When I was planning our Spring Break adventures, I focused on fun. Some things were spontaneous, like the Cape May Zoo (free!), and some were planned (Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum). Our visit to Jenkinson’s Aquarium was a no-brainer. With two kids that are crazy about animals, and Madeline especially loving anything in the water, I knew they would be tickled with whatever was inside those walls.
If you’re lucky enough to find on-street parking with a meter, grab it. If you get there early enough, there is a very inexpensive parking lot right behind the aquarium for $5. With it being summertime, and the aquarium being located right on the boardwalk, it’s definitely going to be busy though, so plan your visit accordingly.
Although the aquarium itself it a bit small, it is packed with two floors of animal life to discover. The downstairs features a pirate ship and sharks, alligators, penguins, and more. Upstairs, there are the seals, stingrays that you can touch, moon jelly fish (love those!), and more.
The aquarium does feedings of five different animals that were fun to watch, and we were there for all five. Mostly because there was no way the kids were going to let me leave without seeing them all. The seal feeding was our favorite, followed by the little itty bitty penguins. The alligator feeding? Scared me just a little. Because you are super close to where the alligators are, and when we saw how nastily they snapped at the food, well, the sharks were looking better and better every minute.
The staff is crazy friendly, and very well-informed. The kids stopped more than one employee during our visit, asking questions about the various animals and their habitats, and each employee patiently answered the questions, and gave us quite an education.
If you catch yourself with time to kill in between feedings (we had an hour before watching the last feeding on our list), you can leave and come back to the aquarium the same day. Using a recommendation from an aquarium employee, we grabbed a bite to eat at Joey Tomato’s and then came back.
There is, of course, the requisite gift shop, which was, surprisingly, very reasonably priced. Madeline scored a small dolphin stuffed animal, and Nick chose a book.
If you’re heading down the shore this summer, or are looking for a rainy day or escape-the-heat activity, check out Jenkinson’s Aquarium – it’s a great bang for your buck and it will totally entertain your kids for a few hours.
300 Ocean Avenue
Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Follow Jenkinson’s on Twitter here
And on facebook here
I love how reasonably priced this place is! The aquariums in NYC are insane and totally UNreasonable in that sense.
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i can do without allygators…..