President & CEO Noreen Johnson Smith takes the helm.

Alden Digital Planetarium reopens in June with a new technology platform which includes 4K laser projectors and the ability to show the latest in scientific findings from the Hubble and James Webb telescopes. New programs include Cosmic Adventure, CAPCOM Go!, The Apollo Story, and Astronomy Live.


Alden Planetarium is closed for a technology and accessibility upgrade.


March 13th, the EcoTarium closes due to the Covid-19 pandemic and remains shuttered for a year, staff are laid off or work from home -- except for maintenance staff and the animal caregivers. Virtual educational programming is offered online.


Wild Cat Station Opens! One of the Largest Mountain Lion Exhibits in New England.

At the heart of Wild Cat Station, presented by The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, is a dramatic and intimate experience of a set of mountain lions in their natural New England habitat. Utilizing and transforming the former polar bear habitat, the sibling cats are home in their re-created mountainous terrain while visible from multiple viewing angles by our visitors.

The brother and sister kittens were found emaciated and orphaned in Half Moon Bay, California and brought to Oakland Zoo for vet care. The EcoTarium worked with the zoo through Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for safe transport of the cats.

An exciting part of the new exhibit is how the mountain lion kittens were named: the male name was auctioned off at EcoTarium’s signature fundraiser A Night at the Museum held on April 27, 2019. “Salton” was chosen; it is a combination of the two last names of the winning bidders.  Female mountain lion-naming rights were first extended to EcoTarium members, the public was given the opportunity to vote on their narrowed-down list. “Freyja” is the female name after a close race.

Learn more about Wild Cat Station


The EcoTarium reaches a record breaking attendance of 178,000 for the year!


The EcoTarium reaches a record breaking attendance of 170,863 for the year!


The Explorer Express Train re-opens, after two years, with refurbished tracks, crossing gates, coaches, as well as various upgrades along its route.


The EcoTarium becomes the official Museum Outreach Partner of PBS Kids' "Plum Landing" produced by WGBH Boston.

The Nature Explore Outdoor Exhibit, a certified Nature Explore® Classroom, becomes the newest permanent exhibit at the EcoTarium. The interactive outdoor exhibit features several play areas designed to connect families to nature.

The EcoTarium becomes a Museum Partner of National Geographic (the first in New England!) and the Alden Digital Planetarium is re-named the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater.


The EcoTarium creates two new outdoor places to play, with the Imagination Playground on the Lower Courtyard and the Play on the Plaza exhibit on the Sundial Plaza, featuring the popular Bubbles! exhibit, a Tube-A-Phone musical sculpture, and space for temporary exhibits to be prototyped.

The EcoTarium partners with the Worcester Think Tank to create Think Tank at the EcoTarium (TTE) classes, to provide students with an engaging, interesting and effective program for enhancing education while learning to work with peers in a nurturing and supervised environment.


The EcoTarium becomes an associate member of the Association of Children's Museums.

Joe Cox becomes president of the EcoTarium.

DinoTracks opens, an exhibit produced by the Environmental Exhibit Collaborative, a group of mid-sized natural science and children’s museums organized by the EcoTarium.


Kenda the polar bear dies at the age of 27.

The Arctic Next Door: Mount Washington exhibit opens on the museum's Upper Level. The exhibit transforms the museum entrance, adding an engaging, interactive exhibit experience focused around New England weather and geology. It is the first of several guest experience enhancements planned as part of the EcoTarium's Third Century Plan.


EcoTarium unveils a new three-story glass wall, the Hirsh Telecommunications Center and classroom wing, a landscaped terrace and Food Pavilion, and new exhibits related to water.