Animal Fun: Zoos & Aquariums in New Jersey

  • Giraffes at Cape May Zoo
    Cape May County Park & Zoo, Cape May, NJ | Getty Images, cjmckendry

Take a walk on the wild side with a visit to one of the zoos and aquariums in New Jersey. These family-friendly attractions offer fun and adventure for visitors of all ages.

Zoos in New Jersey

Experience the thrill of getting up close to exotic animals at New Jersey’s first zoo, the Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton’s city park. This historic facility is home to more than 100 animals, such as leopards, Bengal rigers, a white-handed gibbon, Asiatic black bear and more. 

In West Orange, discover more than 200 species from five continents at Turtle Back Zoo. You’ll come face-to-face with everything from Australian kangaroos and Kookaburras to a red panda and Amur leopard from Southeast Asia. Be sure to explore the 4,000-square-foot Sea Turtle Recovery exhibit, which helps care for injured and sick sea turtles. 

At Bergen County Zoological Park in Paramus, explore 18-acres of wildlife from North, Central, and South America. While you’re here, catch one of the amphitheater shows, stroll through an 1860s farmyard, or walk through the aviary.

Looking for a FREE place to spot exotic wildlife? The Cape May County Park & Zoo boasts free admission and free parking year-round. Explore 85 acres of exhibits, glimpse more than 550 animals, and watch special presentations and shows. You can also book special animal encounter experiences, with animals such as giraffes, primates, camels, river otters and birds.

Located in the heart of the scenic Pine Barrens, Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River serves as an animal rescue center and sanctuary for elderly, injured, and neglected animals, from monkeys and African lions to American black bears and deer.  

Spend a day in the countryside at the record holding Space Farms Zoo & Museum, situated on 100 serene acres in northern New Jersey’s Beemerville. With more than 500 animals, you can see tigers, lions, coyotes, buffalo, and much more. Be sure to pack a picnic to enjoy a leisurely lunch in this rural retreat.

Looking to get incredible photographs of wildlife in their natural habitat? At Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, view wolves, bobcats, and foxes in a beautiful forested setting. Sign up for an educational Wolf Watch tour to see these majestic animals play and interact.

Aquariums in New Jersey

Stroll along the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, and make your way to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, where you can experience the beauty of underwater creatures, from sharks and harbor seals to penguins and alligators.

At Atlantic City Aquarium, see spectacular examples of marine life as you explore an array of habitats: coral reefs, the Mid-Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Amazon River and more. While you’re here, help feed the stingrays during the daily feeding times, or watch a 20-minute live animal show to learn more about some of the aquarium's more unusual animals. 

Meanwhile, at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, explore an undersea paradise with more than 8,500 dazzling species. As the home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, you can marvel at the only Great Hammerhead Shark on display in the country—and even walk over the Shark Bridge, a thrilling rope suspension bridge directly above the Shark Realm exhibit. While you're here, you can also pet a shark and a stingray to add to the excitement.

More Places to See Animals in New Jersey

Looking for more ways to experience wildlife? Go for an exciting ride through a jungle habitat at Safari Off Road Adventure at Jackson’s Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari. You’ll ride over rugged terrain to see 1,200 animals, such as elephants, rhinos, lions, and tigers.

Experience a day in the life of animal rescuers at Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, which has responded to over 4,500 strandings of whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles that have accidentally washed ashore over the years. Learn all about marine animals and the rehabilitation efforts of the center at its onsite Sea Life Educational Center and Gift Shop.