Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold Blast of Air Outside

We are experiencing a blast of cold air from the "other Pole" today in Chattanooga. This morning's low dipped into the teens and so far we haven't been back to the freezing mark. So while that's o.k. for our penguin friends at the South Pole and Santa at the North Pole, we prefer it much warmer. "Tropical Holiday Adventure" anyone? (It was a toasty 75 degrees in the Butterfly Garden all day long.)
Thanks today to Becky for sending these pictures and quick note about how much she enjoys her Tennessee Aquarium membership:

My grandchildren and I LOVE the aquarium! We especially like the butterfly room and the penguins! ! I have had a membership for many years now and it never gets old!

Happy Holidays from everyone at the Tennessee Aquarium!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tell Us About Your Tropical Holiday Adventure

'Tis the Season for some family time and we have been getting some great e-mails lately about how much fun everyone has been having at the Tennessee Aquarium. It seems like we all need a chance to unwind and really enjoy each other at this time of year. Here's what Maria from Madison, AL has to say about her family's recent "Tropical Holiday Adventure" in Chattanooga:

First, my husband and I met in Chattanooga and got married there. He grew up in Red Bank and went to school there too. We just moved back from our last residence in Victoria, Texas last August 2006 to Madison, AL which is located next to Huntsville. Most of our family and relatives live in Chattanooga, TN and Warner Robins, GA. We have two boys and they love coming to the TN Aquarium so much that we thought it will be wise to have an Aquarium membership. It works like a genius for us because every time we come to visit my in-laws it is a treat for our boys after riding in the car for two hours. From our last visit there as you can see in one of the picture, you guys had some volunteer divers in the aquarium. Our boys name from left to right is Hunter (5 yrs. old) and Jake (3 yrs. old). We always have a pleasant time and our kids learn about salt and river water fish and more. They are particularly amazed by the sharks and stingrays. Then when we go down after the butterfly sanctuary, they start running towards the penguin aquarium for another dose of fun and a big smiles on their faces. We like the great membership and we think it especially brings a lot of joy seeing our two boys just having fun and learning new things every time we come for our visit.

This is one of the membership that we have acquired that we will keep every year.

Thanks for sharing your story and pictures with us Maria! Happy (Tropical) Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aquarium Style Championship Football Fever

University of Montana and University of Richmond football players enjoyed an evening of BBQ and fun at the Tennessee Aquarium while they were in Chattanooga for the 2008 NCAA Division I Football Championship. Everyone seemed to have a great time relaxing and marveling at the Aquarium's animals and exhibits. Two of the biggest stars of the evening were volunteer divers Angie Lewallen and Bill Hall, shown here decked out in Montana and Richmond football jerseys. Not only were Angie and Bill able to discuss their dive plans above the Gulf of Mexico exhibit, they could talk over their "playbook" underwater too.
Bill and Angie geared up with surface supplied air systems which are a bit different than SCUBA gear visitors are used to seeing at the Aquarium. Notice they don't have air tanks on their backs. The full face mask is attached to a set of air tanks that's out of the water. This setup also contains a microphone and speakers so they are able to talk to one another. They are also able to communicate directly with the person in charge of surface support for the dive. In this case, that was the Aquarium's assistant curator of fishes, Carol Farmer.
If you have seen the Secret Reef dive shows in the Ocean Journey building, you've seen a diver wearing a very similar system to the ones Angie and Bill are wearing in these pictures. During our Secret Reef dives shows, the diver interacts with someone from the Aquarium's education staff and answers guest questions.
The football players enjoyed watching Angie hoist Bill above her head and tackle him while sharks, rays and colorful reef fish swirled around them. Carol Farmer remarked after the dives, "I'm not sure who had more fun. The visitors or our divers."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Special Night at IMAX

Left to Right - Deborah Luehrs, Jacqueline Norwood and Ansel Peak, executive director of Big Brothers, Big Sisters get ready to enjoy "The Light Before Christmas" at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater.

“The Light Before Christmas” fills the giant screen at the Tennessee Aquarium’s IMAX 3D Theater with heart-warming holiday images. And thanks to the generosity of area Subway restaurants, hundreds of children and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters had the opportunity to enjoy this new IMAX film.

On Friday, December 12th, Subway reserved the theater for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Chattanooga as a special holiday gift for this vital organization which helps children reach their potential through the professionally supported one-to-one relationships. BBBS of Chattanooga fosters “Little moments…big magic,” and getting together at the IMAX Theater in downtown Chattanooga helped create some holiday magic for these children.

You can see "The Light Before Christmas" and "Polar Express 3D" at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater now through January 6th. More film information and showtimes can be found here:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho.....It's Nemo!

Thanks to Heather from Chattanooga for sharing this great picture and story.

The photo was taken during Caroling with the Fishes while the high school choir was singing Rudolph in the background. She's usually scared to death of things like this, but she watched the bigger kids go in and goof around. So she waited for her turn and then crawled in. At first, she didn't realize she could stand up. Then, when she finally stood up, the clownfish was right in front of her. She started screaming "Mommy, it's Nemo! NEMO NEMO NEMO" like she was trying to talk to the fish.
I almost got video too, but she (and the fish) move way too fast.

Do you have a great picture or story to tell? Why not share your pictures with others on our Flickr group page:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dial in and listen, then leave us a message.

Our new cell phone audio tour is getting quite a few calls. You can learn about cool creatures like our huge beluga sturgeon shown above. Some visitors have even taken the time to leave us messages. It's fun to hear your voice-mail and we appreciate the comments.