Tuesday, Frank and I drove over two hours south of our house to lovely Camden, NJ (Yes, that was in fact sarcasm.). We went to Adventure Aquarium (http://www.adventureaquarium.com/). The aquarium has been there for years, but, like a lot of good things in this state, I simply just hadn't gotten around to going; the long drive and the fact that it is in Camden, which, I'm sure many are aware, has been voted worst city in America or something like that, both kind of intimidated me.
Well, the fact that I am here blogging about it tells you that we survived the trip. The powers that be, when they re-did the entire Camden waterfront (there is also a battleship there and a minor league ballpark), decided to essentially make a flyover ramp from the neaest highway to the waterfront, so you don't really get into the worst parts of Camden.
We were at the aquarium for over four hours. It's a nice place, with plenty to do, especially for kids. I did not, of course, have time to leisurely read through much that was posted next to various tanks, but we did manage to see everything, including their Shark Tunnel two or three times. The Shark Tunnel is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: It is a tunnel built going through a tank full of sharks, so you have sharks to your right, left, and swimming directly over your head. It was very cool; both Frank and I agreed that was the best thing there. (There were several exhibits where you could touch various sea creatures, too, and I asked Frank, "Really? The Shark Tunnel was better than touching a sting ray?" "Oh, yes, Mommy," he assured me. "Those were great white sharks in there!")
We ate lunch there, too. The cafe had a wide variety of options, health and unhealthy; all, however, were way overpriced. The pizza was rather good, though.
I would recommend this trip, except parents of SPD-ers who get overwhelmed in a lot of noise, stimulation, and crowds should consult the website and plan their trip carefully. The website lists "high volume days", when they have a lot of field trips scheduled. Tuesday was not listed as a high volume day, and it was stll pretty crowded; I think I would even be overhwelmed on a high volume day!!