By Pat Gallen


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CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Heading to Camden this summer? Sure, you can take the beautiful Ben Franklin Bridge or jump aboard the Riverlink Ferry, which has connected the waterfronts for over 25 years.

“It’s an amenity and it’s an opportunity to get from one side of the river to the other for different events throughout the year. Our concerts here, the Tall Ships Festival that was held two months ago here in the region,” said Camden County Freeholder Bill Moen. “If you were to come out here on a Friday or Saturday night when a concert was playing, there would be lines to get over here.”

Speaking of concerts, it’s not just the BB&T Center bringing in the big acts. Wiggins Park is great outdoor space to spend a summer night. But beyond the music, you can always hit the Adventure Aquarium or take a peek inside the incredible Battleship New Jersey. Or how about you step inside the Camden Children’s Garden?

“The garden is a four-acre garden, designed for children ages 3-12,” said Valerie Frick, Director of Education Camden Children’s Garden. “When we were designing the garden, about 20 years ago, we tried to bring in a lot of children’s interests. So we have trains, we have dinosaurs, we have things to climb on, things to crawl under. ”

With many of the exhibits, Frick hopes to pass on the knowledge that the environment is cool.

“You have a red Apatosaurus. Which is part exhibitory, part recycling. It’s actually made out of car parts pulled from the junkyard,” said Frick.

There’s a butterfly house, with over 100 butterflies, meant to teach children about life stages. The garden also pays homage to a local legend.

“We’re honoring here Walt Whitman, who wrote a poem that included the phrase, basically what a child looks at everyday, the child becomes. or internalizes,” said Frick.

The Children’s Garden is a big piece of the ever evolving puzzle that is the Camden Waterfront. And Camden is certainly rising.

“I would argue that there are very few places in the United States that are seeing the development that the city of Camden is seeing right now. And I think someday folks are going to write books about what’s happening here in the city of Camden,” said Moen.