Our family’s goal for our weekend in Chattanooga was simply to break up these dreary winter days - to get out of the house, see a different set of four walls, and spend a little time with friends. I’ll say that our mini vacation far surpassed expectations! Not only was Chattanooga’s food scene a welcome find, but the aquarium was the perfect place to spend an afternoon with a few preschool aged kids.
Per the Tennessee Aquarium website, advance reservations are recommended. While tickets were still being sold to visitors when we arrived on the afternoon of our visit, it does seem prudent to purchase in advance…just in case. The place was packed! The crowds didn’t detract from our visit but there was a line for entry. Once inside, however, there was a comfortable amount of space to enjoy the aquarium.
A favorite among the first set of exhibits was undoubtedly the stingrays. The stingray tank is open to the air and visitors are welcome to reach into the water to pet the animals. Some of the rays even swim up to visitors on their sides, waiting for a belly rub. The star of the Tennessee Aquarium show is most certainly the shark exhibit. Not only will you be awed by the engineering feat of integrating a massive shark tank into the middle of a building, the tiger sharks are quite large and impressive. Finally, from jellyfish to penguins and a giant octopus, the ‘filler’ exhibits were anything but boring and rounded out the underwater experience.
Given the attention span of our young crowd we didn’t make it to the otter exhibit or the iMax housed in the second aquarium building. Families with older children could easily make a day-long outing of the aquarium experience.
Our family will 100% be making the trip to Chattanooga again to finish seeing the vast collection of species at the aquarium. Enjoy!