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Adventure Aquarium

Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2018

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An incredible experience across the Delaware River

The Adventure Aquarium

The premiere aquarium in the Philadelphia Metro, the Adventure Aquarium, has operated since 1992.  Located in Camden, New Jersey, the Adventure Aquarium is situated along the Delaware Riverfront directly across the Delaware River from Old City Philadelphia.  It stands among other entertainment destinations on the Camden Riverfront such as the Camden Children’s Garden, the BB&T Pavilion concert venue as well as the Philadelphia 76ers' headquarters and practice facility.

African Penguins swim in Penguin Park

Originally operated by the State of New Jersey, the Aquarium was first known to as the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences when it opened and only contained fish and animals native to New Jersey. In time, the Aquarium expanded in size and focus numerous times, opening in its current form as the Adventure Aquarium in 2005.  The new and expanded Adventure Aquarium now displays fish and other animal species from across the globe in fascinating educational displays.

Today, the Adventure Aquarium has indoor and outdoor exhibits, a 3-D Movie theater, interactive exhibits that allow contact with animals and dozens of tanks totaling over 2 million gallons of water containing over 8,500 aquatic species! 

The Aquarium it set up into five zones:

Zone A – Ocean Realm, Petting Sharks and More!

This is the most diverse zone in the Adventure Aquarium featuring exhibits that will transport you all over the world.  At the start of this zone, you’ll be able to touch a shark!  What does it feel like to touch a shark cutting through the water?  If you ever wanted to know, this is the place to find out!  And you won’t get to touch just any shark, you’ll touch some of the most exotic sharks in the world, the Bamboo Shark and the Mexican Horn Shark. 

Cownose Rays

You’ll also travel to the Amazon at the Piranha Falls exhibit which features species from the mighty Amazon, including a ferocious school of over 100 Red-Bellied Piranhas. The exhibit includes waterfalls and simulated rainstorms including thunder and lightning. While the beaches of Australia couldn’t be further from the Amazon, in the Adventure Aquarium the sandy shores of Australia are just a few feet away.  A simulated Australian Shoreline is the perfect home for Little Blues, the smallest penguins in the world. Also nearby is Caribbean Currents, exhibits filled with some of the most exotic and amazing creatures from the Caribbean such as the Lined Seahorse and the French Angelfish.

As you’ll travel further into Zone A, you’ll come upon the largest tank in the entire Aquarium, Ocean Realm, a breathtakingly huge tank filled with 760,000 gallons of water and over 400 species!  Inhabitants include numerous shark species, including most impressively, the Great Hammerhead Shark, the only Great Hammerhead exhibited in the United States.  Also among the residents of the Ocean Realm tank are numerous species of sea turtles including the Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles.  Learn more about the sea turtles in Sea Turtle Cove where you can understand more about the endangered sea turtle species from around the globe.

Zone B – Stingray Beach Club, Penguin Island and More!

In Zone B, there is another great interactive exhibit, Stingray Beach Club. In this bright airy exhibit, you’ll be transported to a tropical oasis where Cownose Rays and Southern Stingrays swim through shallow water.  These friendly species will actually approach your hands if you stick them in the water and allow you to pet them!  You can also buy cups of fish to hand feed the rays. 

Outside of Stingray Beach Club, you can head outside to Penguin Island which features a large colony of African Penguins. You can view them waddle around on land, and you can also watch them dive into the water where you can view their graceful underwater play.  Also outside is Explorers Cove which features nautical themed climbing structures for children to play on and picnic tables where you can eat.

Penguin Park

Zone C – 3-D Theater, KidZone, the Grotto, and More!

In Zone C, you’ll have more opportunities to roll up your sleeves and interact with marine life. In The Grotto, you can hold or interact with over a dozen warm-water invertebrates such colorful sea stars, shrimp, sea apples, fish, and horseshoe crabs among others.  Another interactive pool, the Creature Feature, gives visitors to see what slimy invertebrates such as sea anemones and sea cucumbers feel like.

The KidZone, also in Zone C is designed for children under 6.  Featuring vibrant colorful species in tanks that encourage children to jump, climb and crawl all over them and see the fish from every imaginable angle.  The 3-D movie theater in this zone is another fun diversion that is included with general admission.

Zone D – Hippo Haven and Shark Realm and More!

Two of the most impressive exhibits are Zone D.  When you enter Zone D the first thing you are confronted by are two enormous hippopotamuses.  Watching these giant creatures easily swim through the water is impressive to see.  Also in Zone D is the shark realm, a half a million gallon tank filled with over 20 sharks and 200 animals!  There are also many ways to interact with this enormous tank of sharks.  There are a couple of standard viewing areas, but if you really want to feel immersed in the Shark Realm you can also walk through the shark tunnel where sharks will be swimming all around you!  For the truly brave there is also the Shark Bridge, a rope bridge that allows you to walk just inches above the tank filled with sharks!

Ocean Realm viewing Area

Zone E – Gift Shop and Dining

In Zone E you can grab a bite to eat at numerous food stand with an array of options as well as visit the gift shop.  Guest Services are also located in this section.  If you live nearby and are enjoying your experience, consider a membership as you can apply the cost of your ticket to a membership and the cost of a membership is less than the cost of two general admission tickets.

Australian Penguins

How to Get There

The Adventure Aquarium is located in Camden, New Jersey which is directly across the Delaware River from Old City, Philadelphia.  It is actually a manageable walk over the Ben Franklin Bridge, check out more information about using the pedestrian walkway on the Ben Franklin Bridge in our blog.  Guests can also take the Patco subway line.  The closest Patco stop to the National Constitution Center, where all of our tours begin and end is located at 8th and Market Streets. Head eastward into New Jersey and the very next stop “City Hall Station” is where you get off for the Adventure Aquarium.  Driving is also convenient due to large parking lots in the immediate vicinity of the Aquarium.


Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

*Hours subject to change

Additional Information

Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ 08103

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