Reviewer's Retreat at the Great Wolf Lodge, with the Adventure Aquarium. It was the first of two day trips with Brad's brother Jeff and his wife Jody, our hosts during our time in Philadelphia. Brad and I have been too a number of aquariums the Maui Ocean Center, in Albuquerque, the Shedd in Chicago, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium but never seem to tire of them.
In my opinion nothing can compare to the last, but this one still ranks as a very nice moderately sized one with several hands-on opportunities that kids will love. I think these were the best part of the aquarium. We touched a shark, star fish and other invertebrates at the Creature Feature, tiny jelly fish and a few other things in the Interactive Inlet, and could've touched the sting rays but ER kept pulling her finger's out of the water when one approached.
There's three levels, each dedicated to different regions with the requisite large tanks with floor to ceiling views and hallways lined with smaller tanks for a more up close and personal view. An unrushed visit will easily provide enough entertainment for a few hours. The only thing that could've increased our enjoyment, would've been if we hadn't had to share it with several unruly field trip participants.
Besides the focus on ocean life there is also Feather Ridge and the adjacent Hippo display, that was the other highlight of the trip. When we saw the hippos, it was nearly empty and the two female hippos were feeling friendly and came right up next to the glass. It gave one the feeling of standing right next to them, which in a way, one was. The girls definitely dwarfed ER, they gazed into each other's eyes for several seconds and was a very neat experience.
Shark Realm, with the 40 ft. shark tank being by far the most impressive part. I this this picture of Brad is so neat. It looks like the shark is suspended right above him, almost as if there was no glass between them. ER did not particulary like this one, as "spooky" music is played and it's on the dark side.
Adventure Aquarium will come up if you do a search for "Philadelphia Aquarium" but in actuality it's in Camden, New Jersey just off the Ben Franklin Bridge. So we were able to add another state to the list that ER's been in. It's also along the river front, such a pretty setting, that's Center City of Philly behind us. I don't think I've done much in NJ but go to this aquarium, hmm....I'll have to ask my mom if I've ever been there before because I honestly can't remember!