Maine State Aquarium (MSA)
closed for the season
Reopening May 2015
194 McKown Point Road
W. Boothbay Harbor, Maine
School Field Trips and Group Reservations
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Schedule | School Field Trips to the Aquarium | Other Groups | Reservations | Burnt Island Lighthouse Trips
- The Aquarium is closed for the season and will reopen in May, 2015
Schedule (for 2014; 2015 coming soon)
- Open to school groups only (10 or more people), May 18-23, 2014 from 10am-3pm in hourly blocks. Note that we may not be able to accommodate groups of fewer than 10 people during this period.
- Open to the public (and groups) May 24 through September 28, 2014, 10am-5pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays in September.
- We do not accept group reservations on peak local, state, or federal holidays, including Memorial Day Weekend (May 24, 25, 26); Windjammer Days (June 24/25), Fourth of July (4, 5, 6th), or Labor Day weekend (August 30, 31 & Sept 1) due to our limited capacity.
School Field Trips (includes Schools, Home Schools, Summer Camps, Pre-Schools, and Daycares)
School Group Rate
- Group admission for students is $2.50pp ($1.00pp in September); teachers get in free at 1 per every 10 students, not to exceed 5 adults per group. Home schools* may have 1 teacher get in free per 5 students. Anyone over the allotted 5 chaperones per group will be charged the group rate. For groups with fewer than 5 students, standard rates will apply for the entire group. School bus drivers get in free.
- To receive the group rate, schools must book at least 14 days in advance. If a reservation is made less than 14 days in advance, the standard admission rates will apply.
- Schools wishing to participate in additional educational programs (beyond the basic aquarium tour) will need to add a fee of $1.50 per student (5-16) or $2.50 per paying adult. The Shark or Lobster Presentions are exempt from this fee and are considered part of the basic aquarium tour. For information on additional programs available, contact the Education Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Aimee Hayden-Roderiques at (207) 633-9542.
- *Please note: Home school groups must have a copy of their Letter of Intent to Homeschool, or other documentation that supports homeschool recognition in the State of Maine. Without this supporting documentation, any discounted or free admissions will not apply.
School Financial Assistance
- As a way to assist schools in continuing to visit with us, we will be providing a field trip assistance waiver through our "Free To Visit" initiative to a designated number of schools each season. Schools may apply for this admissions waiver application and decisions will be based on the percentage of students eligible for the free federal or reduced lunch program. Home schools, private care facilities (preschools, daycares, etc.) and recreational programs are not eligible for this waiver unless proof of federal funding and associated eligibility is determined.
- Schools interested in this option must plan a visit between May and June 2014 or in September 2014. An application is available here (PDF, 118 kb, 1 page) and will be accepted through May 2, 2014 and starting again August 1st for September reservations, accepted through August 25, 2014.
School Field Trip Resources
- Once accepted, teachers must follow the step-by-step Field Trip Planning Guide (PDF, 4.2 MB, 61 pages), which includes our admission and payment policies, chaperone policies, program planning and activities, check-in procedures and parking policies.
- Field Trip Checklist (PDF, 50 kb, 1 page)
- Teachers and Chaperones, please read our Chaperone Guide and Aquarium Rules (PDF, 148 kb, 2 pages) before coming on your field trip.
- Our Teachers Guide to Gulf of Maine Marine Life (PDF, 2 MB, 110 pages) is also helpful.
Other Groups (of at least 10 people)
- Tour Groups of 10 or more people planning to visit the Maine State Aquarium should make a reservation at least 30 days in advance of their planned visit date. For Tour Groups that make this reservation, the Group Discount will apply at a rate of $2.50 pp. Without this reservation, the standard admission rates will apply.
- Bus Drivers will receive a Free Admission into the facility as part of a Tour Group with a reservation.
- If an unplanned Tour Group arrives without reservations, you may be asked to wait until space is available in the facility before being allowed to enter. The standard admission will apply in this case with no exception.
Family and other private groups
- Do not qualify for the group discount, and must pay the standard admission.
- Private groups of more than 25 people must call our office to discuss reservation needs at least 2 weeks in advance of their visit date.
- Guests interested in having a Birthday Party at our facility can contact us for more information and pricing.
To Make Reservations
Download a reservation form here (PDF, 162 kb, 1 page), fill it out, and submit it. You may check our online aquarium schedule for available times, or to check the status of your request. The reservation phone line (207-633-9542) and the aquarium email (email@example.com) will serve for information regarding reservations, but will not be used to take reservations. Reservations must be made using the form above and submitted via fax, mail, or email.
Fax is the preferred method.
Last-minute reservations cannot be guaranteed and may not be accepted. Same day reservations will not be accepted.
All groups must make sure their reservation is confirmed, in writing, before planning on arrival. This will ensure that space is available, that we have received your request and can operate accordingly.
Please note that the group discount rate only applies to school and tour groups, not family or other private groups, who must pay the standard admission.
If you have any questions concerning any of this information, please call (207) 633-9542 to speak with the Natural Science Educator.