Chattanooga Visit: Tennessee Aquarium

Last weekend Jon and I did something we have been talking about doing ever since moving to Nashville…make a day-trip to Chattanooga!  My sister Libby turned the BIG 3-0 on Valentine’s Day and she decided to make it a long weekend of celebration with her family in Chattanooga!  This was great: we were able to cross something off our list, meet my sister half-way (Chattanooga is half way between Nashville and Atlanta) and most importantly we were able to help Libby celebrate her BIG day 🙂

The activity we decided to do with them was visit the Tennessee Aquarium which is located right off the highway in downtown Chattanooga.  This made it very accessible and timely for our day trip.  The tickets are a little steep though ringing in at $25 per person ($15 for kids, 3 & under free).  Thankfully they offer a student discount with student id (and accepted ours from a ‘recent’ graduate) and applied it to everyone’s ticket – thank you Tennessee Aquarium!  The student discount is half-off so I highly recommend utilizing any student id you might have (or be able to find under your bed or in your closet tucked away somewhere).

The aquarium is divided into two buildings – an ocean side and a river side.  My favorite was by far the ocean side, even though it seemed like some of the animals overlapped.

Everyone was excited about entering the aquarium (except maybe Elliot, who might have been a little confused about Aunt Katie and Uncle Jon trying to take a lot of photos).

Each side had an interactive open tank so that you could touch different animals.  Luke was a brave soul and touched one of the stingrays with a little help from Libby!

The ocean side offered a butterfly garden.  There were so many different yet pretty butterflies!

I loved how there was fruit strung up and tied to the trees for the butterflies to enjoy.

But they did want to make sure you didn’t take any with you – no hitchhiking allowed!

There was a tank with some starfish and one humongous crab!  The tank had a cylinder cut out in the center so that people could climb under the tank and pop up in the cylinder.  I am sure it was cool to be surrounded by all those fish and become part of the exhibit!

While in the river side we saw a bird sleeping with one leg up so I asked Luke if he could do that.  He was more than happy to try it!  He got very into it 🙂

Looks just like a sleeping bird to me!  I must say…kids are very flexible!

Since the aquarium is divided into two different buildings we decided to grab lunch in between our visits.  There were tons of restaurant options within walking distance; we settled on TGIFridays.  The food was good but I must say the drinks were much better!  A birthday toast to the birthday girl – cheers!

A few notes: I was curious so I checked: the adult admission price is the same at the Tennessee Aquarium and Georgia Aquarium (the GA aquarium charges about $3 more for children’s tickets).  I thought that they are comparable to each other.  I do LOVE the beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium though, they are so majestic to me.   I also love how the Georgia Aquarium has the ‘Ocean Voyager’ underwater tunnel.  Those two things might by unbeatable to me.

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