New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey - Opening This Summer!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
It's o-FISH-al! New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey will be opening this summer! A grand opening date hasn't been announced, but I have some fun sneak peeks of the attractions to come. So mark your calendars for summer, and read on for more details.

Disclosure: this information comes directly from the New Jersey SEAL LIFE Aquarium /Merlin Entertainment press release.

New Jersey SEA LIFE® Aquarium, a 25,000-square-foot aquarium, and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New Jersey, the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground for families, today announced the opening for both attractions will be this summer at American Dream in East Rutherford, N.J. Both attractions are owned and operated by the 2nd largest attraction operator in the world, Merlin Entertainments Ltd..

Over the last several months, SEA LIFE New Jersey has welcomed thousands of creatures and approximately 100 species to its “City Under the Sea” themed aquarium, from piranhas to jellyfish. The highly choreographed fish arrival process involved curating species from all over the world, arranging for their safe transport, coordinating a seamless arrival, and ensuring a supportive acclimation process.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of both New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey...” said General Manager Camille DePascale. “Welcoming our amazing sea creatures over the last few months has been an exciting process and we can’t wait to entertain and educate our guests about the ocean, its inhabitants, and future preservation of our world oceans.”

The Creatures

SEA LIFE New Jersey’s unique “City Under the Sea” will feature 10 New York City and New Jersey inspired exhibits. Notable arrivals include red bellied piranha in the “Urban Jungle,” a giant Pacific octopus featured in one of the several underwater window displays in “Sharks Fish Avenue,” graceful seahorses at the “Water Ballet,” and moon jellies at “Jellies 54.”   

concept art courtesy of Merlin Entertainment

The aquarium’s leading exhibit is the 186,000-gallon ocean tank, which is home to more than 1,000 creatures including seven species of sharks, four species of stingrays, and 40 additional species of tropical fish. The ocean tank features an underwater tunnel with panoramic views of ‘fishified’ Manhattan landmarks, providing guests with a truly immersive and spectacular experience.

Once the creatures have safely arrived, the dedicated SEA LIFE animal care team focus on the supportive acclimation process, which means continuous monitoring of the health of each creature, including creating personalized schedules based on individual animal behavior for the optimal health and welfare of each creature. 

LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey will offer fantastic fun, highly interactive, and educational experiences for families with children ages 3-10. The Center will feature a range of LEGO play experiences including a LEGO themed train ride, 4D cinema, LEGO building classes hosted by the Master Model Builder, Miniland (a LEGO re-creation of NJ and NYC landmarks), plus several themed interactive build and play zones.

Health & Safety Precautions

Taking extra precautions for health and safety, both attractions will follow government mandated COVID prevention regulations for indoor attractions when opening and have implemented enhanced physical distancing measures, temperature monitoring of staff and guests, LEGO bricks just for families to use during playtimes, and stringent cleaning protocols following the guidance of local and national health officials. “The health of our guests and employees is of utmost importance. We are taking proactive steps to provide visitors with a safe, comfortable environment when we welcome them on site,” said DePascale.

Tickets for SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND Discovery Center are available for purchase. For more information visit: and

About New Jersey SEA LIFE® Aquarium

Located in East Rutherford, NJ at American Dream will be a first of its kind for SEA LIFE. Guests can experience the city under the sea with the attraction’s 10+ interactive exhibits entirely themed to New York and New Jersey’s most memorable and iconic moments. The featured exhibit will be an underwater tunnel with panoramic views of Manhattan landmarks rising from the seabed amidst schools of tropical fish, sharks, rays and more!

About SEA LIFE® and the SEA LIFE Trust

SEA LIFE is the world’s largest family of aquariums, proudly delivering amazing discoveries to more than 23 million people annually in over 50 locations across the world. From breathtaking underwater tunnels to incredible up-close encounters, guests can dive into the ocean world without getting wet.

SEA LIFE has a vision of oceans that are healthy, protected, and full of diverse, wonderful animals and works together with its partner charity, the SEA LIFE TRUST. Their joint focus is to protect these oceans and the amazing marine life within them.

The SEA LIFE Trust owns and operates marine wildlife sanctuaries (including the world’s first Beluga Whale Sanctuary in Iceland), runs inspiring conservation campaigns and funds projects and education programs that champion the need to protect our oceans.

Through its global BREED, RESCUE, PROTECT program and dedicated Conservation, Welfare and Engagement team, SEA LIFE’s team of expert marine biologists pioneer global breeding projects which may one day provide a lifeline to the ocean’s endangered species, as well as nursing sick creatures back to health and returning them to the wild. If they can’t survive in the wild, they are given a safe home for life.

For more information on the work SEA LIFE and the SEA LIFE Trust does in protecting our oceans, visit and

About LEGOLAND® Discovery Center

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New Jersey, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey at American Dream, is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground for families with children ages 3-10. The indoor LEGO attraction is a three-hour play experience featuring a LEGO themed train ride, 4D cinema, MINILAND a LEGO re-creation of NJ and NYC landmarks, plus several themed interactive build and play zones. The New Jersey location joins the LEGOLAND Discovery Center family in the Northeast along with locations in Westchester (NY), Philadelphia and Boston.

Here's a photo I took at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia!

The Jersey Momma's Coverage

For more info about New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center, please check out the posts below of my experiences and coverage from 2019 till present. I was sooo looking forward to a fun-filled 2020 when these venues would open, but as we all know, life had other plans for us. I am excited and hopeful for what's to come in 2021, and I encourage you to stay tuned to The Jersey Momma for more updates! 

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia (this is not from the New Jersey location but it gives you a good idea of what to expect during a visit to a LEGOLAND Discovery Center)

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