With so much to do in New York, it can be easy to overlook that it’s home to the oldest aquarium in the United States.
There are more than 260 species of sea creatures, right on the iconic boardwalk. When it comes to family-friendly activities on hot summer days, it’s just about the most perfect one you can think of.
Over at the Playquarium, you can tap into the power of your imagination by turning into a whale or a shark—you have to see it to believe it. The Spineless exhibit explores octopi, lagoon jellies, Pacific sea nettles, and more. And there’s even an entire Sea Cliffs section that highlights shoreline-dwelling species like sea otters, seals, and penguins.
For an interactive experience, check out the Aquatheater, where you’ll enjoy amazing live shows with sea lions. You can even get the chance to feed them if you want! And indoors, the 4-D Theater screens various movies and presentations that combine 3-D visuals with elements that engage all the senses. Stop by the Conservation Hall to see brightly-colored eels and others. Or, go on an Aquarium Quest to find out about conservation and protection of the ocean and its animals.
Perhaps the most incredible exhibit is Ocean Wonders: Sharks! which is dedicated to the fascinating fishes—18 species of them, in fact. It boasts 500,000 gallons of water, along with other marine life such as sea turtles and rays.
Hours and Admission
The aquarium will be opening on July 20 from 10am to 5pm daily, and advanced tickets are required for a visit. Admission is $26.95 for adults 13 and over, $22.45 for children 3–12, $24.25 for seniors 65 and over, and free for children under 2 years old.