What Is SeaQuest?
SeaQuest is an interactive aquarium and petting zoo with locations all across the country from Florida to California. The one we went to is inside Woodbridge Mall in Woodbrdge, NJ. Their mission is to introduce people to animals they would normally never get to see. Each room has its own theme from somewhere in the world and the unique animals that come from it. It creates an exotic experience for every visitor as they go from rainforests to deserts throughout the aquarium.
With stickers on the mall floor guiding us, it didn't take long to find where SeaQuest was in the mall. But, before our quest began, we met Inky! He is an octopus made from 100% recycled flip flops. Written on a sign next to him is his story.
Seaquest partnered with Ocean Sole in order to highlight the damaging effects of waste to marine life. Ocean Sole creates art pieces like Inky by collecting beach trash, conserving ocean environments and supporting sustainable development.
After our little meetup with Inky, we stepped into a cute little gift shop with an entrance to where the animals were. As we were paying for our tickets, the cashier asked if we would like to also purchase tokens, which were used to buy food for the animals from the machines in each room. We definitely couldn't refuse!
Equipped with 10 tokens and our cameras, we were ready to begin our quest!
Having not been in an aquarium since my parents took me to SeaWorld when I was 13, I was mesmerized. The only thing that could beat the experience was to go scuba diving in the Caribbean.
I loved watching the the fish swim around their tanks and cluster into one area whenever they saw food being thrown into the water. The fish were so eager for a bite to eat that they nipped at Leo's finger when he moved his hand too close to the water!
To get great pictures, Leo had the genius idea of putting our phones against the glass to avoid getting a glare in our pictures. No flash, of course! Wouldn't want to bother the fish or animals that might be sensitive to the light. Above is one of my favorite pictures but a gallery of all the pictures I took can be found at the end of the post or in the "Photo Gallery" page on the website.
SeaQuest not only shows you different fish, but they also provide information on them. Each one has its' own little blurb about what they are and where they can be found.
For some people, reading every single one of these (there's a lot!) might be a bit too much. Others might find it better to read all of these because it adds to it. Either way, the experience is what you make of it so don't feel bad if you think you're taking too much time from reading all of these or rushing through the aquarium because you don't want to.
For me, it was a mixture of the two. I liked reading about the fish I was more interested in like the jellies. The third bullet point on the Moon Jellies description explains why they are not fish. For those of you who cannot read it, it says, "Jellies are not fish! They are classified as invertebrates because they do not have backbones like fish do. Scientists try to avoid the term, 'jellyfish' because it's inaccurate to refer to them as fish."
One of my favorite things about the SeaQuest experience was feeding the sting rays! There was just something really cute about watching these sea pancakes all press themselves up against the glass on top of one another to get a bite of the dried fish we got to feed them.
SeaQuest has much more to offer than just fish! Each room was themed to a different part of the world so we got to go through the rainforest and see various types of reptiles like Red Tailed Boa and the Madagascar Day Gecko. We also got to see the Animal Whisperers, as they're called, play with and feed the otters.
Besides, feeding the animals, we dug for fossils, got eaten by a ferocious shark, climbed on a turtle, and met a beautiful mermaid.
Would I Recommend It?
Absolutely! It has been one of my favorite experiences so far for the year. This place is great for anyone who wants to do something fun and learn about animals from around the world. It's also great for experience seekers who are on a budget! Make sure to check out the gallery below of all the photos I got to take!