Marisa here. Come along with me as I share family travel guides, DIY’s, and mom life tidbits that have made everyday life a little more magical for my family.

Explore: Adventure Aquarium

Explore: Adventure Aquarium

On my family’s most recent trip to Philadelphia, we made a little morning trip over to the neighboring garden state of New Jersey to take my marine life loving sons to see the Adventure Aquarium. I didn’t realize that downtown Philly and New Jersey are only separated by a river, a bridge, and a 10 minute commute, and the views of the Philadelphia skyline from the New Jersey side are nothing short of lovely!


After we entered the aquarium and grabbed general admission tickets, we made our way up to the escalator to the central hub with pathways leading to different zones and exhibits representing different parts of the marine world. My son really wanted to see the hippos (yep you heard that right!), so we headed to Hippo Haven first!


This exhibit was really fun! A big land and water area resides and two hippos call this aquarium home. A large glass wall met by water allows you the perfect view of these ginormous creatures from below. Fun fact for my fellow Disney loving friends - one of the resident hippos was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and made the move to New Jersey soon after! I loved getting to see the hippos from this perspective - it’s a memory that my son is still talking about to this day.

We journeyed on to my son’s all time favorite exhibit: Shark Realm. Taylor loves jellyfish, and when we entered, we were greeted by tanks full of them. It was quite an impressive sight to see so many different species of jellies. My son climbed up and sat in an observation window and just stared in bliss. Being close to these creatures is as magical as it gets for him, and it was so sweet watching him soak in this wondrous sight.


We then headed over to see the main event: sharks! We braved the shark tunnel, surrounded by water, and were able to see sea life from all angles. A footbridge is located in Shark Realm where you can make your way across open water with sharks below, but since we had a feisty toddler and a baby in a stroller in tow, we skipped this attraction.

As our exploration continued, we headed to Ocean Realm. One of my favorite features in this area is the “theater” - essentially, a movie theatre sized tank awaits for you to take a seat, relax, and watch the ocean life in front of you. This was a perfect place for our family to take a little break and for me to feed Duncan while Taylor was still being actively entertained. 

After hitting all of these areas, we made a stop at Piranha Falls. Murky and dark, this area echoes that of the Amazon. We ended our visit at the Kidzone which has colorful tanks, touch exhibits, and lots of education about sea life, conservation, and hope for the future.

I am so glad we were able to spend the day exploring the underwater world while on our trip. If you’re ever in Camden, definitely put the Adventure Aquarium on your to do list!




Explore: Franklin, NC

Explore: Franklin, NC

Explore: The National Aviary

Explore: The National Aviary