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1-Hour Visits Include

A tour with a biologist, deep-water invertebrate Aquarium, hands-on displays, marine mammal artifacts & touch tank.


Touch Tank

The touch tank is open continuously throughout the day.



Your visit will include a short presentation from a biologist and they will be available for questions and answers.


Unique Interactions

Since tickets will be limited you will have a unique opportunity to interact with the animals and the biologists on duty..


Supplementary Programs

Supplementary programs will be given as time and interest permits, which will include beach nature walks, tidepool explorations, and visits to the local fishing industry.
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Special Events

Birthday parties, after-hour events, and small functions are available by appointment.

Our Mission

The mission of our facility is to educate visitors about the importance of the estuarine and oceanic ecosystems of the New Hampshire coast, while providing a unique opportunity to view and touch sea animals that they may never otherwise encounter. Our intent is to improve public awareness of the Gulf of Maine’s natural wonders, help visitors to fully appreciate New Hampshire’s remarkable natural resources, and to foster a stewardship for seacoast and its environment.Ellen and vertebra

The center contains multiple exhibits focusing on the oceanic environment and the precarious balance between human use and healthy ecosystems. Visitors learn about the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the local fishing industry it supports. The center contains a refrigerated aquarium displaying fish and invertebrates from the coast and deep-ocean, while also providing a hands-on touch tank. In addition, multimedia exabition and displays are present, augmented with live presentations and dried specimens to touch and examine.
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Photo Gallery

Welcome to the Oceanarium
Meet Our Visitors
Local Commercial Fishermen
School Visits

Calico Lobster

We are now home to an extremely rare calico lobster. How the lobster gets this coloring is not well understood, and may even be due to environmental factors. To learn more about the lobster, read the National Geographic article featuring our lobster.


Summertime Oceanarium Group Programs

The Explore the Ocean World,LLC Oceanarium is open to summer camps and groups July through August.   Your trip to the oceanarium includes a guided tour and a half hour free time to explore.  Total time at the facility is about an hour for each group.  Special programs available on request including beach walks and tidepooling across the street on Hampton Beach.  The facility can accomodate about 25 people at a time.  For larger groups, we will provide activities for the chaparones to lead on the beach while waiting their turn at the oceanarium facility. This will include a fish printing activity for the students to take home.

Contact us for dates and times available. Groups must make reservations in advance.
For more info contact:DSC_0179
Ellen Goethel

367 Ocean Boulevard
Hampton Beach, NH 03842

$6 per person
One adult chaparone free with every 6 paying students

A Fishy Kind of Birthday

Book a private Birthday Party at Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium for a different kind of birthday! Treat up to 15 children and adults to a private presentation of Explore the Ocean World with Biologist Ellen Goethel.

After the talk guests will be invited to spend a half hour or more exploring the hands-on exhibits including the touch tank and the 150 gallon viewing tank with local deep water animals. They will finish with a fish printing session and a print of their making to take home.

Time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours
Cost: $175

Early Booking Sale $100
Number of persons: Up to 20

School Visits

Your students will have a chance to experience, hands on, creatures from the Gulf of Maine salt marsh, rocky shore, and the deep sea.

Each presentation is unique.  The animals differ daily depending on what new and exotic things the commercial fishermen bring in.  The animals range from the common sea star to the deep water sun star, spiny crab or horseshoe crab.

The talk can cover a range of information from salt marsh ecology, conservation, commercial fishing and detailed information on all sorts of sea creatures.  At the end of each talk the students get their hands wet and are encouraged to handle everything.

I will be bringing in live sea animals with salt water and some frozen animals.  (Things may get a little wet.)  You will need to provide a space for me to set up with access to an electrical outlet, two medium sized tables and someone to help me set up.  Because of the salt water and the animals it is impossible to move the program during the day.

Each presentation lasts about 45 minutes.  With a half-hour talk and approximately 15 minutes of hands on.  It is imperative that the group size is kept under 30 students.  This way all of the students will get a chance to “touch, feel and smell” everything without being crowded.

Price Information:
One Full Day: $ 550 (Up to 6 talks)
One Half Day: $ 325 (Up to 3 talks in the A.M.)
Mileage Charge: $ .585 per mile or current government rate

Mailing Address:

Explore the Ocean World, llc

23 Ridgeview Terrace

Hampton, NH 03842

Our Staff

Get to know Ellen and meet some of the fishermen.

Ellen Goethel
Ellen GoethelOwner

Ellen has a Zoology degree from the University of New Hampshire and worked at the New England Aquarium in their education department and as a biologist during and directly after graduation.  Ellen was instrumental in drafting the Town of Hampton’s original wetlands ordinance and has been a member of the Town’s Conservation Commission for over 20 years, sitting as Chair or Vice Chair for the last 8 years. She and her husband are owners of a 44 foot stern trawler, the “Ellen Diane”,  and have been involved with the fishing industry since 1976.  Since 1978, she has actively worked with New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation to help solve fisheries related problems.  She has worked with the Northeast Seafood Coalition since its inception, and in 2002 she was recognize by the Gloucester Fishermen’s wives Association for her “outstanding contribution in protecting the future of the New England Fishing Industry”.  In 2009 she was named the “Conservationist of the Year” by the Coastal Conservation Association of NH.   She is on the board of directors of the NH Coastal Conservation Association and past board member of NH Fishing Sectors XI and XII and the non-profit, Granite Fish.  She has also just finished a four year term as the Fishing Industry Representative for the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce.  As a volunteer, Ellen ran a Marine Science program for over 60 children in which the students ran and maintained a small marine lab for Rockingham County 4-H. For this work she was awarded the 1994 National Fisheries and Wildlife Award.  She presently holds the New Hampshire obligatory seat on the New England Fishery Management Council which is an appointment through the US Secretary of Commerce. In June 2014 Ellen and her husband David, were awarded the Industry Award by the Gulf of Maine Council for their years of work together to conserve and protect the Gulf of Maine.

Directions + Contact

Oceanarium Address:

Explore the Ocean World, llc
367 Ocean Boulevard #3
Hampton Beach, NH 03842

Summer Phone:  (603) 758-7998

10:00 – 5:00 Daily July – Labor Day
12:00 – 7:00 Wednesdays

Admission $6
Includes a tour with a biologist
Season Passes through 2018:
$48 for a family of 4 (two adults and two children)
$25 for a family of 2 (one adult and one child)
$18 for an individual

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