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Woods Hole Science Aquarium

The Woods Hole Science Aquarium was established in 1875, making it the country's oldest public aquarium.

Staff interacting with visitors at the touch tank.

The Woods Hole Science Aquarium displays approximately 80 species of marine animals found in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S. waters. The aquarium is designed for self-guided tours of the main exhibits and a behind-the-scenes look at aquarium operations.

Visit Us

We are open all year, but days and hours may vary. Check back here, and follow NEFSC on X/Twitter, Instagram,  and Facebook.

Current Operating Hours

Outdoor seal enclosure: Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Indoor aquarium: Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday, Monday and on all federal holidays.

You can also call (508) 495-2001 to hear our current operating schedule.

Live Q&As in the seal enclosure at approximately 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.


Woods Hole Science Aquarium
166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Aquarium Access

  • Wheelchair access: the aquarium's first floor and seal enclosure are accessible. The second floor, where you can see behind-the-scenes area and visit the touch tank, can be accessed using a ramp at the rear of the aquarium. If you need wheelchair access for this ramp, please notify the reception desk on arrival.
  • No pets allowed indoors or in the seal habitat. Service dogs permitted.
  • No strollers indoors. All strollers must be left outside, owing to our small size.
  • No standing on the half-wall surrounding the seal habitat.
  • The seals at Woods Hole Science Aquarium are protected by federal law. Please follow all posted rules and respect our seal exhibit hours of operation while visiting the seal enclosure.

Aquarium Features

  • Animals of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic waters.
  • Exhibit cases with bones, skulls, and teeth.
  • Information about Woods Hole science and history, fishery science, marine mammals, sea turtles, and local fish species.
  • Touch tanks where you may find small fish, crabs, sea stars, whelks, shells, and egg casings.

More Information


We offer a number of programs to involve the public, students, and aspiring scientists.


From visitors to students from near and far, the Aquarium offers fascinating learning experiences for all ages.

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on June 20, 2024