The New England Aquarium

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The New England Aquarium, which opened in 1969, is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. In addition to being one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year, the aquarium is also a major public education resource, and a unique destination for hosting corporate and social events! Before we step into the Aquarium on September 19th for James and Kim’s wedding, we want to share the unique details which got this venue voted into The Knot’s Best of Weddings Hall of Fame.



On June 20, 1969, the New England Aquarium we know today opened its doors to the public. The Aquarium was designed with the intention of providing an underwater experience for visitors as well as a cultural institution that would connect Boston to its waterfront. In its almost four decades of existence, the Aquarium has grown in size and evolved in concept. Myrtle, the green sea turtle, however, has remained a staple of the Aquarium since 1970!



The Aquarium provides guests “the opportunity to dine privately among penguins, sharks and sea turtles, or beside Boston’s scenic skyline.”

Whether you are hosting a private dinner for 30 or a corporate celebration of 2500, the New England Aquarium is the venue for you. Either rent the entire Aquarium or just one location and provide your guests with an extraordinary evening full of wonder.


There are several locations to choose from or you can rent the entire aquarium!

Main Exhibit Gallery: Experience the only event space in Boston where you can dine alongside more than 80 penguins. It’s one-of-a-kind 200,000 gallon Giant Ocean Tank will be the centerpiece of your event. This space accommodates up to 325 people for a seated dinner and 800 for cocktail reception!

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West Wing Gallery: Gather alongside the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast, featuring cownose rays and juvenile sharks! This two-level venue is ideal for smaller cocktail receptions and dinners. This is a more intimate space perfect for 48 people for a seated dinner and up to 75 for a cocktail reception.


Harbor View Café: The ocean-blue tile and natural wood cathedral ceilings make the Harbor View Café the perfect setting for any occasion. The floors to ceiling windows offer spectacular views of the city skyline and Boston Harbor. This room can accommodate 100 for a seated dinner and 125 for a cocktail reception.


Harbor View Terrace and Tent: A rare waterfront space in downtown Boston! Host your event beside a breathtaking view of Boston Harbor and the largest collection of northern fur seals in the U.S. You can fit 300 for a seated dinner and 400 for a cocktail reception.


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Vendor Information

The New England Aquarium is a certified member of the Green Restaurant Association and is committed to furthering good environmental practices in our food services operations. The Aquarium’s exclusive in-house caterer provides world-class food, all prepared in their kitchen by their executive chef and his staff.

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Additionally, the aquarium has a list of preferred vendors for you to choose from, all have worked at the venue many times.

For more information and to book your next event at the New England Aquarium, contact the Events department at 617-973-5205 or

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We can’t wait to coordinate Kim and James’ wedding at the NEAQ in September!

Happy planning!

The Swank Team