Ultimate Guide to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
One of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg is Ripley’s Aquarium! This is a great activity for people of all ages, from small kids to grandparents. The only requirement to enjoy the aquarium is you have to love animals. While you are there, your family can learn about thousands of creatures, take part in hands-on exhibits, and see a variety of shows. To make the most out of your trip, check out this ultimate guide to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies:
What You Will See
At the aquarium, you can get a close up view of over 10,000 exotic creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and even penguins! The attraction showcases 10 uniquely themed galleries to explore, including the popular Coral Reef exhibit. You can also take a stroll through the Shark Lagoon, where you will see all different types of fish and sharks, such as the sandtiger shark and the nurturing nurse shark. The neatest part about this exhibit is you get to ride on the 340-foot long moving floor. As you glide along, see if you can spot the green sea turtle munching on some sea grass!
When you get to the aquarium, be sure to pick up a daily show schedule so you can catch one of the entertaining spectacles during your adventure. Some of the daily shows include the Penguin Parade, Ray Bay Dive, Coral Reef Dive, and Penguin Feedings. During the Penguin Parade, your family can watch as one of the African penguins is chosen to walk through the aquarium! You will be amazed to see one of the creatures waddling through the crowds of the aquarium, waving to the guests and making new friends along the way!
Hands-On Exhibits for the Family
The thing that sets Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies apart from other aquariums is their use of hands-on activities for families. Instead of just listening to information about the animals, they allow you to get an up close view and become a part of the exhibit. In the Penguin Playhouse, your children can climb through a tunnel that will lead to a glass tube inside the penguins’ domain. There they can get a fascinating view of the aquarium’s fluffy penguin friends as they play in the water and sunbathe. Be sure to also visit the Touch a Ray Bay, where your family can reach down into a pool of water and pet a stingray!
Shops and Snacks
After your day at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you will want a souvenir to take back home to remember all the fun you had! In the Cargo Hold Gift Shop, you can find all types of souvenirs, including apparel, stuffed animals, books, and so much more! If you get hungry during your day among the fish, be sure to stop by Feeding Frenzy for a variety of snacks for your crew. You are sure to find something everyone loves, even the pickiest of little minos!
Now that you have the ultimate guide to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, be sure to check out these other things to do in the Smokies for some more fun ideas for the family! We look forward to seeing you soon!