At The Adventure Aquarium, patrons can not only look at sharks in a tank, but be surrounded by them. At the Ocean Realm Exhibit, great hammerhead sharks, swim through a 750,000-gallon tank, their 7-foot bodies passing all around onlookers in the 40-foot shark tunnel.
Of course, Adventure Aquarium also houses a wide variety of marine animals. Their two Nile hippos each weigh in at approximately 3,000 pounds, and their mouths can open up to four feet—enough to swallow most wedding cakes in a single bite. At the aquarium's West African River Experience, visitors marvel at these hippos as they plunge into the water and swim right up to the glass. The Jules Verne Gallery, meanwhile, houses a giant pacific octopus. This cephalopod mollusk stretches out eight tentacles, each covered in some 280 suction cups.
The Elmwood Park Zoo surrounds its guests in a microcosm of North and South American habitats. American bison roam a grasslands area, bobcats prowl over the wetlands exhibit, and bald eagles soar within the confines of Olivia's Eagle Canyon. These are just three of the roughly 300 animals that call the zoo home. In addition to frolicking across exhibit spaces, many of these creatures also interact with zoo visitors at the ZooBowl outdoor amphitheater.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
Though Washington DC has taken Philadelphia's place as the capitol of the United States, it remains a bustling metropolis rich with American history. Independence Walking Tours' guides––all of whom have at least a bachelors degree in history––dredge up past centuries' landmark events and scandals during their 75-minute walking tours. Their narration blends historical facts and local insight, with stops at Betsy Ross House, Walnut Street Prison, and Independence Hall, where teens often go to escape their uncool parents.
At Westwood Gallery, owners Mike and Lore Fitzsimmons celebrate their love for beautiful artwork with museum-quality preservation and framing of paintings and pictures. Everyone on staff boasts a background in art, allowing them to match a painting's style and period with the perfect frame and also consider the decor back at the customer's house. They can create original oil paintings from photographs, restore weathered paintings and photos, and brighten up bathroom vanities and bedroom walls with custom-framed mirrors. As longtime residents of Westwood, the owners promote the local creative community by hosting gallery parties, setting up photography exhibits, and challenging passersby to define "art" in one sentence or less.
Once the chopper lifts off from the Hook Pier Heliport and rises above New York Harbor, the Big Apple's sprawling metropolis fills passengers' sightlines. Rotors spinning, the copter flies past the Statue of Liberty and toward the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and other looming examples of urban architecture. During these tours, sightseers sit comfortably within one of the company's five Bell 407 helicopters, which boast giant windows and enough legroom to roundhouse kick roving bands of skydivers looking to freeload their way onto the aircraft. The helicopter pilots also charter their aircraft on trips to cities including Boston and Atlantic City.
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