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Aquatic Adventures Await: Discover the Magic of Camden NJ’s Adventure Aquarium (Photos)

At Jersey Family Fun, we’ve been telling you about the Adventure Aquarium, also known as the Camden Aquarium, since 2011, but we’ve been visiting this New Jersey Aquarium even longer.

I can remember taking Girl Scouts to visit long before I had my own kids. There was no special Kids Zone, no Shark Bridge; even then it was still fun to walk among the exhibits.

Now not only does Adventure Aquarium have several touch tanks for kids to get up close with animals, but there are numerous exhibits and activities to make any visit turn into an all day NJ day trip. Take a look!

We recently visited Adventure Aquarium to get reacquainted with all the activities and attractions they have to offer kids, teens, adults, and guests of all ages. In full disclosure, as New Jersey journalists and influencers, we were provided with tickets for our visit.

Adventure Aquarium Zones

Rain or shine, weekend or school holiday, Adventure Aquarium makes a great day trip for families with its 4 aquatic zones with fun for kids at every stop. There are 2 other zones that do not contain exhibits.

All the Adventure Aquarium zones are indoors – with the exception of part of zone B, the outdoor area featuring Penguin Island.

Adventure Aquarium Zone A

What Zone A includes:

  • Piranha Falls
  • Sea Turtle Cove
  • Touch-a-shark
  • Pirates Passage
  • Ocean Realm
  • Little Blue Beach

Adventure Aquarium Zone  B

What Zone B includes:

  • Stingray Beach Club
  • Penguin Park, an outdoor exhibit with penguins
  • Explorer’s Cove, an outdoor children’s playground
  • Virtual Reality Experience

Adventure Aquarium Zone C

What Zone C includes:

  • 3D Movie Theater
  • Creature Feature
  • The Grotto
  • KidZone

Adventure Aquarium Zone D

What Zone D Includes:

  • Shark Realm
  • Shark Tunnel
  • Hippo Haven
  • Shark Bridge
Zone Sign at Adventure Aquarium in Camden NJ

Zone E

Zone E spans from where the gift shop is located at an upper level through to where the food options are.

Zone LL

Zone LL is the level where guests enter the Camden Aquarium. It contains the Box Office, information desk, locker and stroller rentals.

The Adventure Aquarium map is a little hard to find on their website. Use this shortcut to locate it.

One of the nice things about visiting Adventure Aquarium is that you can go through the exhibits and activities at your own pace. You can move through everything pretty quickly, or slow down, and get a more in-depth experience, depending on the kids’ moods that day.

Adventure Aquarium Camden Schedule of Activities

Play and learn at the KidZone, A indoor playground under the sea

  • The KidZone is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • KidZone is located in Zone C, on the 3rd floor. It encompasses the whole floor.
  • Admission to the KidZone is included with admission.
Musical Instrument in Adventure Aquarium KidsZone

About the KidZone

This is the best zone for the little guys! When it’s been a long time in the stroller or it’s just time to get that energy out, head to the top floor and explore! Meet the AquaPals, check out a colorful touch tank, and spend time learning about how frogs croak!

Not only are there smaller animals to touch like starfish, sea apples, and sea urchins but there are also loads of things to play on and in. It’s part kids’ museum/aquarium and part indoor aquatic playground.

Adventure Aquarium KidsZone Crawl through structure.

What can kids do at the KidZone?

At the KidZone you can

  • jump on the tug boat and drive it,
  • make some music on the metal drums,
  • or snap a picture with different characters.
  • Mimic a ribbit
  • Explore the Exploration Station
  • Bubble up in the tank.
  • Touch sea creatures in The Grotto and the Pacific Northwest Creature Feature.
  • Crawl through a sea anemone.

What can guests see?

  • Sea stars
  • Anemones
  • Sea cucumber
  • Snails
  • Frogs
  • Colorful sea stars
  • Scarlet cleaner shrimp
  • Sea apples
  • Horseshoe crabs
  • and so much more.
Adventure Aquarium KidsZone The Grotto

Play some more at Explorer’s Cove, A outdoor playground under the sea

  • The Explorer’s Cove is a permanent outdoor playground at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is outdoors with a canvas canopy over some areas.
  • Explorer’s Cove is located outside of Zone B. It is accessible through doors at the Stingray Club and at the Rotunda.
  • Admission to Explorer’s Cove is included with admission.

About the Explorer’s Cove

With nautical-themed playground structures, kids can climb, slide, and play while pretending they’re under the sea or in the great big ocean.

What can kids do at Explorer’s Cove?

  • Walk across starfish.
  • Tunnel through mounds of sand and a telescope.
  • Climb and octopus.
  • Ride a shark or dolphin.
  • Sail a boat.
Explorers Cove outdoor playground at Adventure Aquarium

The above activities at Adventure Aquarium are great, but there’s more to do and explore. We love that there are so many opportunities to get up close to the animals, including the hippos, Button and Genny, stingrays, sharks, and other sea life.

Watch Button and Genny at Hippo Haven

  • The Hippo Haven is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • Hippo Haven is located Zone D, on the 2nd floor. It’s where the top of the stairs from the bottom level meets the cafe. Head to the left instead of proceeding straight.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About Hippo Haven

Two hippos (Button and Genny) reside at Adventure Aquarium, and you can watch their feedings four times during the day. Button and Genny are the only Nile hippos in the world to be exhibited at an aquarium. Both weigh over 3000 pounds.

Hippo Haven incorporates a clear 60,000-gallon pool where the hippos have ample room to swim. Guests are just inches away on the other side of the glass and can see these graceful creatures from an intimate angle.

Hippo at feeding time in Adventure Aquarium Hippo Haven August 2022

You can view the Hippos in three locations in Hippo Heaven:

  • “Bird-eye” View over top the hippos: It was great seeing all the hippos from above as they like to be sneaky and go just below the water making it hard to see them. When you enter Hippo Haven climb up the staircase and over and look down below!
  • In the center: Instead of making a right and going up the staircase to view Hippo Haven instead go directly in the center be patient and see if one of the hippos will come up to the glass, sometimes the hippos are a little stubborn so you may have to wait a little bit for them to come up closer. The best time to watch them is during feeding time.
  • If you walk down the steps just as you leave Hippo Haven and go to the left you will find a set of benches in the middle and a smaller area to view the deeper end of Hippo Haven where sometimes the hippos will hide.

What can kids do at the Hippo Haven?

In addition to watching the hippos, there is a photo spot in one corner. Guests can also sign up in advance to participate in hippo feedings for an additional fee.

Hippo Haven Photo Spot Adventure Aquarium August 2022


  • The Touch-A-Shark tank is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • The activity is located in Zone A, on the 2nd floor, past Piranha Falls and before the Rotunda.
  • This activity is included with admission.

About the Touch-A-Shark tank

Another Adventure Aquarium activity that we’ve enjoyed has been the Touch-a-Shark tank. If you visit early in the morning you may notice all the sharks are on one side of the tank sleeping on top of each other. They normally sleep until 2 pm in the afternoon. Visiting when the sharks are asleep can be the perfect time if you have children who may be scared to touch the sharks.

What’s great about the area is that there are paper towels and hand sanitizer right next to the Touch-A-Shark tank, no need to stop into the bathroom to dry off (because you will get a little wet in this area).

What can kids do at the Touch-A-Shark tank?

  • Kids can touch epaulet sharks, bamboo sharks, and other aquatic creatures.

Feel a Stingray at Stingray Beach Club

  • The Stingray Beach Club is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • The activity is located in Zone B, on the 2nd floor, past the Touch-A-Shark and adjacent to the Rotunda.
  • Admission to the Stingray Beach Club is included with admission.
  • NOTE: Due to space limitations, strollers are required to be parked outside Stingray Beach Club while visiting with the stingrays.

About the Stingray Beach Club

The Stingray Beach Club has always been one of the most fun Adventure Aquarium exhibits. It has two areas with cownose and southern stingrays.

There is the main area is a large circular area where guests can stand around to pet a stingray. This large area can be hard for the younger and shorter crowd to reach into the tank without help from a grown-up.

A few feet away is a second stingray area designed specifically for children 42 inches and under. The area has smaller stingrays in it about four or five that the younger children can pet. There is also a sand castle structure with water in it without any animals inside for children to play in the water without disturbing the stingrays.

What can kids do at the Stingray Beach Club?

  • Touch stingrays of all sizes.
  • Hand feed the stingrays for a small additional fee.
  • Play in the water at the sand castle structure.
sting ray beach club at adventure aquarium in Camden New Jersey
My boys up close and personal with the Stingrays (in their younger days)

Animal Feedings

Each day there are annual feedings at Adventure Aquarium that guests can watch. Some you can participate in for an additional fee.

  • Penguin Feeding
  • Hippo Feeding
  • African Penguin Feeding

Meet a mermaid

Occasionally mermaids visit Adventure Aquarium for a few weeks at a time. Their visit can make your visit extra special. Learn more in The Ultimate Guide to Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium.


Watch out for Shark Summer!

Love Shark Week? You’ll love Shark Summer! With Shark Summer at Adventure Aquarium, you can experience sharks all summer long! Learn more about the shark activities in 15 Adventure Aquarium Shark Activities I Dare You to Try.

Shark at Adventure Aquarium in Shark Tunnel

Arrghh, Live the pirate life in Pirates Passage

  • The Pirates Passage is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • Pirates Passage is indoors.
  • The activity is located on the 2nd floor in Zone A. It starts where the Little Blue Beach ends and goes around past the Ocean Realm theater until you arrive at Sea Turtle Cove.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Pirates Passage

As you leave the Little Blue Beach, things take a turn to the dark and mysterious. You’re invited to join Captain Darkbeard’s crew as they travel the twists and turns of Pirate’s Passage in search of treasure and to witness hundreds of brightly-colored tropical fish, eerie eels, and more!

Pirate's Passage Darkbeard pirate captain Adventure aquarium

What can kids do at the Pirates Passage?

Kids can have the best time pretending to be pirates with these activities.

  • Read Dark Beard’s “Fish Tales,” a private journal of his favorite sea animals.
  • Examine the 15 unique exhibits for hidden treasures and remnants of pirates from yesteryear.
  • Pose with pirates.
  • Discover the treasure chest.
  • Look through telescopes and spy glasses.
  • Steer a ship.

Watch a 3D Movie

  • The former 4D movie theater is now used for 3D movies. It is a permanent area at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • The activity is located on the 3rd floor at the far end of Zone C.
  • There is no additional fee to watch any of the 3D movies.

About the 3D Movie theater

The 3D Movie Theater offers 2 different shows that are played throughout the day. Check the Aquarium’s schedule on their website or program for more details.

What can kids watch at the 3D Movie theater?

During our visit, these shows were on the schedule.

  • Hidden Pacific profiles some of the Pacific Ocean’s most beautiful islands and marine national monuments. The film explores the storied histories of Palmyra, Midway and other atolls through science and human stories.
  • Sammy & Ray – Catch a ride with newly hatched Green turtle Sammy and his best, Leatherback, buddy Ray as they cruise the oceans on a makeshift raft having the time of their lives. Eventually, trouble ensues and the friends are separated and must work to get reunited.
Camden Aquarium turtles

Discover mystery boxes in Little Blue Beach

  • The Little Blue Beach is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • Little Blue Beach is located on the 2nd floor in Zone A. It’s past the Piranha Falls and before the Pirate’s Passage.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Little Blue Beach

Visit Australia without leaving New Jersey. Little Blue penguins typically call the Australian shoreline home, but the Adventure Aquarium is home to a colony.

Little Blue penguins are the smallest species of penguin in the world! You can see them upclose swimming underwater and waddling on land at Adventure Aquarium.

Little blue penguin at Adventure Aquarium

What can kids do at the Little Blue Beach?

In addition to watching the Little Blue Penguins kids can discover mystery boxes.

It’s really easy to miss what I’ll call mystery boxes at Little Blue Beach. They are wooden boxes that blend right into the decor. If you look the boxes have painted words like ‘reach inside’ and ‘lift to look’. Tell the kids as they walk among the turtles and penguins they should keep their eyes open for mystery boxes.

Get caught in a thunderstorm in Piranha Falls

  • Piranha Falls is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This activity is indoors.
  • Piranha Falls is located on the 2nd floor in Zone A. It’s right off the main passageway before you get to the Touch-A-Shark tank.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Piranha Falls

Piranha Falls offers another experience where guests can feel they’ve left New Jersey. This time it’s a ‘virtual’ visit to the Amazon Rainforest.

On your ‘journey’ into the rainforest you can find 100 red-bellied piranhas swimming below the waterfalls. Stick around for one of those Amazon rainstorms.

What can kids do at the Piranha Falls?

There are quite a few interesting animals to see in Piranha Falls, but don’t miss the thunderstorm. It’s one thunderstorm where you really won’t get wet. The thunderstorm showers over the Piranha Falls waterfall tank. It lasts a few minutes. Watch the screen next to the tank for the schedule of when the next thunderstorm will occur.

thunderstorm in Piranha Falls Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey

Play games in Sea Turtle Cove

  • The Sea Turtle Cove is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • Sea Turtle Cove is indoors.
  • The activity is located on the 2nd floor. It’s where the top of the stairs from the bottom level meets the stairs going to the 3rd and 4th floors.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Sea Turtle Cove

Sea Turtle Cove takes learning about turtles and makes it interactive and engaging. Here, in addition to the Adventure Aquarium activities, guests can come face-to-face with the endangered loggerhead and green sea turtles from the bubble-shaped windows that provide a unique view into the Ocean Realm.

What can kids do at the Sea Turtle Cove?

Sea Turtle Cove has this amazing floor-to-ceiling Ocean Realm window where you can get mesmerized watching sea turtles, stingrays, and other sea animals swim by. But there’s more than the breathtaking view to engage with.

  • Play games like ‘What can you go?’
  • Press buttons and follow the Hatchling Chronicles
  • Sit in a window and watch what’s swimming in the Ocean Realm.
  • Identify plastic bags masquerading as jellyfish.
  • Watch sea turtle conservation videos.

More Adventure Aquarium Exhibits & Areas

Other popular exhibits at this South Jersey aquarium include the Shark Tunnel, Ocean Realm, and Penguin Island.

Shark Tunnel

  • The Shark Tunnel is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This exhibit is indoors.
  • The Shark Tunnel is located on the 2nd floor in Zone D. It’s after the Shark Realm and before the Shark Bridge.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Shark Tunnel

Adventure Aquarium’s shark tunnel is 40 feet long making it the longest such tunnel in New Jersey. In addition to the dozens of sharks you can watch swim all around you, there are more than 200 other aquatic animals.

Adventure Aquarium Shark Tunnel

Learn more about the shark activities in 15 Adventure Aquarium Shark Activities I Dare You to Try.

Ocean Realm

  • Ocean Realm is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This exhibit is indoors.
  • The exhibit is located on the 2nd floor in Zone A, between Sea Turtle Cove and Pirate’s Passage.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Ocean Realm

Ocean Realm is an IMPRESSIVE tank that holds more than 760,000 gallons of water and is home to over 400 animals.

The Ocean Realm offers a theater that hosts programs throughout the day such as Meet the Divers and various game shows. It can be an incredible area to just sit and watch the sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and various fish swim about.

What can you see at the Ocean Realm?

With two floor-to-ceiling, movie-screen-sized windows and bubble windows in Sea Turtle Cove, Ocean Realm is where you’ll get the MOST AMAZING views at Adventure Aquarium.

  • Southern stingrays
  • Silky sharks
  • Loggerhead and green sea turtles
  • A critically-endangered great hammerhead shark
  • and of course more!
Ocean Realm Theater at Adventure Aquarium

Shark Realm

  • Shark Realm is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This exhibit is indoors.
  • The exhibit is located on the 2nd floor in Zone D.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Shark Realm

While not as big as the Ocean Realm the Shark Realm is still a site to see with 550,000-gallons of water and its own collection of aquatic animals and creatures.

What can you see at the Shark Realm?

In the Shark Real guests will see more than 200 animals and several shark species, including sand bar, sand tiger, and nurse sharks.

large window with sharks at adventure aquarium

Penguin Island

  • Penguin Island is a permanent exhibit at the Adventure Aquarium.
  • This is the only outdoor exhibit at the Camden Aquarium.
  • The exhibit is located adjacent to the Stingray Beach Club. You can access it through the Stingray Beach Club or the Rotunda.
  • Admission to the exhibit is included with admission.

About the Penguin Island Exhibit

Inside you can find the Little Blue Penguins from Australia, but outside in the Penguin Island exhibit you’ll find a colony of warm-weather African penguins. This penguin habitat provides another opportunity to see penguins at Adventure Aquarium on dry land and underwater.

Adventure Aquarium Penguin Island

A few more things to know about the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ

As you can see there is so much to see and do at Adventure Aquarium. More than 15,000 aquatic animals call the Aquarium home in its two million gallons of water.

Adventure Aquarium prides itself on having the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast, and the longest shark bridge in the world. Some of the most notable aquarium residents include Anchor, the great hammerhead shark, a colony of endangered African penguins, and the Nile hippopotamuses, Button and Genny.

Accessibility, Sensory Spaces, and Nursing Rooms

Just past the Rotunda and prior to getting to the Virtual Reality experience and 3D theater is a private room. This room can be used by mothers for nursing needs or guests in need of a quiet space. Please visit Accessible Amenities to learn how Adventure Aquarium has partnered with KultureCity to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs.

Nursing Room and Quiet Space at Adventure Aquarium


There are restrooms located on every floor. All restrooms are equipped with a baby changing area.

Food at Adventure Aquarium

When it comes to dining and eating at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, the aquarium has stepped up its game. There are made-to-order items (burgers, cheesesteaks, pizza) and grab-and-go items. There is even a Create Your Own Nachos bar. We highly recommend the nachos. They are available in single-serving size or family size.

Outside the Adventure Aquarium there is a Bain’s Deli as well.

Can you bring in outside food?

You can bring your own food.

There is seating, tables, and chairs, both inside and outside for guests to use while eating.

What activities are not included with admission?

There are several additional activities Adventure Aquarium guests can do for an additional fee. Some require advance reservations. Others, guests can sign up that day.

  • Photo Opportunities – Throughout the aquarium, photographers are taking pictures with a green screen background. Guests can visit the H2O booth in the gift shop to preview their pictures and purchase the ones they like. (The gift shop is in Zone D.)
  • Face Painting
  • Caricatures
  • Virtual Reality Experience
Adventure Aquarium Virtual Reality Experience

Other amenities available for an additional fee

  • Locker rentals
  • Single and double stroller rentals
  • Wheelchair rentals

Tips for visiting Camden Aquarium, AKA Adventure Aquarium

  • If your kids are little, make sure to visit the baby stingrays in the back near the water table at Stingray Beach. It’s much easier for little ones to get 2 fingers close to the Stingrays there than in the regular area, especially when it’s crowded.
  • Also, if your kids are hesitant about touching, take them upstairs to the KidZone, where the touch tanks are on their level. Make sure to ask Adventure Aquarium staff questions about the animals and you may learn some new facts.
  • Biologists often come out for feedings and talks throughout the aquarium, so make sure you check out the daily program when you arrive. You can also experience animals up-close throughout the day at the Irazu Falls in Zone A.
  • All touch tanks observe the “2 finger rule” as a safe way to experience the animals on exhibit.
  • There is an elevator for guests who prefer not to do stairs.

About Adventure Aquarium

Where is Adventure Aquarium?

Adventure Aquarium is often referred to as the Camden Aquarium because of its location on the waterfront in Camden. The address is 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey.

Ocean Realm window for viewing at Adventure Aquarium

How much is admission to Adventure Aquarium?

At the time of our visit general admission Adventure Aquarium tickets for children, ages 2-12 years old, started at $18.99. Adult prices start at $27.99, while senior citizen prices start at $25.99. Detailed pricing information can be found on their website.

How can I save money on admission?

There are a few ways to save money on Adventure Aquarium tickets.

  • Guests are invited to visit for FREE on their birthdays.
  • There is a special rate on one-day admission tickets for active or retired military, disabled veterans, and military reservists.
  • Buy a CitiPass Philadelphia and save up to 50% on admission to your choice of 3, 4 or 5 top Philadelphia attractions. Visit the attractions at your own pace, in any order, over a 9-day period.
  • Watch for special offers like

Where is parking for the Adventure Aquarium?

There is a parking lot across the street from Adventure Aquarium. Adjacent to that is a parking garage for overflow parking.

How much is parking?

Guests can pay at the parking payment kiosk next to the Box Office or as they exit the parking lot. We recommend paying at a payment kiosk as staff are not always available at the lots. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted for payment.

The parking rate for nonmembers is $10 per car. Members receive reduced rates.

With sharks, hippos, stingrays, penguins, and more the Adventure Aquarium provides quite the adventure for grown ups and kids.

Adventure Aquarium Rotunda

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