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.


Bergen County Zoo, Paramus Explore acres of wildlife from North and South America. Discover spider monkeys, snowy owls, mountain lions, giant anteaters, American alligators, you name it! While you’re there, be sure to ask about their numerous conservation efforts and programs. And for birthday parties roaring with fun, Bergen County Zoo is the place to be. Get all the details here. Learn about Bergen County Zoo Summer Camp too.

Cape May County Park & Zoo, Cape May Court House Searching for a FREE place to spot exotic wildlife? You found it! This beloved animal oasis 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. Cap off your day with a stroll along Cape May’s world-class beaches and shopping and dining at Washington Street Mall.

Cohanzic Zoo, Bridgeton Experience the thrill of getting up close to exotic animals at New Jersey’s first zoo. This historic facility is home to nearly 100 animals, such as leopards, Bengal tigers, a white-handed gibbon, Asiatic bears, and more. (Bonus: Admission is free!)

Popcorn Park Animal Refuge, Forked River Located in the heart of the scenic Pine Barrens, this amazing destination serves as an animal rescue center and sanctuary for elderly, injured, and neglected exotic, wild and farm animals—from monkeys and tigers to American black bears and deer—as well as birds. Home to over 200 animals and birds, it’s the perfect place for the entire family to have fun, naturally.

Space Farms Zoo & Museum, Wantage Spend a day in the countryside at this 100-acre zoo in Sussex County. With more than 500 live wild animals representing more than 100 species, you’ll see tigers, lions, bobcats, Grizzly bears, lemurs, kangaroos, monkeys, a pair of spotted hyenas that will laugh with you and more. Check for upcoming zoo events and view thousands of historic items in the museum buildings. For tickets and season passes, click here.

Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange Set your sights on dozens of species from five continents – ranging 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. And if you’ve never had a sloth encounter, it’s time to register for a Sloth Social.


Adventure Aquarium, Camden At this spectacular aquarium, voted #4 Aquarium in the Country and #1 in the Northeast by USA Today in 2023, you can 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. Stop back in the winter during the holiday season for festivities and flair along the Delaware.

Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Point Pleasant Stroll along the boardwalk and make your way to this thrilling aquarium where you can experience the beauty of underwater creatures, from sharks and harbor seals to penguins and turtles. And while you’re here, enjoy seaside amusements, boardwalk games, arcades and iconic treats of the Jersey Shore – from funnel cake to saltwater taffy.

SeaQuest, Woodbridge Explore more than 20,000 square feet, featuring more than 1,200 land and sea creatures from five continents, including stingrays, sharks, lizards and birds. Book Enhanced Animal Interactions with flying squirrels and Asian otters. Or sign up for a friendly sloth encounter or snorkeling with stingrays. Ask about group EpicQuest adventures too.

SEA LIFE® Aquarium, East Rutherford Head north to this “city under the sea” that’s part of the American Dream complex in East Rutherford. While there, you’ll discover more than 3,000 underwater creatures across 10 different exhibits – from crustaceans to sharks. It’s a great place to celebrate a birthday, go behind-the-scenes or take in an educational feed talk. The fun continues with even more to-dos at American Dream.


Lakota Wolf Preserve, Columbia Want to take incredible photographs of wildlife in their natural habitat? You can now – at one of Jersey’s favorite animal places. View Arctic, Timber and British Columbian wolves in a beautiful, forested setting located in the mountains of the Delaware Water Gap. Sign up for an educational Wolf Watch or Wildlife & Wolf Photography tour to see these majestic animals play and interact.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Brigantine Experience a day in the life of animal rescuers at this animal center, which has responded to over 5,700 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 Museum and Gift Shop. Interested in volunteering, click here to learn more. And while you’re there, don’t pass up the chance to explore beautiful Brigantine Beach.

Six Flags Wild Safari Adventure, Jackson Go on an off-road safari adventure at this wilderness wonderland located at Six Flags Great Adventure. See inhabitants from the Americas, Afrikka, the Wild Plains and the Serengeti Grasslands. Marvel at Black Bear Ridge, Tigris Asiana, Baboon Village and the lions of Kingsland. New for 2024: Savannah Sunset Resort & Spa, where you can enjoy the open savannah as you spend the night inside a custom luxury canvas tent. Talk about wow!

Before you go to meet your new furry, scaly or fine-feathered friends, check the official website or social media channels of your destination for the most up-to-date information. And if you work up an appetite, our dining listings are sure to please your palate. Get your free travel guide and sign up for our e-newsletter too.