6 Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies a must visit Gatlinburg TN attraction

It’s fun seeing different kinds of sea creatures when you go to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! Did you know that’s not all you can do at the aquarium in Gatlinburg? Ripley’s has all kinds of events your kids will love and want to participate in! Check out these 6 Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies events you don’t want to miss:

1. Glass Bottom Boat Adventure

You may already know you can travel under Shark Lagoon along a moving conveyor. Do you want to see the sharks and other sea creatures in this huge tank in a new way? Then you want to go on the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure! The glass bottom of the boat is 3 inches thick. You’ll be able to see sharks up to 12 feet long under your feet! You may also see eels, fish, various types of sharks, and you might even spot Sally the sea turtle! While you’re on the boat, the guide will tell you how they take care of the animals in Shark Lagoon and what it takes to maintain the tank. Only 10 people are allowed on the boat per ride, and they launch every 20 minutes. Your kids will love the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure!

2. Sleep With the Sharks

shark in aquariumHave your kids always wanted a sleepover with sharks? Now they can! At Sleep With the Sharks, you get to find out if sharks sleep. Your kids will be thrilled by a dive show, and then they get to go on a scavenger hunt! The will also get to do a late night activity. The next day, you and your kids can explore the rest of the aquarium! Sleep With the Sharks is a recurring event throughout the year, so check out the calendar to keep up with the next event!

3. Sensory Friendly Nights

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has recently been named a Certified Autism Center. They have met the requirements, in part, by having Sensory Friendly Nights at the aquarium. Usually there’s a time block from 5 pm to 9 pm where the sound is cut significantly for people with autism to have a fun experience! The staff at Ripley’s has been trained extensively on the needs of guests with autism, how to interact with them, and safety protocols. Your kids will have a great time at Sensory Friendly Nights, which are recurring throughout the year.

4. Pj Party with the Penguins

penguinsTake your kids to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to have a sleepover with penguins at Pj Party with the Penguins! Watch a dive show, go on a scavenger hunt all over the building, and enjoy a late night activity before you fall asleep in the Penguin Playhouse. The next day, you and your kids will wake up and get to meet penguins one on one! Then, you can explore the rest of the aquarium and learn about the other sea creatures.

5. Jr. Aquarist Camp

Are your kids interested in animals and want to learn more about them? Sign them up for Jr. Aquarist Camp! At this camp, your kids will learn what it takes to become a Ripley’s Jr. Aquarist. Experts will be brought in to teach your kids about marine science and conservation. They will learn more about testing water for quality for the animals. They will get to see behind the scenes for what it takes to feed the sharks and watch them eat. They can even get in the water with the rays while they eat. Your kids can even dissect a squid to learn more about them! They’ll love all these cool activities while they also learn about protecting these beautiful creatures at the Jr. Aquarist Camp. This is a recurring event throughout the year.

6. Expedition Camp

Expedition Camp is a great half-day activity for your kids if they love to learn about animals. Each session focuses on a different habitat and the animals that live in that area. During the camp, the kids will participate in story time, crafts, a scavenger hunt throughout the exhibits, and more! Plus, the kids will get to be up close and personal with creatures in the aquarium while they’re behind the scenes. Your kids will want to keep coming back for each Expedition Camp once they go to one of them!

You and your kids will love attending any of these events at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Wondering what else you can do when you stay in one of our cabins? We have free and discounted attractions through our Freedom Fun Pass.

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