Exploration Center & Aquarium

Easton's Beach, Newport

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

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 - Sharks!

July is Shark Month at the aquarium! Narragansett Bay is home to a few different types of sharks and skates. These critters are all a part of a group of marine life, called elasmobrachs, which have skeletons made entirely of cartilage, rather than bone.

At the Aquarium, guests can see, and even touch, many of these fascinating creatures. The smooth dogfish shark tank is always a favorite critter among visitors, as it bobs up and down at the surface of the water to observe its environment. The chain catshark that hangs out at the bottom of the same tank is a crowd pleaser as well. In the same area there is also a touch tank with little skates, where guests love to feel the different textures that make up the skate’s skin. The aquarium has a little skate hatchery, filled with mermaid’s purses, or little skate eggs, all getting ready to hatch into juvenile little skates! 

Guests will be able to join in a number of shark themed activities, including a fun and educational shark scavenger hunt, and the unique “RoboShark” art project, challenging children and adults to use their imaginations to create a shark that one might find on a future Earth. See you at the Exploration Center for Shark and Skate fun all July!

Public Programs at the Aquarium

  • Feeding Frenzy: The third Thursday of every month - 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.

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

  • Third Thursday of every month - Join us from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. to learn about and assist in feeding some of our favorite critters. Watch our octopus open a lego structure for dinner, 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.

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.