Kids Love the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has long been a favorite of kids and families vacationing to the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Voted the #1 Aquarium in the United States by TripAdvisor, this aquarium features interactive and awe-inspiring exhibits that keep guests returning year after year. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies highlights aquatic animals and their habitats from all over the world, even including live animal shows, divers, and mermaids!

Kids love Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies for a number of reasons – their attractions and exhibits cater to the younger crowd. Their educational and hands-on environment encourages kids to learn while they play. Ripley’s aims to educate their guests about conservation of all creatures and habitats, from ocean dwellers to practices that you can apply to your at-home life.

One of the aquarium’s newest exhibits, SLIME, is a display that the boys and girls are especially sure to love! In more than 30 interactive and educational displays, you and the kids will learn how these amazing aquatic animals use slime to live their lives underwater. Here you will be able to touch jellyfish at the touch tank jellyfish encounter and view more than 15 videos and interactive activities that help kids learn about these animals. You will also find species such as African lungfish, mud puppies, sea snails and slugs, soap fish, and much more.

Take the phrase “sleeping with the fishes” to a more literal level and spend the night with sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! Their Sleep with the Sharks program offers an opportunity for groups of children to spend the night in the aquarium’s incredible underwater tunnel. Surrounded by large sharks, tarpons, a sea turtle, and giant stingrays, this will be an experience the little ones won’t soon forget! The 340-foot-long tunnel allows you to catch an underwater glimpse into the lives of these sea creatures from underneath the crystal clear water.

When you spend the night at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you will enjoy a night of education and fun. After an 8:00 p.m. check-in, there will be a welcome and warm-up game, followed by a dive show and late night activity. Enjoy a dinner of pizza (or a healthier snack) before a scavenger hunt and self-guided tour of the aquarium. Set up camp in the Shark Lagoon and settle in for the night, and in the morning wake up for a continental breakfast and exciting creature feature!

There is a 12-child minimum, 100-child maximum for the spend-the-night program at Ripley’s Aquarium, and there is one complimentary adult for every 10 paid children. The program is available every night of the week, making it great for church groups and youth retreats in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers other exciting and fun spend-the-night adventures, including a PJ Party with the Penguins. Explore other Ripley’s attractions at their other spend-the-night adventures, including Bedtime with the Bizarre at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and Midnight with the Monsters at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure. There’s never a shortage of fun when you visit Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg!

If you’re staying in one of our fantastic Gatlinburg cabin rentals, you may not be up for spending the night in the aquarium. Luckily, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies features many other great interactive activities, including Splash with Stingrays and a Penguin Encounter where you can pet a penguin and meet one of these cute creatures face to face!

You won’t want to miss Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies’ live shows, which include diving at Shark Lagoon and Stingray Bay. Watch the penguins eat at the penguin feeding and attend a marine science class- all of these events are offered daily, giving you plenty of opportunity to catch all of the fun and action.

For more information about Ripley’s Aquairum of the Smokies and their exciting events that kids will love, visit:

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