You're In Their World Now At Camden Aquarium
The Adventure Aquarium on the Camden waterfront is one of the newest and vivacious of America's large public aquariums. At first, when the aquarium was being built, people thought, "Why on Earth place a tourist attraction in Camden, New Jersey? Camden has seen better days." But despite the misgivings, the Adventure Camden Aquarium (also called the New Jersey State Aquarium) is a success with both visitors and inhabitants.
Where Is Camden?
Camden, New Jersey is not too far from Philadelphia. In fact, the aquarium is sometimes nicknamed "the Philadelphia aquarium". If you don't feel like traveling to New Jersey, you can take public transportation from Philadelphia to Camden. You can come in to Center City Philadelphia either by Amtrak or, if you live in the area, by SEPTA (South Eastern Public Transportation Authority). Among SEPTA, the trains are the most reliable. You then need transfers to PATCO, the public Transportation system in southern New Jersey. You can always call SEPTA or the Camden Aquarium for directions.
What To Do Once You're There
The Camden Aquarium strongly believes in "info-tainment". There are many hands on exhibits (literally - roll your sleeves up!) and lots of information about the importance of conservation and just how full of character and beauty the creatures themselves are. You can go at your own pace and do not need to be lead on a tour.
The Adventure Camden Aquarium is also aimed very much as a family place, so expect a lot of children and bright colors. But this can also be a plus to visit, even if you don't have children. Not only can you learn something, but children ask great questions and come up with fresh observations that you might not have expected. And, if you see a child allowed to put its hands in a petting pool, you know it's safe for you to do, too.
There are always a rotating exhibit, like in a museum, but there are also certain mainstays that have made the Camden Aquarium a memorable educational exhibit. You can pet starfish and rays. You can visit the irresistibly cute Penguin Island. Just recently, there was a big celebration of their Nile hippo's birthday. But you can also walk through a tunnel that goes through a mammoth shark exhibit. This is based on a similar walk in Birmingham, England, except there aren't any sharks in that walk. This is where you get to see them eye to eye surrounded in their element. As the Adventure Aquarium's motto says, "You're in their world now."