Road Trip Stop #2: Camden Aquarium

February 26, 2009

After stopping for the night in Cranbury, New Jersey (motto: Farmland, with Random Office Parks in Between!), we wanted something to do in the morning before completing our way to Maryland. I did something I’ve never done before, and picked up a bunch of pamphlets from the tourist pamphlet rack in the hotel lobby (pamphlet rack motto: Come All Ye Tired Rubes Too Stupid to Make a Plan, and Spend Your Dollars with Us!). It was there we learned about the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. I only had to see the part about it being shark-focused to know it was the stop for us. Our GPS really didn’t want us to go to Camden (“Perhaps I can take you over this bridge to Philadelphia?” Luckily the kindly toll taker let us go through without paying and turn around), but we got there relatively easily. What a great stop! Not to sound like I didn’t enjoy the family visit, but I think the aquarium was my favorite part of the whole trip. Also good for puzzling about the kids and their phobias. Eli was totally freaked out about seeing the sharks in the tank, and Henry was all but licking the glass to get closer (though he was very concerned when he saw a diver in with the fish: “He should NOT be in there!”). But when we got to the open “Pet a Shark” tank, Henry totally flipped and almost ran away. We couldn’t convince him that they wouldn’t have an open pit of dangerous sharks and then invite small children to stick their hands in. Eli, meanwhile, announced, “I’m touchin’ a shark” and waltzed over to the side to plunge his hand into the water. I’ve stopped trying to keep track of this stuff.

In front of an enormous tank. Notable mostly for the outline of Henrys hair.

In front of an enormous tank. Notable mostly for the outline of Henry's hair.

Requisite photo op portion of the aquarium.

Requisite photo op portion of the aquarium.

Whats that behind Eli? Why, hippos! Ive never heard of an aquarium with hippos, but there they were. They were incredibly sleepy, boring, docile hippos, but it was still pretty exciting. Note: hippos in captivity stink something awful. Also: this was the display that declared, Birds poop every fifteen minutes! How long have you been standing here?

What's that behind Eli? Why, hippos! I've never heard of an aquarium with hippos, but there they were. They were incredibly sleepy, boring, docile hippos, but it was still pretty exciting. Note: hippos in captivity stink something awful. Also: this was the display that declared, "Birds poop every fifteen minutes! How long have you been standing here?"

My favorite part of the aquarium was the outdoor harbor seals, with a huge tank you could sort of get under so you could see them swimming. Loved it. Henry was running back and forth like caged fishercat trying to see the seals wherever they were.

My favorite part of the aquarium was the outdoor harbor seals, with a huge tank you could sort of get under so you could see them swimming. Loved it. Henry was running back and forth like caged fishercat trying to see the seals wherever they were.

I dont think there are actually any seals in this picture. But it shows you how content the boys were to stay at this seal tank for as long as possible.

I don't think there are actually any seals in this picture. But it shows you how content the boys were to stay at this seal tank for as long as possible.

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6 Responses to “Road Trip Stop #2: Camden Aquarium”

  1. Anne says:

    I’m glad to hear this was a hit, as it’s on my list of places to visit for a Philadelphia-area trip that I’m sort of planning.

  2. Christina says:

    That looks like fun! The varied shark reactions reminded me of a much told family story in Erik’s family of when they took him to some sort of sea world/marine land park out here in CA when he was young. There was a feature where you could swim with the sharks (all small ones of course) so they geared up the boys and went in. I guess Erik had sort of missed the explanation though because he went swimming around for a bit and then realized that there were these creatures in with him. So the family found him clinging to the lifeguard chair yelling at the lifeguard “hey mister! did you know there are sharks in there!?! You need to warn these people that there are sharks!!”

  3. Julie says:

    Anne, you all would love the Camden Aquarium.

    And Erik’s reaction sounds exactly like what Henry would do. Funny.

  4. Beth says:

    OK, we are definitely going next time we’re in Jersey!!! Thanks–I’ve always wanted to check it out. Love the boys’ reactions, too. Licking the glass to get close to the sharks…LOL.
    Question: is Camden really dangerous? (I’d heard from Joe’s family that it was.)

  5. Emily says:

    The hippos are a master-stroke. wow. I really, really would like to see hippos! why are hippos not at the zoos I go to?

    Beth: camden is not a happy city. but I bet it’s got a parking garage at teh aquarium…. less stressful.

  6. Julie says:

    They fixed up the Camden waterfront, so the area around the aquarium is nice. But if you go one block in any direction, it’s not so great. But it didn’t seem like anything to worry about at 10:00 in the morning. And if you’re just standing at the aquarium, it seems perfectly safe and actually like a hip city. Kinda.

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CATEGORIES: Eli, Henry