1) Splashes of Fall Color
Fall washes over our area with beautiful views of colorful leaves and clear autumn skies. What better way to catch the splendor of the season than from the Tennessee River aboard the River Gorge Explorer? Our “Awesome Autumn Fall Cruises” begin October 15th and run through November 10th.
Want to see ALL of “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon?” We will offer two “River GORGEous” Fall Cruises departing on Saturday, November 2nd traveling through the entire 26 mile Tennessee River Gorge during peak color. You can take a commemorative look at the site of Historic Hale's Bar Lock and Dam - the first dam ever built on the Tennessee River - and explore the site's engineering legacy and tales of its haunting 100 years to the day after its construction.
Earlier in the season, you’ll scan the skies and riverbanks for hawks, eagles, osprey and vultures while soaking in the first colors appearing in the "Tennessee's Grand Canyon." The “Hawk Watch” Wildlife and Color Cruise departs at 10 am on Saturday, October 12.
2) (More) Penguin Pandemonium
Our new gentoo chicks are getting ready to enter the water and officially join our colony on Penguins’ Rock. In the next few months, keepers will find out the sex of each chick and the naming contest will begin.
While young penguins are getting ready to explore the exhibit on their own, our adult penguins are entering molting season. Each bird will lose old feathers and grow new ones in a process that occurs after breeding and nesting season. During this time, the birds will appear extra fluffy and discarded feathers can often be seen all around the exhibit. It’s a pretty odd sight.
3) A Whole Month of Animal ODDities
Speaking of odd things, Aquarium animals with strange and interesting characteristics or behaviors will be highlighted this fall during ODDtober. During the month of October, a special schedule of animal encounters and shows will take place throughout the day. Get up close with a legless lizard, learn how butterflies taste with their feet, meet a giant marine toad and more!
4) Trick-or-Treat: Pirate Style
Arrgh Mateys! Join the Aquarium crew for AquaScarium VI – our annual safe, but spirited Halloween party. This year’s theme is “Pirates of the Aquarium”. Dueling pirates and costumed SCUBA divers will welcome guests to both Aquarium buildings brimming with fun activities for “bouys” and “gulls” alike! Come in costume (check out our Pinterest board for DIY inspiration) and set out on a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt. Boogie with a buccaneer, learn how to talk like a pirate, and more. Bring your camera and your favorite trick-or-treat bag!
5) Sesquicentennial Celebration
Chattanooga is rich in Civil War history, landmarks and legend. In addition to the hues of autumn, this fall will be a particularly great time to cruise the Gorge as Tennessee officially commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Battles for Chattanooga. Four special cruises, spanning September through November will mark such historical events as the Browns Ferry Raid and Sherman’s crossing of the Tennessee River at Chickamauga Creek.
From September 30 to October 30, the Gold Pass includes a guided tour of the Aquarium plaza with a Tennessee Aquarium naturalist. Also known as Ross’ Landing, this linear park reflects the unique history and culture of Chattanooga. Known as Ross’s Landing, this site has been the temporal center of early European exploration, Cherokee heritage, Civil War strategy and the rise of railroads and industry. (A guided tour of both aquarium buildings and a river cruise are also included in the Gold Pass.)
6. New Season - New Art
Outside isn’t the only place to see new colors arriving this fall. Two new art installations in the Jellies: Living Art gallery are sure to please art and ocean lovers alike. A new set of glass sculptures by Stephen Rolfe Powell and a mixed media display of metal mesh and crushed glass by Lanny Bergner celebrate the beauty and wonder of undersea life. Surrounded by live jellyfish tanks, this exhbit continues to be a sight that is not to be missed.
7. An Unlikely IMAX Adventure
The Rocky Mountain Express 2D rolls into IMAX on October 4. This movie propels audiences on a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and relates the epic adventure of building the nation’s first transcontinental railway.
The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1885 ranks among the greatest engineering feats in history, The project drew on the labor and expertise of thousands from around the world, including a young American railway Superintendent named William Corneleus Van Horn. Spanning thousands of miles and some of the world’s greatest natural barriers, this grand transcontinental project, and its wandering ribbon of steel, drew together far flung communities isolated in the wilderness, shaped a new nation and changed the face of the North American continent forever.