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

Animal Fun: Zoos & Aquariums in New Jersey

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 nearly 100 animals, such as leopards, Bengal tigers, a white-handed gibbon, Asiatic bear and more. 


In West Orange, discover dozens of species from five continents at Turtle Back Zoo. You’ll come face-to-face with everything from Australian kangaroos and wallabies to a red panda and Amur leopard from Asia. Be sure to explore the 4,000-square-foot Sea Turtle Recovery exhibit, which helps care for injured and sick sea turtles so they can be released back into the wild. 


At Bergen County Zoological Park in Paramus, explore 18 acres of wildlife from North and South America. While you’re there, be sure to ask about their numerous conservation efforts and programs.


Looking for a FREE place to spot exotic wildlife? The Cape May County Park & Zoo boasts free admission and free parking year-round. Explore the exhibits, glimpsing 550 animals representing 250 species. You can also book a private tour or special animal encounter experience with giraffes.


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 exotic, wild and farm animals—from monkeys and African lions to American black bears and deer—as well as birds.


Spend a day in the countryside at Space Farms Zoo & Museum, situated on 100 serene acres in Sussex. With more than 500 animals, you can see tigers, lions, bobcats, Grizzly bears, and much more. 


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 turtles.


Meanwhile, at Adventure Aquarium in Camden—which ranked #7 in 2020 for the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards—explore an undersea paradise with more than 15,000 dazzling species. Home to the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast, including a Great Hammerhead, the aquarium boasts a unique experience with its Shark Bridge, a thrilling rope suspension bridge directly above the Shark Realm exhibit. While you're there, you can also pet a shark and a stingray to add to the excitement.


More Places to See Animals in New Jersey


Looking to get incredible photographs of wildlife in their natural habitat? At Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, view Arctic, Timber and British Columbian wolves in a beautiful, forested setting. Sign up for an educational Wolf Watch or Wildlife & Photography tour to see these majestic animals play and interact.


Experience a day in the life of animal rescuers at Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, which has responded to over 5,500 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 on-site Sea Life Educational Center and Gift Shop—where visiting hours vary seasonally.


Before making plans to meet your new furry, scaly or fine feathered friends, we recommend visiting the official website or social media channels of your preferred zoo, aquarium or other animal attraction before your arrival for the most up-to-date information on hours of operation and restrictions.