Aquarium’s summer season kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with new beer garden, extended hours, world film premiere


Dockside Beer Garden on Central Wharf to open Saturday, May 27

Visitors entering the aquarium
Credit: Vanessa Kahn/New England Aquarium

BOSTON, MASS. (May 19, 2023) – The New England Aquarium is kicking off its summer season with a new beer garden on Central Wharf Plaza, extended visitor hours, and a world film premiere, all just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Beginning May 28 through Labor Day, the Aquarium will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Heading into the Aquarium’s busiest time of year, guests are encouraged to plan their visit ahead and reserve timed tickets online at Highlights of the summer season include:

Dockside Beer Garden on Central Wharf

  • New to the Aquarium’s front plaza, Dockside Beer Garden will offer a vibrant waterfront atmosphere with beers from Cisco Brewers and Kona Brewing, as well as other beverages. Visitors can enjoy a variety of menu items, including barbeque ribs, pulled pork and chicken, burgers, and cornbread. Thursday nights starting June 1 will feature live acoustic music from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The grand opening of the beer garden is Saturday, May 27, with special operating hours Memorial Day Weekend: May 27 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and May 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Full hours of operation for the summer are available here.

New film showing in Simons Theatre

  • Premiering worldwide Memorial Day weekend, Blue Whales: Return of the Giants 3D explores the world of the magnificent blue whale, the largest animal ever to have lived and a species rebounding from the brink of extinction. See these magical animals in life size on the giant screen at the Simons Theatre, the only theater in the Northeast where moviegoers can see the film. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Visitors can stop by the Simons Theatre concession stand for movie snacks like candy, popcorn, and sodas. Beginning May 27, concession operating hours are weekends 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and daily starting June 30.

New England Aquarium Whale Watch

  • The New England Aquarium Whale Watch in partnership with Boston Harbor City Cruises sails daily to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a rich feeding ground for whales, dolphins, sea birds, and other marine animals. Aquarium naturalists share knowledge, answer questions, and explain the fascinating behaviors of these truly magnificent mammals. Save 10% off Aquarium tickets when you buy combination tickets to the Whale Watch and the Aquarium on the Boston Harbor City Cruises website.

Boston Duck Tours

  • Boston Duck Tours, the city’s most popular sightseeing tour, depart hourly from Central Wharf right in front of the Aquarium. Duck Tours guests receive $4 off New England Aquarium tickets.

Dining options at the Aquarium

  • Central Snack Bar – The food truck-style outpost on Central Wharf Plaza reopens for the season on May 27. The brand-new menu offers empanadas by The Nada Cart and tacos. Central Snack Bar is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday through June 18, then seven days a week beginning June 19.
  • Harbor View Café – Located on the second floor of the Aquarium, the café features sandwiches, grilled items, soups, salads, and snacks. With a casual counter-service setting and floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views of Boston Harbor, the Harbor View Café is a convenient option for guests looking for a quick bite to eat. As of May 27, summer hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
  • Ben & Jerry’s – The Central Wharf Plaza ice cream kiosk is open weekends 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Beginning May 29, it will operate seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. through the end of the summer.


Pam Bechtold Snyder –, 617-686-5068