Road Trip: Adventure Aquarium-Journey of Survival

Giveaway: Family 4 Pack of One Day Aquarium Admission Tickets

By Stacey Jones February 4, 2013
Intrigue and delight abound at Adventure Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Turtles: Journey of Survival, which is running now through March 24, 2013.  It's a fabulous opportunity to locally view an extensive array of land and aquatic turtle and tortoise species from all over the world, ranging from turtles no larger than a postage stamp to a sea turtle that weighs as much as a motorcycle.

While many of the exciting turtle species we were able to view are only at the aquarium for a limited time, Ozzy, an undeniably adorable rehabilitated Loggerhead Sea turtle yearling (toddler), was one that permanently joined the Adventure Aquarium animal collection this year. Ozzy was rescued by the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Hills and recently transferred up here to stay.  Ozzy is negatively buoyant - a fancy way of saying that he has a tendency to sink to the bottom - and his back flippers are slightly deformed. These conditions made Ozzy vulnerable to predation in the wild so he was deemed “non-releasable” by US Fish and Wildlife.  We just loved visiting with Ozzy and found him fascinating to observe. 

We spent some time at the informative "Journey of Five Turtles - Live Show" during our visit.  It was great to learn about five of the turtles on display and their background story as well as more about each specific turtle species.  As a parent, I was truly pleased to see the tremendous empathy shown by my older daughter to the plight of Ozzy and his survival chances in the wild.  Her reflection on the danger he faced before his rescue and her relief at his safekeeping at Adventure Aquarium going forward were a big topic of discussion for our entire ride home.  I highly recommend making time for this show during your visit.

One of Adventure Aquarium’s newest additions and one of our personal favorites in the Journey of Survival exhibit is a 3-month old Loggerhead Sea turtle hatchling.  We spent quite a while watching this tiny, cute turtle swim around its enclosure.  My youngest even dared to request if we could take it back home with us.  We did learn that once it grows a bit larger, this hatchling will be re-released into the ocean.

Adventure Aquarium is enlisting the help of the public to identify the perfect gender-neutral name for this pint-sized turtle, as the little hatchling's gender has yet to be identified!  They have narrowed down to a top ten list of names from all of those suggested and you can vote for your favorite by February 8th on Adventure Aquarium's Facebook page at this link .

Below is Old Green, one of the aquarium's Green sea turtles.  Her head size compared to her body weight and size is relatively very small.  She's definitely quite unique and joins some equally enormous stingrays and sharks in the Ocean Realm tank. 

We were able to see such a multitude of turtles in this exhibit, both tiny and tremendous as well as all sizes in between.  I felt it was a great learning experience and wonderfully enjoyable for all of us, so I highly recommend that you take the chance to see it sometime before it concludes on March 24th.  For additional details on Turtles: Journey of Survival, visit this link.

In addition to the turtles, there are plenty of other sea creatures on display at the aquarium.  Other highlights from our visit were the shark tunnel, the hippopotamuses, and the various touch tanks.  Take the time to note the feeding times listed on the map they provide upon arrival and try to observe any of them.  We watched the hippos have their snack for the afternoon.  It was amazing to see that they hardly opened their mouth to suck in the food off the water surface, as it definitely was not our expectation given the size of them!

In the Stingray Beach Club, the kids especially loved the touch tank filled with many different types of stingrays, both large and small.  They even had to get us parents in on the action!

It's easy to get transfixed by the shark tunnel.  The kids took to exclaiming "look, another one's crossing over" as the sharks swam above us in the tunnel to the other side. 

A great location for a day trip from our area, it only took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to arrive at Adventure Aquarium.  Definitely check out their upcoming events page on the website here as you plan your day, as we had the pleasure of meeting Franklin the Turtle during our visit and the aquarium features all types of special events at various times during the year.  Their website provides easy directions at this link, and the parking is very convenient with a gated lot just across the street from the entrance.  You can visit this link to pre-purchase your admission tickets and save time upon arrival.  Children under two are free.  Discount coupons are available in the KidStuff and Entertainment books, and AAA also sells discounted tickets as well. 

My family and I were hosted by Adventure Aquarium for the day and now we'd like to extend our experience and share it with you.  One very lucky Macaroni Kid Lincroft-Holmdel-Tinton Falls subscriber will win a family four pack of one day admission tickets to visit Adventure Aquarium and see the Turtles: Journey of Survival exhibit!  Simply click here to enter for your chance to win. All entries must be received by February 26th, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. to be eligible for the drawing.  One entry per person, per day.  Good luck!