©istockphoto.com/schmez

Take the kids to see some whales or dolphins! These NJ whale watching trips (in spring, summer and fall) will give you a day on the water the kids won’t forget.

Cape May Whale Watcher
1218 Wilson Dr., Cape May
609-554-7479 
This 3-hour journey includes encounters with both whales and dolphins,  plus a lesson on the history of marine life in South Jersey narrated by the ship’s captains and naturalists. While waiting to see a dolphin or humpback/fin whale, munch on food from the snack bar or sip on some wine or mixed cocktails.
$50 adults, $35 for children (7-12 years old); children under 6 are admitted for free.

The Starlight Fleet
6200 Park Blvd., Wildwood Crest
609-729-7776
Take a two hour ride along the coast of Wildwoods while searching for dolphins, which typically play and swim just a short distance away from the boat. While you’re motoring out to the dolphins, spend the time exploring  onboard touch tanks and spot seabirds, sea turtles and other marine animals with the help of naturalists, who can also field questions from kids.
Adults $32; children (7-12 years old) $22; children 6 and under are admitted for free.

Atlantic City Cruises
800 North New Hampshire Ave., Atlantic City
While they can’t guarantee exactly how many dolphins you will see on this trip out to sea, the marine enthusiasts over at Atlantic Sea Cruises are sure that commentary from an on-board marine naturalist— who will also help point out the sights along the way— will make your dolphin-watching experience memorable. Adults (16-61) $40; seniors/military/student with ID: $35 children $20 (5-15 years old) and children under 4 ride free. 

Miss Avalon Dolphin and Nature Cruises
14th and Ocean Dr., Avalon
This 1 and a 1/2 hour excursion features dolphin, seabird, and even sea otter sightings, plus on-board naturalists who will give you an informed tour of Cedar Island and into the Atlantic Ocean. Kids can also check out the huge shell and bone collection.
Adults $25; children $19.

Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center
1231 Route 109 (South Jersey Marina), Cape May
609-898-0055
With outings ranging from a 2 hour dolphin cruise to a 12 hour “Offshore Marine Life & Pelagic Bird Trip,” the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center provides lots of opportunities for wildlife viewing. Munch on a complimentary danish on a morning boat ride around Cape May or spot whales, birds, and dolphins in the afternoon. A fully-stocked galley will make sure you don’t go hungry while on the boat— plus, with reduced rates for groups of 25 or more, there’s no reason not to round up 24 of your closest friends and set sail!
Prices starting at $37 for adults and $27 for kids.

Want to see more animals? Visit some of the best Zoos and Aquariums in NJ