The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey City

The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey City

You don’t have to travel very far to find educational and fun activities near Jersey City, there are many great zoos and aquariums located nearby to keep your family entertained all season long. Check out our list of some of the best places to spend quality time with your family while also learning about wildlife!

Popcorn Park Zoo

1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731 – Phone: (609) 693-1900
Approximately 90 minutes from Jersey City by car.

Popcorn Park is as fun as its name implies, which is why it’s on our list of the best zoos and aquariums near Jersey City. The park is located on a spacious 7 acres of land in the beautiful New Jersey Pine Barrens. The goal of this park has always been to offer refuge to wild animals that have been abandoned, are sick, abused, injured and those that have reached the end of their prime. Visitors are able to view and interact with over 200 types of animals at this park and you can even visit the petting zoo to feed farm animals popcorn with your own hands. Your family will get to learn about the humane efforts behind the park and the importance of animal rescue efforts. There is snack available on site and admission is a low $5 for adults and $4 for children and seniors.

Cape May County Zoo

707 N. Route 9, Cape May, NJ 08210 – Phone: (609) 465-5271
Approximately 2 hours from Jersey City by car.

What’s better than pairing a trip to the beach with a trip to the zoo? Maybe free admission? Well, Cape May County Zoo meets both criteria!  It’s located near to the beach, and also doesn’t charge admission landing it on our list of the best zoos and aquariums Near Jersey City.  The wildlife at this park is treated like royalty in line with the mission of the park which is to raise awareness of the species on exhibit.  As a park visitor, you and your family are able to observe almost 600 unique animals over 80 acres of luscious land. There is a range of programs that teach visitors about the different animals and the preservation efforts being taken to encourage their survival in the wild. If you get tired, there is even an old fashion train that you ride across the park.

 The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey CityTurtle Back Zoo

 560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052 – Phone: (973)-731-5800

Approximately 30 minutes from Jersey City by car.

Turtleback zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the area, so there should be no surprise that Turtleback zoo is on the list of the best zoos and aquariums Near Jersey City.  The zoo features an amazing number of exhibits and also offers various events monthly and seasonally to keep visitors entertained and learning.  The zoo also offers rentable spaces for family and corporate events with a delicious menu to fit just about every palette. Maps of the zoo can be printed in advance if you want to plan your walking route, and admission is affordably priced at $4 for children and seniors and $8 for adults.

 The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey City

Bergen County Zoological Park

Van Saun County Park, 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652 – Phone: (201) 262-3771
Approximately 40 minutes from Jersey City by car.

For families who are looking for a more targeted experience, Bergen County Zoo might just be what you are looking for. The zoo only features animals that are native to South and North America making it a great place for school-aged children, field trips, and also smaller kids. Bergen County Zoo is on the list of the best zoos and aquariums near Jersey City thanks in part to the wide range of educational programs and interactive camps that are available for visitors that let you get up close and personal with the wildlife. For older patrons, there are volunteer and training programs that teach you all about animals and what it takes to provide them with the proper care they need to thrive.

Ocean Institute

at Brookdale Community College – 53 Hudson Road, Sandy Hook Highlands, NJ 07732 – Phone: (732)-224-2900, ext. 1302
Approximately 1 hour from Jersey City by car.

The Ocean Institute is a great place to learn about marine life since it’s a part of Brookdale Community College. Being an educational based location, you will be able to entertain your family with a wide range of programs aimed to educate visitors about marine life, pollution, coastal problems and even the weather. It’s easy to understand why The Ocean Institute is on the list of the best zoos and aquariums Near Jersey City for families and school groups alike. You can go shell hunting on the coast or visit the Sandy Hook Lighthouse to add variation to your trip.  There are activities for all levels of a visitor from grade school through college. The Institute is only a short drive from Jersey city making it a great option for a single day excursion.             

The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey City

Rizzo’s Wildlife World          

1 Gold Mine Road, Roxbury, NJ 07836 – Phone: (973) 586-0444
Approximately 45 minutes from Jersey City by car. 

If you live near Morris Country, then you already know about Rizzo’s, but for everyone else prepare to be amazed. This is a full-on discovery aquarium which houses more than 100 sea and land animals housed on 4,700 square feet of property. Along with a large assortment of sea animals, visitors are able to interact and observe land creates in specially recreated habitats. There is even a live show in the snake den for adventurous souls who want to live a bit on the wild side. With so much to offer, it’s easy to understand why The Rizzo’s is on the list of the

The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey CityLiberty Science Center

222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305 – Phone: (201) 200-1000          

If you are looking for a place to take the kids to learn about various aquatic life that lives in the Hudson River, then Liberty is just what you are looking for. It’s easy to understand why Liberty is on the list of the best zoos and aquariums Near Jersey City. The aquarium features large panoramic tanks full of local fish. There are many varieties such as the drum fish that makes a silly thumping sound or the puffer fish that always gets a good response from the little ones. Your family will learn everything they need to know about the ecosystem of this salt marsh river while also being able to get hands-on experience with  Hudson river model that allows you to move sediment and water. There is a lot more fun to be had with the virtual crane simulator and the laboratory where you and your kids can conduct live experiments.  For the older crowd, there is an observation deck where fantastic views of Liberty State Park, Lower Manhattan and the Hudson can be observed.

The best zoos and aquariums near Jersey CityAtlantic City Aquarium

800 North New Hampshire Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 – Phone: (609)-348-2880
Approximately 2 hours from jersey City by car.

Nothing says fun like Atlantic City and is just a stone’s throw away from Jersey City, it’s the perfect place to take the whole family when you are in the mood for a fun-filled day at the aquarium. Atlantic City Aquarium is home to more than 100 species of marine life immersed in more than 30,000 gallons of sea water! There are three levels of colorful exhibits to entertain the whole family, so it’s easy to understand why Atlantic City Aquarium is on the list of the best zoos and aquariums Near Jersey City. Your kids are sure to enjoy the live dive show while you enjoy a fresh meal after a visit with the Giant Loggerhead turtle Groman. If hands-on activities are more to your liking, the location features touch tanks that allow visitors to get up and personal with various sea creatures.

New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896. Since 1957, it has been located on the boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Adventure Aquarium

The Adventure Aquarium, formerly the New Jersey State Aquarium, is a for-profit educational entertainment attraction operated in Camden, New Jersey on the Delaware River Camden Waterfront by the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation

Open Houses: Schools & Pre-Schools In Jersey City

Schools & Pre-Schools In Jersey City:

Jersey City schools are beginning to host Open Houses for fall registration. Open Houses give parents a chance to check out the facility and learn about the school offerings. Teachers and staff are usually on hand to answer questions and give school tours. Visit a few schools and find the best fit for your child.

JCFamilies is hosting its JCEducation Fair’18 on September 22nd It will be great opportunity to meet and talk to school representatives. Learn here about the schools participating in the event this year.

Below you’ll find a list of upcoming Open Houses in Jersey City.



Address: 33-35 Hudson St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Address: 160 Morgan St, Suite # 2, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Learning Ladders International Baccalaureate World School is an independent, private, non-sectarian school with locations in historic Paulus Hook and in downtown Grove St of Jersey City.

Learning Ladders fosters independence, promotes, analytical thinking and creative problem solving. We utilize developmentally appropriate practices to provide stimulating early experiences which promotes children’s social/ emotional, physical and cognitive development. We support children by laying strong foundations in being responsible, gracious and confident citizens of tomorrow’s world.


Friday, 10 August from  3-7pm at 160 Morgan St, Suite 2, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Friday, 17 August from 3-7pm at 33 Hudson St, Jersey City, NJ 07302


508 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: 201-630-4702

A dedicated charter school located in Jersey City; a school that thrives from their “caring school climate” as they call it. At BelovEd Community Charter School they believe in helping the students to feel cared about in their environment which helps them to care about others in return. They believe in establishing this friendly environment because it brings the students a step closer to enjoying and loving school. We all know it’s always easier to learn when we are having a good time, why not apply this to the kid’s everyday curriculum!

Beloved is a place that would be committed to your child and his or her success. They understand that once a child becomes a student it is the responsibility of the faculty at BelovED Community Charter School to lead them onto the right path; preparing them for their success in school, college and future careers. So let’s talk about some of the things that BelovEd has to offer you folks in Jersey City!


October 4, 2018, November 15, 2018, January 30, 2019



Various locations: please check website

Smart Start Academy has teacher-student ratios of 1:3 for infants through toddler years and a 1:5 ratio for preschool and pre-k children. They use The Creative Curriculum which focuses on project-based investigations as a means for children to apply skills. Four areas of development are addressed through this curriculum: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. The five fundamental principles of the Creative Curriculum are:

  1. Positive interactions and relationships with adults can provide an essential foundation for successful learning
  2. Social-emotional competence is a significant factor in education.
  3. Purposeful and constructive play supports essential learning.
  4. The physical environment impacts the type and quality of learning interactions.
  5. Teacher and family partnerships encourage development and learning.


Second Thursday of each month at 7:30pm (please refer to website for location)


720 Monroe St. Suite 105-106 Hoboken, NJ 07030 – Phone: 201-755-5585

Tessa International School provides a quality learning environment for children 2.5 and up. At Tessa, children are introduced to other languages and cultures to enhance cultural awareness. Through understanding and respect, Tessa aims to develop curious, knowledgeable and caring children. Tessa International School emphasizes the social-emotional development of children in conjunction with strong academic challenges. Tessa provides a world-class education based on international models. Future plans including organizing public transportation for students. Click here for tuition information. Learn more about Tessa International School and see if it is the Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Day Cares in Jersey City choice for your family.


September 15th and October 13th 


1 McWilliams Place, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201-533-1910

The Hamilton Park Montessori educates children from infancy through 8th grade through nurturing each child’s love of learning. Each child is provided opportunities for growth and development to help them become capable, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.

Click here for information on tuition. Hamilton Park Montessori is included in the list of best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City.

OPEN HOUSES for the whole family:
NOVEMBER 3, 2018: 10:00 – 11:30 AM; FEBRUARY 3, 2019: 10:00 – 11:30 AM

OPEN HOUSES for parents only:
OCTOBER 11, 2018 @ 9AM
NOVEMBER 27, 2018 @ 6 PM
JANUARY 29, 2019 @ 9 AM (to be confirmed)
FEBRUARY 26, 2019 @ 6 PM (to be confirmed)


209 3rd Street Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: (201) 338- 8320 # 202

The French American Academy provides a bilingual and comprehensive curriculum in an atmosphere which encourages critical reasoning, wonder, enthusiasm and a strong ambition. The French American Academy believes learning a second language at an early age is a lifelong advantage which benefits children both academically and cognitively. They believe every child has a potential for excellence and work passionately to educate the whole child.The teacher student ratio is better than the state required teacher ratio: 5:1 Pre-K, 8:1 for three year olds in Pre-K, 10:1 for four year olds in Pre-K, and 12:1 in Kindergarten and up. The impressive ratios make it one of the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City.


Saturday, October 13th from 10am to 12pm
Saturday, November 17th from 10am to 12pm
Thursday, December 6th from 9am to 11pm


707 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030 – Phone: (201) 792- 6292

All Saints Episcopal Day School nurtures academic excellence from Nursery to Grade 8 by encouraging social responsibility and educating the whole child. The dedicated staff shares values of hard work, self-discipline, mutual respect and the active pursuit of knowledge and understanding. All Saints Episcopal Day School is one of the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City


Daytime Tours (8:45 AM) 25 SEP 18, 16 OCT 18, 06 NOV 18, 27 NOV 18
Saturday Open House (10:00 AM) 08 DEC 18



 233 9th St, Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: (201)706-3025

Broadway experienced instructors offering professional classes for beginner and advanced dancers, as well as acting, singing, gymnastics and piano lessons!


September 8th from  10am-1pm


125 1st St, Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: (201) 360-2450

Zaniac offers a comprehensive range of Steam programs for kids in grades K-8. Zaniac’s courses are designed to harness a child’s natural curiosity to produce lifelong passions and academic achievement. Their courses also foster positive social development through the use of role model instructors and peer-based learning. Zaniac’s inclusive learning environment provides the best possible learning experience for each child, and children with unique/spectrum needs are warmly welcomed.


Back to School open house on 9/13 from 5-7pm


1018 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 07030– Phone: (201) 683-9100

Garden Street School of the Performing Arts located at 1018 Washington Street in Hoboken is the leading school for the performing arts in NJ. All ages starting from 2 through adult are welcome to join our classes ranging from: Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Broadway Theater Jazz, Hip Hop, Acro, Musical Theater, Piano, Guitar, Bass, Violin, Voice, Drums, Brass and Woodwind Instruments. All ages, styles and levels welcome. Only premiere Ballet Studio offering certified American Ballet


9/8/18 TO 9/14/18


95 Broadway, Jersey City, NJ 07306– Phone: (201) 984-4151

The Ethical Community Charter School might be for you! This is a school that encourages as much student participation as possible; they encourage the students to ask questions and form their own opinions. This school takes advantage of the arts and uses it as a movement to integrate both fun and learning into one. They do a great job at mixing community into the learning aspect of the school.

The Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City is a school open for children in Kindergarten to the eighth grade. The curriculum for each grade group is made up by focusing and mixing three different elements. In the curriculum the staff incorporates responsive learning, multidisciplinary core curriculum and project-based learning. This style of teaching can accomplish many goals academically within the same time. For example, while students are being taught about information in one subject that are simultaneously using and strengthening their writing skills. This is one of the main goals at the Ethical Community Center School.


Most Fridays starting September 14 at 9:30am. See for dates and to sign up.


100 Marshall Street, Hoboken, NJ, 07030 – Phone: (201) 890-6727

Hello Hoboken families! Lightbridge Academy of Hoboken-Marshall is OPEN! We are excited to be a part of the community and welcome all Hoboken families to visit us. Parents here will experience peace of mind knowing that their children are receiving the best possible care along with a quality early childhood education. Our school is NOW ENROLLING for our Infant, Toddler, Preschool, & Pre-K programs! Call us for more information and schedule your tour! We can’t wait to meet you and your family soon!


October 8th-October 12th, 2018


253 Clerk Street, 1st Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07304


Open House/Tours available anytime per request by scheduling with Miss Megan at 347-282-6967.


16 Erie Street and 691 West Side Avenue, Jersey City, NJ – Phone: 917-558-1836


10/2/18, 11/1/18, 12/6/18, 1/10/19, 2/7/19, 3/7/19, 4/4/19, 5/2/19, 6/6/19



278 Monmouth Street Jersey City, NJ 07306, Phone: 917-655-5040

PicoTech Institute is a hands-on learning experience for the whole family. Featuring classes in research, design, and engineering for grades 3-8, and arts and music classes for grades k-5, your child will discover a passion at one of the best STEM and coding classes for kids in Jersey City. PicoTech’s first-rate birthday packages and unique family ‘maker’ nights provide hours of fun for families throughout.


9/11 @7:30pm, 10/9 @7:30pm, 11/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]:30pm


247 Old Bergen Road, Jersey City NJ-  Phone: 551-200-0519



September 17th


324 Communipaw Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304 – Phone: 201-706-3403


Saturday, October 6, 2018 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, November 3, 2018 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, December 1, 2018 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, January 5, 2019 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, February 2, 2019 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 – 8:30 pm
Thursday, February 21, 2019 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, June 12,, 2019 – 8:30 pm


Learn about the Performances happening at the 5th Cultural Diversity Festival’18

Performances  in the 5th Cultural Diversity Festival’18 in Jersey City

Date: August 18th
Location: Hamilton Park
Time: from 4 to 7pm

Event details at

31 River Court, 102 – Jersey City, NJ 07310 – Phone: 201 217-0640

The School of Bharatanatyam: At Newport in Jersey City, lessons are imparted on weekdays and weekends at convenient times to kids, parents and working professionals. Students enjoy the River view, lawn, rose garden and, the cityscape across the river — through large windows — while soaking in this ancient art, in a mirrored, wooden-floor studio!



The school is located in the heart of Clifton, New Jersey. Please feel free to visit them in person during their regularly schedule or by appointment. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call them at (973) 772-8988.


Grassroots Community Space
54 Coles St. Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: (908) 432-2405

The mission of Arts United Capoeira is to promote understanding, appreciation and practice of Capoeira, which is a Brazilian art-form that combines music, dance, self-defense, ritual and a way of life.

Our commitment is to create a safe, welcoming, non-discriminatory environment to learn, explore, and grow as individuals physically, mentally and spiritually. The elements of this unique art-form unite people from all ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds.


189 Brunswick St, 3rd Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: (201) 969-6260

Jersey City Ballroom believes that dance makes life better and they want to share that with you! They offer Latin, ballroom, swing, tango and more for the Jersey City community and surrounding areas. #dancemakeslifebetter


The Japanese Swordsmanship Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional martial arts of Japan. JSS teaches Iaido, Naginata, Jodo and Kyudo classes in New York City and New Jersey.

For Iaido[email protected]

For Naginata[email protected]

For Jodo[email protected]

For Kyudo[email protected]



83 Franklin Street, Jersey City, NJ 07307  – Phone: (201) 792-1616
Energetic center featuring salsa dance instruction for all levels



West African dance traditionally pulls movements from everyday life of chores, work and imitating animals.  African dance uses all these types of gestures to tell a story or to celebrate life.

This dance performance is a mixture of traditional West African, West Indian and Afrobeat dance moves. It is a total body workout, the best cardio you will ever have.

Classes are held at various locations in JC and in The Heights. Nearby classes are held at Grassroots Community Space 54 Coles street.

Please write to [email protected] to get your email in her list to be sent Eventbrite links to register.



Jersey City raised guitarist, who has played in many different genres and acts over the years, from rock to Cuban Salsa, Spanish Rock to Nueva Bachata. Currently he is primarily a Latin-style nylon string guitarist looking to collaborate with other musicians interested in the Latin guitar style of music. 


196 Morgan Street, Ground Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression and essential learning skills through the arts.


307 Main Street, Hackensack, New Jersey, 07601 (Inside FMA Center)

A group of children connecting America and Japan with the sound of Taiko


110 Bright St, Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: (856) 912-3883

Offering Irish Dance classes Jersey City, NJ that improve each dancer’s poise and confidence while having fun and staying healthy!



Events for Families in Jersey City this Weekend

Events for Families in Jersey City this Weekend

Jersey City has so much to offer all the time, however, there are some special events to take note of when planning your weekend with the family! Read on to find out what’s happening in Jersey City Heights, Union City, Bayonne, Greenville and everywhere in our list of  Events for Families in Jersey City this Weekend.


September 22 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Hamilton Park

Only fair in Jersey City where you can get information about & speak to the representatives of major Schools, Day Cares & Activity Centers in & around Jersey City & Hoboken.



September 22 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Hamilton Park

Free Magic shows in Jersey City :  “Marvel at the Magnificent Magicians at this years JC Education Fair!”

Enjoy a “Magicians‘ Faceoff” at this year’s JCFamilies Education Fair’18!

We are inviting a group of talented magicians to show off their magical skills to our young audiences!
Get ready to be tricked, inspired and entertained!



Saturday, Sep 22nd at 10 AM – 5 PM

RNA Presents the 31st Annual Flea Market and Park Fest in Riverview Park in the JC Heights. Enjoy a day in the park with great bargain hunting, live music and DJ’s, breakfast and lunch available for purchase, bagels from Wonder Bagel, pizza from Ginos and burritos from Mission Burritos.



TALES OF OUR CITIES  2018 Book Festival

September 23 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm –Free

The Jersey City Free Public Library is proud to present “Tales of Our Cities,” the 10th Annual Book Festival. It’s that time of year when we gather to celebrate Jersey City’s stories and the authors who tell them! Presentations by Jersey City and Hudson County authors. Visit the Jersey City Free Public Library Facebook event for additional information.

Presented in partnership with the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs (Jersey City Art & Culture), Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), WORD Jersey City and the Jersey City Arts Council Literary Arts Committee.

Event contact: Jersey City Free Public Library (201) 547-4579



A Seafood Festival to raise environmental awareness.

Saturday September 22nd , from 11am to 8pm at Location : Urby Parking lot, 200 Greene St, Jersey City, NJ 07311

Featuring a plethora of Seafood Vendors with proceeds supporting an environmental charity.


Head to 95 Broadway St. for Table Tennis Open Play hosted by Hot Shot Table Tennis this Saturday at 9 pm! A monthly membership is available for $25 and a $10 fee is charged for on time play! Click the following link for more information:

There are a lot of options to do with families in and around Jersey City! Apple picking can be a fun family event that kids and adults both can enjoy. And don’t miss our list of 21 things to do around Jersey City