Season of Giving Events

Adventure Aquarium will invite visitors to celebrate the holiday season with events throughout the local Camden community and surrounding area as well as during its 8th annual Christmas Celebration featuring the return of Scuba Santa and gently falling snow inside the Aquarium.  Visitors are invited to get in the holiday spirit in a variety of ways, including participating in local parades, tree lightings and more!

“The holidays are a truly magical time of year for our guests and the entire Adventure Aquarium family,” said Vince Nicoletti, Executive Director and Vice President, Adventure Aquarium. “We are excited to take part in local community events as well as offer guests a unique Christmas experience within the Aquarium, all with the spirit of the season at its very heart.”

Schedule of Events

Operation Christmas Child – National Collection Week (November 14-21)
Take part in the amazing journey of a simple shoebox gift!  Adventure Aquarium invites guests to join in the Season of Giving through Operation Christmas Child.  Kids, young and old, can spread holiday cheer with shoebox gifts for children in need in more than 100 countries around the world.

Adventure Aquarium, in conjunction with parent company Herschend Family Entertainment, is honored to participate in Operation Christmas Child as part of Samaritan’s Purse.  Local Delaware Valley churches are invited to pack shoeboxes with gifts for children all over the world and are given Adventure Aquarium admission passes based on their participation.  Millions of shoeboxes are collected during National Collection Week, November 14 through 21, to ensure delivery by Christmas. 

Adventure Aquarium staff and guests are invited to drop off their completed shoeboxes to the Aquarium’s Info Desk in the Main Lobby.  The shoeboxes will be delivered to a local church on the afternoon of Monday, November 21 with help from Aquarium staff.

Christmas Celebration Returns (December 3 – 30)
Scuba Santa returns! One of the region’s most unique holiday traditions returns to Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront for its eighth year. Christmas Celebration wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by the beloved Scuba Santa. Children of all ages can see Scuba Santa swim alongside magnificent sharks, incredible sea turtles and graceful stingrays in the Aquarium’s 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit.  

Highlights include:

  • Attend the “I Believe in Scuba Santa” Live Show – Scuba Santa’s #1 Helper shares the story of Christmas Celebration and puts the final touches on the decorations in Ocean Realm Theater with the help of Scuba Santa himself.
  • Christmas Storytime (PLUS snow falls inside the Aquarium!) – Listen to an elf share the story of Scuba Santa. At the very end of the story, watch as snow falls inside the Aquarium.
  • Drop off letters to Scuba Santa – Each day during Christmas Celebration, children can share their wishes with Scuba Santa by dropping their personalized letters in a special mailbox in Ocean Realm.Families that provide an email address will even receive a special message response from Scuba Santa!   

Celebrate the joy of the holidays with the entire family at Adventure Aquarium.  All daily activities are included with general admission. To learn more or purchase tickets online, visit

Annual TD Bank Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 3
Adventure Aquarium sponsor TD Bank will kick off the holiday season at its corporate offices located at 1701 Route 70 East in Cherry Hill with the lighting of a 55-foot tree – one of the region’s largest holiday trees and decorated with over 50,000 glowing lights.  The Aquarium will bring along African penguins (from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.) as well as other animals to help celebrate the occasion during this community event from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. with the tree lighting taking place at 5:00 p.m.  

6th Annual Camden Holiday Parade – Thursday, December 8
Adventure Aquarium joins in the fun during the 6th Annual Camden Holiday Parade, presented by the Camden District Council Collaborative Board.  The Parade, which begins on Cooper Street and ends at the Camden Children’s Garden, starts at 6:00 p.m. and features holiday performances and, of course, Santa Claus!  

Teddy’s Toys for Camden Kids – Tuesday, December 13
For the 4th consecutive year, Adventure Aquarium, in partnership with the Camden Children’s Garden and hosted by Mayor Dana L. Redd, will serve as the Teddy’s Toys for Camden Kids gift pickup reception venue.  Local Camden families will enter through the Garden and have complimentary access to the Aquarium as well as meet with Santa.  In addition, each child will choose a special toy and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies during this holiday event beginning at 5:30 p.m.  

New Year’s Eve Splash – Saturday, December 31
Ring in the New Year among family, friends and fish at our family-friendly New Year’s Eve Splash – the perfect way to celebrate the start of 2017 – included in the cost of admission and held through 6:00 p.m.  Guests can visit with their favorite animals during twilight hours and end the evening with fireworks over the Delaware River – and be home before bedtime!   

Adventure Aquarium is just minutes from downtown Philadelphia on the Camden Waterfront and features one-of-a-kind exhibits with more than 8,500 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water.  The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States as well as two rare scalloped hammerhead sharks, the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, one of only six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents and exhibits the longest Shark Bridge in the world, a unique V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over Shark Realm. Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is held to the absolute highest standards in animal care and exhibition. Open 365 days a year, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For more information, visit