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Zoos and Aquariums in New Jersey

Lions, and hippos, and seals, oh my! Check out these top zoos and aquariums.


Lions, and hippos, and seals, oh my! Expose your kids to various wildlife by taking a trip to a zoo or aquarium this summer. We’re lucky to have so many great options nearby. Here are highlights from some of the favorites.

Cape May County Park & Zoo (Cape May)

This is a 200-acre park with picnic areas, fishing ponds, walking and bike paths, playgrounds, a disc golf course, and tennis courts. The zoo features more than 550 animals from 250 species. Best part? It’s totally free!

Safari Off Road Adventure (Jackson)

Boasting 1,200 animals from six continents, including elephants, rhinos, tigers, giraffes and lions, Six Flags’ Safari takes explorers on an interactive adventure. The safari, open from 10:30 am–5 pm, is included with park admission, but arrive early: Wait times can be up to 2 1/2 hours on busy days.

Turtle Back Zoo (West Orange)

This longtime Jersey favorite opened a South African penguin exhibit this summer, and has flamingos on the way. In addition to its animals, Turtle Back offers a mini train ride and a treetop adventure with zip lines and rope course. And did you know the zoo offers a monthly nighttime tour to see the nocturnal activities of the animals? 

Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Point Pleasant Beach)

Opened in 1991, the aquarium offers exhibits ranging from Atlantic and Pacific sharks to coral reefs, as well as a Junior Keepers summer camp and weekly “Beachcombing” for families to explore the shore with an aquarium expert. Come watch the penguins and seals fed daily. See the website for times.

Philadelphia Zoo (Philadelphia)

America’s oldest zoo lives in Philly’s Centennial District. Known for housing many rare and endangered species, the zoo’s 42 acres also feature a children’s zoo, paddleboat lake, rainforest-themed carousel and many interactive exhibits.

Adventure Aquarium (Camden)

See the world’s largest collection of sharks on the east coast and learn about the journey of sea turtles at an aquarium known for hands-on and interactive touch exhibits. Enjoy a fascinating encounter with the hippos at the aquarium’s new permanent exhibit, Hippo Haven.

Reader Picks

Key:  (Top Votes)

Adventure Aquarium (Camden)  

Bergen County Zoo/Van Saun Park (Paramus)

Bronx Zoo (Bronx, NY)  

Cape May County Zoo (Cape May)

Central Park Zoo (New York, NY)

Jenkinson's Aquarium (Point Pleasant Beach)  

Mystic Aquarium (Mystic, CT)

National Aquarium (Baltimore, MD)

National Zoo (Washington D.C.)

New York Aquarium (Brooklyn, NY)

Philadelphia Zoo (Philadelphia, PA)  

Popcorn Park Zoo (Forked River)

Six Flags Safari Off Road Adventure (Jackson)

Space Farms Zoo (Sussex)

Turtle Back Zoo (West Orange)  

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