Take a bite out of Shark Week at Adventure Aquarium

Get up close and personal to sharks at the Adventure Aquarium (photo courtesy of Adventure Aquarium)

One of the most hyped weeks of the year is close to shore as its programs prepare to air on Discovery Channel. Yes, that’s right Shark Week is here. For those die-hard shark fans, the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J. is honoring Shark Week starting on Saturday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 17. The official kick-off of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is Sunday, Aug. 10, but who cares — the Adventure Aquarium has sharks and an extra day of specials, so who’s complaining?

Seeing sharks behind the glass is a great view, but how about looking on top of the tank for an exclusive view of these boneless creatures? This special presentation is free and shown Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. through 3 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. This is the closest you can get without getting your feet wet.

You’ve seen sharks crunch on sea life on TV, but have you ever seen it in person? For a $10 donation to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature — a foundation to protect shark species in the wild — guests can experience a live feeding in the 55,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit. Feeding time is on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 2:45 p.m.

Seeing the sharks is exciting, but soaking in more information about the species is always more helpful. Daily appearances from Adventure Aquarium’s shark experts (catch them from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.) will help spread information about the Shark Realm, the home of the sandbar, the sand tiger, and nurse shark.

Get hammered (not literally), at the Ocean Realm exhibit and learn about the home of the only great hammerhead shark in an American aquarium. Not only will you get to see and get the rundown on this shark, but you will also get to check out silky, bonnethead, blacktip, blacknose, and zebra sharks. Shark experts will have daily appearances for chats at 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. during Shark Week.

Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film, "Jaws," may have given people majorly mixed feelings about sharks, especially the great white, but at Adventure Aquarium, sit back and enjoy the Great White Shark 4d film where you can go deep in the water with this fascinating creature. Showtimes vary daily.

Going up close and touching a shark without supervision is never safe, but at Adventure Aquarium’s Touch-a-Shark exhibit, guests can feel the liquidy skin of white spotted bamboo, brownbanded bamboo, Arabian carpet, epaulette, zebra bullhead and Mexican horn sharks. Are you brave enough? Or do you fear the fin? The exhibit is available daily.

An available transportation option to the Adventure Aquarium is the Shark Shuttle, which saves the hassle of driving. Visitors can take part in a round trip starting at Reading Terminal Market or Independence Hall, then a ferry ride to and from the aquarium.