|1 Riverside Dr, Camden, NJ 08103, USA
|10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM 10AM–5PM
A Private User
This aquarium is for the "my-baby-is-ridin-in-a-$400.00-stroller" set...way too expensive for an average family. Quick facts first: -Do not go on a rainy day. -Bathrooms are clean, however, when it came time to change my kids Pull-Up, there was no baby changing station in the bathroom I entered by the "petting" areas. I just did it in the hall by the nursing station. (Yes, Im a regular Bear Grylls.) -I will state again: there is a nursing station off the quiet hallway by the stingray attraction. -Gift shop is huge, attractive, and of course, overpriced. -Employees are very helpful and friendly. -There is a smoking section for James Dean types. The lowdowns on the following: -Basic aquarium window gazing: Be prepared for total rudeness. One woman was texting (yes, while enjoying "quality time" with her offspring) so much that she just stood in front of attractions getting carpal tunnel syndrome and obscuring the view for, well, viewing patrons. Her crony did not want to get out of my way after I said "Excuse me" to her...she was taking up prime space in a petting zone, and she was definitely not pettin. Another man looked over both his shoulders at us after he stepped in front of us with his family, only to not move over a bit anyway. I walked over to pet the isopod, only to have a teenager stalk me and crack her gum in my personal space. Same chick with her family stood forever in front of an exhibit, while I stood awkwardly nearby, knowing that they knew that I knew they were view hogs. One parent did not apologize when I had to stop short for her sugar-impacted, nap-deprived child. Some parents invited their kiddos to stand in front of me, yes, inches away from me. Glad I had deodorant on. The only exhibit where I found peace was at the schooling fish. -The petting zoos: Cool, but chaotic...you can feel tension in the air as people grapple for room. The hand sanitizer that you apply after the sharks will not hurt the stingrays. The Creature Lab is the best...small stuff in the semi-dark. -Outside animals: Depressing. Seals look bored and lonely. The penguins look very depressed, as they did five years ago (one looked like it was dying back then). They do not look like they have adequate room, or a comfy place to chill (pun intended). Some were loitering in their supply room (?). Notice this: people are not animated around these attractions, because it hurts your spirit. -Large sea creatures window gazing: Great- they have very interesting animals in the tanks, and nobody gets in your way. Shark tunnel is the highlight. The birds and hippos add interest, although the viewing platform in that area feels like it needs reinforcing (if its packed, do you really think that someone is gonna yell, "Hey, is there twenty-four people up there already?"?!). This place makes me want an alcoholic drink afterwards. I fully believe that couples in their twenties that have to be within touching distance from one another due to insecurities and clueless babies in strollers being pushed by desperate-to-get-out-of-the-house parents should be banned from this joint. Heck, I ban this joint! The small, beautiful moments get tainted much too quickly here.
We got a season pass this year because I figured I would take my 2 boys more often since they get around pretty well. They love it, especially the hippos and the shark tunnel. We walk the whole place and theyre excited to see everything. I only got the pass a month ago and weve gone twice already. The first time I guess it was spring break so it was REALLY busy even on a Monday. Rather then wait on line that is when I bought the season pass from my phone, and they scanned it at the door, saved a bunch of time. This last time, was also a Monday, and it wasnt too crowded at all. Hippo feeding time gets crowded. Someone said that wasnt anything special, but my kids, and others LOVED it when the hippos opened wide and were right up against the glass. Things I would work on: I agree with others who say there could be more attractions. Its a huge space, and a lot is wasted. Maybe they could expand the penguin area too (theres some unused space back there), so they have more room to run around and swim, and then they might do more than just stand there. I never see them in the water, and this last time it was HOT out! My absolute biggest issue is that they dont make some of these things easy for young kids to view. They have like fake rock faces in front of some of the small exhibit windows when I wish they had a step so the kids could lift up to a good height to see into these little windows. Im lifting them, or they sometimes climb on top of the fake rock walls. Not sure why they dont have this, it would make a huge difference, and super cheap fix. If its to discourage climbing, then no, its not working, its just making it more awkward. Kinda thoughtless when its definitely geared towards kids. Mine are 4 and 2. We almost tried the new Shark bridge attraction, but my 4 year old got too scared and didnt want to do it. Maybe next time. Its nothing that special though, the shark tunnel is more interesting to me. In short, big Aquarium, lots of great things to see, but there could be more. I think time for a remodel on some areas to add in more things, and give some of the creatures more space to move around.
Decent aquarium. Has plenty of kid friendly exhibits and features. It gets a B-, and thats only because Im comparing it to the Baltimore Aquarium, and Long Beach, CA aquarium which both seem a lot more detailed in the scope of sealife (although not necessarily as kid friendly). The biggest issue is parking, its a disaster, and ridiculously expensive, most of the lots are full, and youll still end up walking a half mile or more after spending $11-15 for parking that far away. Id advise there is a public Camden tram, and bus service to take you right to the front and avoid the parking headache. Pluses, it right against the water/river, and nice background of the riverfront and bridge on a nice sunny day. Negatives, bring your own food or be prepared to wait in VERY long lines for food at their food court. We were in line for almost as long as we were there for the attractions, and its subpar food, at airport prices, and not nearly enough seating/tables for the crowds or families. It just not worth eating here. Overall, if your local, go for it. If you want a much better experience, and atmosphere, Id take the 2hr drive to Baltimore Inner Harbor for the Baltimore Aquarium. There is so much more there to see and do, and the Inner Harbor itself is an attraction of shops and various restaurants within itself.
High Recommend for family of all ages. I just recently went to this aquarium after 4 years since my last trip to this undersea wonderland but WOW have they improved! They have added 2 new habitats they Im in LOVE with! That being the adorable Green Seaturtles and Hammerhead exhibit and, a personal favorite of my mom, the adorable blue penguins! Among the other incredible creatures are tropical and saltwater fish, seahorses, penguins, sharks, stingrays, and much more! Many touch tanks that the kids will love such as the stingrays and shark touch tank. Great for your kids also since they have on the second floor a whole room dedicated to little kids with frogs and saltwater fish. One of my favorites is the hippos which are so hilarious and my family and I happened to catch them playing with those big mouths of theirs! Service and staff was friendly and very helpful and food was not too pricey and pretty good. I do want to say we went here a few days after Christmas so it was pretty crowded but if you go on a weekday or on a day that isnt close to a holiday, it shouldnt be too crowed. One thing I should mention before you decide to drive on over to Camden is that its pretty expensive even for little kids but thats your decision what you do with your money. Again, Highly Recommend!