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, octopus, 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.

May Theme - Local Lighthouses 

 

Throughout our Narragansett Bay are towers that light up in the night—lighthouses. These lighthouses were used centuries ago to guide sailors safety to shore in the midst of blustery storms. Today, these lighthouses aren’t necessarily used to guide ships at sea, but many do still light up for all to see! Lighthouses are a tell-tale sign of our beautiful bay and each has its own story to tell. Save the Bay offers lighthouse cruises so you can see these towers for yourself—sign up now!

If you can’t make one of our amazing lighthouse cruises, come to the Exploration Center this May and learn about some of the remarkable lighthouses that light up our bay at night! While you’re learning about the history of our lighthouses, learn about the different components of a lighthouse with one of our scavenger hunts. If you successfully locate all the pieces of a lighthouse, you can win a prize! Come learn about the life and beauty in and around our bay today!

Activites offered throughout the day:

  • Story Time: "All the Way to the Ocean"
  • Science Experiment
  • Scavenger Hunt "Can you find all the lighthouses?"
  • Climate change experiments
  • Beach Walk (weather permitting)

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. 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.

Featured exhibits

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

Location

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

  • OPEN - Sunday, March 27, 2016 for Easter Sunday
  • Third Thursday of every month (beginning April 2016) - 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

Admission

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.