The Ocean Explorium teaches our visitors about the importance of the ocean and the world beyond. We use both living and non-living exhibits to engage learners of all ages by allowing them to explore their innate curiosity!
Your first impression upon entering the Ocean Explorium is the beautiful space – the former New Bedford Institution for Savings Bank lobby. This Great Hall is marble-lined, with a soaring ceiling and arched windows. Second – the Blue Ocean Cube, a 24-square foot pavilion in the middle of the space, surrounded with aquaria and booths.
The Blue Ocean Cube houses the Science on a Sphere® (SOS) exhibit, the first installed in New England. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, SOS is a 6-foot orb onto which animations of data collected by NOAA and NASA are projected. These programs present global data in a way that engages learners of all ages. Presentations for both adults and children are given daily and special adult themed evenings are offered throughout the year.
Near the entrance, two touch tanks allow you to interact with local species such as scallops, lobsters and more. Other living exhibits include Sea Horses, Anemone Fish (think Nemo!), a Sandy Bottom habitat, Local Fishes, Jellies and a Coral Reef tank. The Ray and Shark Touch Tank is always a crowd pleaser and is located next to our Living Laboratory which includes baby sharks, juvenile sea horses, and a coral farm (plant a coral and watch it grow!). Become a part of the team by signing up at the gift shop to feed our fish, grow your own coral or adopt a habitat!
For more hands-on discovery, visit the Explorers’ Zone, appropriate for the big kid in all of us, activities and themes change often so there is always something new to do! Toddlers and younger children explore the Discovery Bay Activity Center which is specially designed for our youngest learners and filled with toys, books and games. A new addition to the Ocean Explorium is the Chill Zone, a seating area for adults, to enjoy the action while relaxing. End-wall murals by famed local artist Arthur Moniz depict a Salt Marsh and the Working Waterfront of New Bedford harbor: test your powers of observation by completing a scavenger hunt based on one of the murals!
We invite you to come in soon so you can experience one of the finest gems on the SouthCoast, combining education and fun into a memorable visit!