Essex County has opened two new family attractions, one in Turtle Back Zoo and the other just next door.
The Tropical Currents Aquarium is taking the place once occupied by the Monkey House at Turtle Back. It’s a small-scale aquarium that’s probably just the right size to get early learners interested in marine life, like the poisonous, invasive lionfish pictured here. The new aquarium has six tanks containing 75 species of fish and aquatic wildlife, including sea horses, clown fish and invertebrates. The signage around the tanks does a great job of telling kids about the fragility of coral reefs, invasive species and marine pollution.
A few feet down the road, at the intersection of Northfield Avenue and Cherry Lane (the road that begins as Lakeside Avenue by us), the county is opening a 19-hole miniature golf course, laid out in the shape of the African continent. The miniGOLF Safari is open Monday to Friday from 1 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children under 12 and senior citizens. For information, call 973-731-5800.
Lion fish photo by Johnathan Nightingale, via Flickr