Exploration Center & Aquarium Programs

Interactive marine science learning center

The Exploration Center & Aquarium in Newport, RI is an interactive marine science learning center with over 14 exhibits and hundreds of creatures that call Narragansett Bay home. These exhibits include three touch tanks with a wide diversity of Bay life.

Available year-round for schools and groups, our beachfront location is ideal for up-close experiences with Bay animals and their habitats. We cover a wide variety of marine and environmental topics and are happy to tailor programming to meet your curriculum needs.

Exhibits

Our new exhibits include Smooth Dogfish, Little Skates, Winter Skates and Chain Dogfish! Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the Save The Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium in Newport is the perfect family destination. Kids get face-to-fin with lobsters, crabs, and some funky looking fish! With Newport’s only ocean beach just outside our front door, you can continue the beachcombing experience afterwards or just enjoy a walk along the edge of the surf. Contact us for Pricing.

Seals of Narragansett Bay

During the winter season, the Exploration Center is our seal-watching headquarters. Our popular Seals of Narragansett Bay classroom program takes place at the Exploration Center prior to the shipboard Seal Watch Tour.

Critters of Narragansett Bay

Students see and feel how animals use their adaptations to survive in several Bay habitats: sandy beach bottom, eelgrass beds and the most biologically productive habitat in Narragansett Bay, the salt marsh.

Grades: All grades
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $250.00 (up to 30 students and 7 chaperones); $10.00 per additional student; $8 per additional chaperone.

Critter and Habitat Exploration

This program combines the Critters of Narragansett Bay with exploring the sandy beach habitat, home to a variety of plants and animals such as horseshoe crabs and flounder. Students take a discovery walk for evidence of life on Easton’s Beach, from the shoreline to the wrack line to the dunes. The program ends with group discussion and presentations. Depending on the age of the group, field guides, data sheets or other equipment may be used.

Grades: All grades
Length: 2 hours
Cost: $500.00 (up to 60 students and 7 chaperones); $8.00 per additional chaperone.

Shark and Skate Exploration

Learn about general characteristics and unique adaptations belonging to the shark family that make them different from many other fish. The program will also bring attention to the role sharks play in the ecosystem and how conservation will affect their future populations. The program includes interactive presentation and live shark/skate handling.

Grades:  All grades
Length: 2 hours
Cost: $500.00 (up to 30 students and 7 chaperones); $8.00 per additional chaperone.

Horseshoe Crabs: A Living Fossil’s Journey

Using live horseshoe crabs from multiple life cycle stages, real molts and a model, students examine the exterior parts and internal organs of this “living fossil.” Participants learn about the life cycle of the horseshoe crab, as well as the past and present human uses that include everything from bait to an important extract from their blood used for medical tests.

Grades: All grades
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $200.00 (up to 30 students); $8.00 per additional student.

Exploration Center / Coastal Switch

This program provides a unique on-site opportunity to determine differences among shoreline habitats: the rocky shore and tidal pools of Middletown’s Sachuest Point and the sandy beach at Easton’s Beach in Newport. Inside the Exploration Center and Aquarium, students gain a basic understanding of the animals that live in coastal and underwater habitats such as eelgrass beds and salt marshes.

Grades: K-Adult
Length: 3 hours
Cost: $500 (up to 30 students); $10 per additional student.

Length: 4 hours
Cost: $800 (up to 60 students); $10 per additional student.

*Please note:  Be sure to access the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus through the main entrance on Harborside Blvd. Your GPS may suggest taking Ernest Street to JWU’s Shipyard Street entrance, but that route requires a key card for entry.  

From Route I-95 North or South, take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue). Head downhill on Thurbers Avenue to US Route 1A (Allens Avenue). Turn right onto Allens Ave. Continue southbound on Allens Ave. into Cranston, where Allens Ave. becomes Narragansett Blvd. Turn left onto Harborside Blvd. at the traffic light by the Shell gas station. Follow Harborside Blvd. through the Johnson & Wales Harborside Campus. At the end of Harborside Blvd., turn right onto Save The Bay Drive. Save The Bay Drive becomes a circular, one-way roadway as you approach the Bay Center. Parking is available in four guest lots after you pass the main building. Enter the building through the main entrance.

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