For February school vacation, “Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker,” premieres at Aquarium’s newly renovated Simons Theatre as part of sea lion, seal campaign


Experience the big screen on Feb. 15 in state-of-the-art theatre

Advertisement for the movie Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker

BOSTON (February 2020) – In time for February School Vacation Week, the New England Aquarium’s freshly renovated Simons Theatre will re-open with plush seating for its 80-foot giant screen and state-of-the-art technology to feature the 3D film, “Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker.” The film details the challenges encountered by a population of endangered Australian sea lions, and the plight provides lessons in marine conservation success as the Aquarium’s “Protecting the Blue Planet” campaign spotlights seals and sea lions in the coming months.

The New England Aquarium is one of only three aquariums in the U.S. where visitors can see northern fur seals, a vulnerable species, as they dart through the water in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center. California sea lions also live in the center, and Atlantic harbor seals delight visitors at the Aquarium’s front entrance. In the past few decades, populations of California sea lions and Atlantic harbor seals have rebounded due to conservation efforts, and the Aquarium studies whiskers, fur, tears, and even feces to understand the species. The new film in the Simons Theatre addresses how California’s experience with restoring the sea lion population is influencing Australia’s efforts.

Three other films are also playing at the theatre, including Australia’s Great Wild North: The Wildest Place You’ve Never Seen, an epic adventure about Australia’s wildlife, indigenous peoples, wetlands, and the oldest rainforest spanning 50,000 years. Turtle Odyssey is also on view and features a spry young green turtle on its journey through thousands of miles of open ocean, only to precisely migrate back to its hatching beach. Oceans: Our Blue Planet reveals breathtaking stories from the deep sea. Thanks to revolutionary underwater filming technology, astonishing marine animals are observed and documented living their daily lives.

The upgraded Simons Theatre will have an advanced laser cinema projector to bring even more razor-sharp images to the giant 80-foot-wide, 43-foot-high projection screen – which is the largest in New England – as well as comfortable, high-backed seats, and a 1,600-square-foot stage. The expanded stage area is now large enough to host presentations, large receptions, corporate events and other functions. As part of the Aquarium’s sustainability initiative, renovations also include new carpeting made of 100 percent recycled yarn from discarded fishing nets, and the new projection system will reduce electricity usage by 40 percent.

School vacation week begins on February 15 for most Massachusetts and Rhode Island schools and February 23 for New Hampshire schools. The Aquarium is a great shelter from the winter chill, a place where families can see hundreds of aquatic fish and mammals. The Indo-Pacific Coral Reef, a new exhibit, lets visitors immerse themselves in all the colors of the sea and meet the residents of one of the ocean’s most diverse communities. At the Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank, visitors can see and touch small sharks and a variety of rays as they glide through the mangrove-designed tank.

On both weekdays and weekends, the Aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or tickets, call 617-973-5200 or visit .

Pamela Bechtold Snyder, 617-973-5213;
Diana Brown McCloy, 978-697-9414;