New England Zoos and Aquariums

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Zoos and aquariums have always held a special place in my heart. I loved them as a kid, I’ve loved them as an adult, and I love them as a parent. Here is a roundup of New England’s best zoos and aquariums — including info on everything they have to offer.

Pro tip: Check out the membership reciprocals for each zoo or aquarium! If you purchase a membership, you’ll often have access to discounted or free admission into other zoos, aquariums, and museums across the country. It’s a fun bonus when you’re traveling with your family!

Zoo New England (Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo)

Membership: Membership for a family is $125 per year. This membership includes both the Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo. 

Reciprocity for members: 2022 Zoo New England reciprocity list (local reciprocity includes 50% off Capron Zoo, 50% off Buttonwood Zoo, and 50% off Roger Williams Zoo)

Other discounts: Active-duty military and their family get 50% off general admission. Students, teachers, active-duty military, and MA first responders get $30 off a family yearly membership

Franklin Park Zoo

1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston, MA 02121

Tickets: Adult $19.95, Child (2-12) $13.95, Under 2 free

Extras: Food concessions and a playground

Featured animals: This is a zoo packed with plenty of animals. Here is a full list of animals to see there, including lions, giraffes, gorillas, and pygmy hippos. 

Stone Zoo

149 Pond St., Stoneham, MA 02180

Tickets: Adult $17.95, Child (2-12) $11.95, Under 2 free

Extras: Food concessions and a playground

Featured animals: Here is the full list of animals at Stone Zoo, including snow leopards, alligators, and sloths.

Capron Park Zoo

201 County St., Attleboro, MA 02703

Tickets: Adult $9, Youth (3-13) $7.50, Under 3 free

Membership: Household membership is $70/year.

Reciprocity for members: Reciprocals list (local reciprocity includes 50% off Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, and 100% off Boston’s Museum of Science and Buttonwood Zoo for two adults and two children — definitely a membership worth getting, as it will pay for itself if you go to the Boston Museum of Science just once a year!)

Other discounts: All military admission is $4.75

Extras: Food concessions, playground, and (seasonal) splash-pad 

Featured animals: This is a small zoo, but it has many notable animals to see, including lions, sloth bears, flying foxes, and river otters.

Buttonwood Park Zoo

425 Hawthorn St., New Bedford, MA 02740

Tickets: Adults $10, Children (3-12) $6, Under 3 free

Membership: Family membership $75

Reciprocity for members: Buttonwood Zoo reciprocals list (local reciprocity includes 50% off Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, and 100% off Boston Museum of Science and Capron Park Zoo for two adults and two children — definitely a membership worth getting, as it will pay for itself if you go to the Boston Museum of Science just once a year!)

Extras: Food concessions, a carousel, and a train, plus a children’s area with hands-on exhibits. 

Featured animals: Here is a list of animals at Buttonwood Park Zoo, including elephants, harbor seals, river otters, and black bears.

Roger Williams Park Zoo

1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, RI 02907

Tickets: Adult $19.95, Child (2-12) $13.95, Under 2 free

Membership: Family Plus (includes one free guest per visit) $169

Reciprocity for members: Roger Williams Zoo reciprocals list (local reciprocity includes Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo at 50% off, and free admission to Boston’s Museum of Science for 2 adults and 2 children)

Extras: Food concessions and a carousel, plus a wonderful interactive children’s exhibit

Featured animals: Roger Williams Zoo is a large zoo with many animals to see, including elephants, anacondas, moon bears, and cheetahs.

Southwick’s Zoo

2 Southwick St., Mendon, MA 01756

Tickets: Adults and children $35, children under 2 are free (this zoo is more expensive, but it’s almost entirely in the shade in a forest setting, which is really nice on a super sunny summer day)

Membership: Membership through Earth Ltd ranges from $252-422 depending on how many children are in your family. A value pass ticket is also available for $264, which will get you 12 admission tickets into the zoo. 

Other discounts: Active service military get free admission. Dependents of active service military and veterans pay $15.

Extras: Food concessions and a playground; deer park and petting zoo, where you can feed free-roaming deer; for an additional fee, enjoy a zipline, sky ride above the whole zoo, animal rides, and the Woodland Train

Featured animals: Southwick’s is a large zoo. Here is a list of all the animals, including rhinoceros, lions, chimpanzees, and mandrill.

New England Aquarium

1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

Tickets: Adult $32, Child (3-11) $23, Under 3 free

Membership: Membership prices range from $109 to $300 depending on the number of guests

Other discounts: Active military get $10 off admission adult tickets and $5 off dependents, MBTA Charlie Card provides $2 off admission, AAA membership gives $2 off admission

Extras: Food concessions and multiple touch tanks

Featured animals: New England Aquarium has thousands of animals, including penguins, sea lions, harbor seals, lion fish, sharks, and sea turtles. See a list of exhibits and animals here.

Mystic Aquarium

55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355

Tickets: Prices vary according to date, but expect adult admission to be about $38 and children $28 (under 2 free)

Membership: Family membership is $205

Other discounts: Active duty military, veterans, police, fire, and EMT receive free admission and $10 off general admission for household members. Check out the current promotions page.

Extras: Food concessions, multiple touch tanks, 4D theater (not included with general admission). The sea lion show is definitely a must-see. Note, this aquarium has indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Featured animals: Mystic Aquarium has thousands of animals to see, including beluga whales, jellyfish, stingrays, penguins, sharks, and sea lions.

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