You probably know that a group of fish is called a school. But did you know that a group of stingrays is called a fever? Frogs? An army. Butterflies? A flutter. And owls? A parliament. Whatever you call your group of loved ones, the holidays are a great time to spend with them at the Tennessee Aquarium.
Guests are invited to meet a waddle of penguins, a shiver of sharks and a smack of jellyfish during Holidays Under the Peaks. Aquarium educators and animal experts will deliver daily programs to help connect visitors to some of nature’s most wonderful gifts.
A company of parrots can be found during special scheduled programs in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari along with a menagerie of native and exotic creatures guests may encounter throughout the day.
Get the full schedule here.
2. Sounds of the Season
If you plan your Aquarium visit during Holidays Under the Peaks, you and your family can also enjoy live performances of classic holiday music. Steel drum artist Paul Vogler will perform on the second level of the Ocean Journey building on December 21-22. Local bluegrass artist, and member of the Old Time Travelers band Matt Downer with perform in the Tennessee River gallery of the River Journey building December 9-20 and December 23. Check the daily schedule for times and locations.
3. SCUBA Claus
SCUBA Claus will make his underwater weekend appearances in the River Giants exhibit alongside some of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. Look for the jolly old elf on Saturdays at 11 am and Sundays at 2 pm through Dec. 22nd.
4. Small Fry Programs
Looking for some fun and interesting indoor things to do with your little ones during one of the coldest months of the year? Come join us at the Tennessee Aquarium on selected Mondays and Thursdays for Small Fry Mini-Programs! Drop in between 10:15 and 11:00 to participate in exciting activities designed to appeal to 2-5 year olds (and their parents). On these special days, we will visit galleries, meet live animals, play games, listen to stories and make simple crafts. You’ll be directed to the program location at check-in. Check the schedule of weekly topics for more information.
5. Yuletide FISH-tivities
There’s lots to do in the 12 days after Christmas at the Tennessee Aquarium. In addition to more than one dozen daily keeper talks, animal programs and dive shows, Aquarium experts will offer Yuletide FISH-tivities each day from December 26 to January 6. These enriching and entertaining programs help extend the spirit of fun by focusing on the special gifts a wide variety of creatures have to thrive in their habitats.
Some creatures have eye features that allow them to see equally on land and underwater. Others have offset ears to hear in surround-sound and extra vertebrae that allow them to see what’s directly behind them. What more could you wish for? Skin that secretes a toxin – naughty? Colorful feathers that appear to change colors in the light – nice.
Each of the twelve days focuses on a different theme like Sea Stars, Penguins, Ancient Animals and more. Get the full schedule and daily descriptions here.
6. Polar Express and Penguins 3D at IMAX
From a treasured classic to a new favorite, there is a lot to be merry about at IMAX. Don your best pajamas and take a magical 3D train ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express, playing now through December 26.
Or, follow a very special King Penguin, who returns to his birthplace in the sub-Antarctic in the new Penguins 3D. Known as Penguin City, the island is home to hundreds of albatrosses, fur seals and brawling elephant seals—as well as six million penguins! Somehow our hero must earn his place among the island inhabitants and fulfill his destiny by finding a mate and raising a family.
7. Winter Wildlife Cruise - "Eagles Eyes"
Winter is prime time to watch for the arrival of wintering Bald Eagles in the Chattanooga area. With the leaves down and the eagle population up, viewing is even better on the river from the vantage of the River Gorge Explorer's observation desk. Bring your binoculars and dress appropriately for an eye-full of our national mascot. Along the way, we'll discuss the tumultuous history of this spectacular bird of prey from endangered days and back to its current protected status. Register here.
Get four seasons of fun with an Aquarium membership. Renew or purchase a membership today and enjoy special benefits all year long, like unlimited Aquarium admission and IMAX and River Gorge Explorer discounts. It’s also a great lasting – not last-minute – holiday gift option!