be provided on request.
  • Cameras are allowed, but they must have a wrist or neck strap to prevent being dropped into the exhibit. A professional photographer will be in the exhibit taking photographs, which will be available for purchase at the Sharpshooter desk in the Main Lobby. Friends and family will be able to take pictures from outside the exhibit.
  • The program occurs during a scheduled training session. If the participant does not arrive before 11 a.m., the participant will miss the program. There will be no refund for participants who do not show up or arrive late.

How to Book

Reservations are required. Call 617-973-5206 and ask about the Paint with the Seals program.

* A note about our marine mammal programs: Your preferred date may not be available due to the seals’ molting season. Seals molt once every year, and the molting phase can last about a month. Please call Central Reservations at 617-973-5206 to check availability for all programs involving the marine mammals.