Activities & Events at Ripley’s Aquarium In Gatlinburg

If you think you know what an aquarium is all about, you’ve never been to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! Yes, you’ll get to see penguins and stingrays and sharks and LOADS of fish, but did you know that at Ripley’s you’ll also get the chance to participate in unique experiences like a FREE fish manicure at its Swarm Exhibit? With two levels and a variety of activities to enjoy, Ripley’s Aquarium is your one-stop exhibit for education and entertainment when you visit the Smokies.

Behind the Scenes
When you visit Ripley’s Aquarium, be sure to reserve your behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. A Ripley’s staff member will take you “back stage” to see where the water quality for the aquarium is monitored, where the animals’ food is prepared, and all the hard work that is put in to make sure these animals have everthing they need to remain happy and healthy while at Ripley’s. (Cost is $14.99 per person.) For those looking to take their aquarium visit to the next level, try one of these behind-the-scenes encounters for an experience you’ll never forget!

  • Penguin Encounter—Interact with some of Ripley’s most adorable creatures with this behind-the-scenes experience. You’ll get to pet a penguin, take a souvenir photo, and learn interesting facts from an Aquarium staff expert. (Cost is $39.99 per person.)
  • Splash with the Stingrays—Get up close and personal with these exciting creatures on a Ripley’s stingray encounter. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes tour, a souvenir T-shirt, and a chance to touch one of these amazing animals for yourself! (Cost is $29.99 per person.)

Just for Kids
Ripley’s Aquarium is a perfect place for the whole family to have fun—especially the kiddos! In fact, Ripley’s offers several unique experiences just for kids that will give your children the chance to learn, explore, and have fun all at the same time!

  • Jr Aquarist Camp—Sign your little aquarists up for a chance to learn and be inspired by marine science and conservation practices. They will spend the whole day learning and exploring the aquarium as well as get the chance to go behind the scenes during a shark feed, get in the water with stingrays, dissect a squid, and more! (Cost is $79.99 per person.)
  • Kids Night Out—Parents, if you’re looking for a chance to get away yourselves, consider signing your children up for Kids Night Out at the aquarium. This is a perfectly safe way for your kids to learn and have a great time while you’re away. They will explore the aquarium with scavenger hunts and participate in a variety of science experiments and artistic activities. And they’ll get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of camping in the Shark Lagoon tunnel! This experience also includes a late night snack and breakfast the next morning. (Cost is $39.99 per person.)

General Info
Tickets to the aquarium are $24.99 per person for adults. Children ages 2-5 are $5.99 each, and children ages 6-11 are $13.99 each. For more information about ticket pricing or to purchase tickets, click here. Discounts are available for AAA and AARP members, active military, and retired military.


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