Exploration Center & Aquarium

Winter Hours (Labor Day–Memorial Day): Fri.–Sun., 10 am–4 pm

Summer Hours (Memorial Day–Labor Day): Daily, 10 am–4 pm


Whether you're a local or just visiting the Newport area, our Exploration Center & Aquarium, with its beachfront location, is the perfect family destination any time of year!

Our interactive marine science center is home to more than 40 species from Narragansett Bay, often including rare lobsters, crabs, seahorses, sea robins, terrapins and more. Three touch tanks allow you to get up close and personal with little skates, urchins, spider crabs, sea stars, dogfish sharks and more - all from local waters. And, with Newport's only ocean-facing beach just outside our front door, you can continue the beachcombing experience after your visit.

 Theme - Captivating Crustaceans!

Crustacean nation is the theme the Exploration Center and Aquarium this month. September is all about Captivating Crustaceans, giving visitors a chance to learn all about these special ocean critters. Guests of all ages can find out what happens to “Leroy the Lobster and Crabby Crab” during our interactive story hour, hunt for crustacean-themed clues in a scavenger hunt and create their very own crab in arts and crafts.

Crustaceans, which have 50,000 known species, are members of a group called arthropods, which includes lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. With segmented bodies, exoskeletons and open circulatory systems, arthropods are unique creatures that are more closely related to insects than they are to other species of crustaceans! You will find a variety of these armored arthropods at the Exploration Center and Aquarium.

We are open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Labor Day and Friday through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. after Labor Day.

Public Programs at the Aquarium

  • Feeding Frenzy: The third Thursday of every month (dates listed below) - Join us from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. to learn about and assist in feeding some of our favorite critters. See our little skates chow down, watch our stargazer electrify his prey, and more. Advanced registration ($10/$8 members) is required. Call 401-324-6020 to register.
    • September 15, 2016
    • October 20, 2016
    • November 17, 2016

Featured exhibits

  • Three touch tanks
  • Big Fish of the Bay 
  • Smooth dogfish sharks
  • Little skates
  • Rare lobsters


Easton's Beach Rotunda, 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport, RI 02840 (map & directions)

Hours of operation

  • SUMMER HOURS (Memorial Day thru Labor Day): Daily 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • WINTER HOURS (Labor Day thru Memorial Day): Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • February and April public school vacations: Daily 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Third Thursday of every month - Feeding Frenzy: 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
  • Open year-round for Schools and Groups, and offering education programs linked to the Grade Span Expectations.  Browse & book programs > 

Other important dates for the Exploration Center & Aquarium

  • Starting on September 2 we will only be open Fridays through Sundays 10-4.

For more information call 401-324-6020


General admission is $8; discounts for military ID and senior citizens.  Family members and above enjoy FREE admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children. Become a member now

Feeding Frenzy: $10 general admission; $8 members; free for children 3 years and under. Register now.

Volunteer at the Exploration Center!

Interested in welcoming visitors to the center, taking care of the animals and teaching about marine life? Join our team as an intern or volunteer! Visit our volunteer & internship page or contact Volunteer Manager July Lewis for more information.