Our visit to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga

Aquariums have always been one of my favorite places to visit with my kids. There are so many fun and colorful things to see for people of all ages. Living just outside of Atlanta, you would think we make it to the Georgia Aquarium more often, but just the opposite. Since it is so HUGE and often crowded on the weekends, we've only been once since moving to Georgia nearly two years ago. When planning our visit to Chattanooga, Tennessee, I knew we had to make a stop at the aquarium there after doing my research, and finding more and more reviews favoring the Tennessee Aquarium over Georgia’s. So, we checked it out!

6 Things we LOVED about our visit to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga:

1. The outside of the Aquarium is beautiful! The buildings are interesting to look at because they have fun bridges that remind me of fairy bridges. Surrounding the building, there is a cool water feature kids can play in on a hot day. 


2. The freshwater exhibit is an entire building! We had just visited the Fernbank Museum Monster Fish Exhibit in Atlanta the day before our trip and we got to see some of the same fish firsthand at the Tennessee Aquarium. My children were so excited about this!

3. The Tennessee Aquarium has more than just fish and water animals! We were pleasantly surprised when we discovered all the land animals and insects in residence. There is a butterfly garden, several types of lemurs, otters, turtles (lots of turtles!), snakes, and many more "critters" on display.

4. The design of the grounds helped with crowding. You start on the top and work your way down for the most part. There are two buildings - one for the freshwater exhibit and one for the saltwater and ocean inhabitants. Breaking up the exhibits helps with managing the crowds more efficiently.


5. We could see it all in one day! One of the things I don’t enjoy about the Georgia Aquarium is there is not enough time to see everything in one visit. At the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, you can make it through BOTH buildings and see some of the shows all in one day.

6. A variety of activities are specially designed for kids. There are different ways of participating in interactive learning about the fish, and other animals and reptiles on exhibit. There is even an area where you can touch a sturgeon! My favorite was the giant sea anemone for the "littles" to play in, just as if they were little clown fish. 


Overall, we highly recommend you check out the Aquarium if you are in Chattanooga. Your visit could be part of a weekend getaway, or even a one-day visit for those who live in North Georgia or other parts of Tennessee. It was so easy to drive there in the morning and spend the afternoon at the aquarium. 

A Few Tips for Visiting with Young Children: 

You won’t need to spend the entire day there, so look at the show schedule to see which ones you want to attend and plan your visit around those times. Also, if the weather is nice pack a swimsuit for the kids and a bag lunch. Strollers are perfectly fine throughout, so don’t leave it behind if you have a "little" that will max out and want to relax or nap in the stroller.