Over spring break, we took a surprise trip to Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. It's just over the river from Philadelphia, so it was an easy 10-minute drive from the downtown area when we couldn't get into the museum we had planned to visit. We ended up having a wonderful afternoon learning about aquatic animals, and it was my kids' first visit to a large aquarium. They just loved it!
One of the things we liked most was that every area in the aquarium had a hands-on area, like petting the sharks and rays. We were also able to touch sea stars, urchins, lobsters, and much more. I was the only squeamish one, but I did it anyway. Each area had docents talking about the animals and answering questions. While we enjoyed touching, we also spent a lot of time just looking–in amazement–at sharks in the 40-foot Shark Tunnel and at sea turtles and more in the huge Ocean Realm. With a floor-to-ceiling window, we just sat on benches and watched everything swim by. It was fascinating!
Outdoors, we saw the African Penguins in the Penguin Island exhibit. We spent quite a while out there watching them swim, clean themselves, and play. Back inside, my girls really liked the Kid Zone, where you could stick your head inside an aquarium and be part of the action and climb on statues of frogs, sea turtles, and inside a shark. Unfortunately, the Hippo Haven was under construction when we visited, but it looks like it will be an amazing exhibit. The kids (and I!) would love to go back to see that.
The aquarium was pricey, but we had an absolutely fabulous visit and I highly recommend it. Regular admission is $25.95/adults and $18.95/children ages 2-12. Children under 2 are free, and the 4D Theater experience is additional (just like the IMAX Theater at a science museum).
The best deal for tickets is through Goldstar. Pay just $15.45 for kids and $19.19 for adults, through May 2015, though there is a service fee. This weekend only (Memorial Day weekend), military families can get up to 4 tickets for just $10 each.
If you're going to be in the Philadelphia area, you may also like:
- Independence Hall & Liberty Bell
- Please Touch Museum
- Crayola Experience (north of Philly, in Easton)
And be sure and follow my Mid-Atlantic Family Trips board on Pinterest.