New England Aquarium
Just a 10-minute walk from Quincy Market, this appropriately acclaimed showcase of sea life sits on Central Wharf overlooking Boston Harbor. Galleries of jellyfish and sea dragons, penguin and seal colonies, and a giant ocean tank filled with sharks, eels, and sea turtles can keep kids (and adults) happy for an entire afternoon. Between April and October, the aquarium also runs twice-daily whale-watch tours beyond the harbor to Stellwagen Bank—a feeding ground for humpbacks, pilot whales, and dolphins.
Admission: $18.95 adults; $10.95 children (under age 11) for general tickets; whale watches and special exhibits cost extra.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.