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sleep in the deep

Sleep in the Deep | Large Groups

The Sleep in the Deep Program is offered any day that the Aquarium is open except for the months of June and July or when the facilities are booked for other events. Overnights are limited to a maximum of 80 participants and require a minimum of 30 to reserve a date. If your group is interested in reserving a date, please put a plan together soon as weekends fill quickly. All overnights include guided tours of River Journey and Ocean Journey, mini Behind-the-Scenes tour, evening snack, critter encounter and continental breakfast. Children must be at least six years of age and must be accompanied by chaperones in a ratio of at least one chaperone to ten children. Additional chaperones are welcome if space permits. 

If your group is interested in a date, please put a plan together soon, as some dates fill up quickly (Saturdays in January, February, March and April are often booked six months in advance). A minimum of one month’s notice is required to reserve a date. Note: All Friday and Saturday nights have been reserved through July of 2014. The first available weekends begin in August. 

Your reservation is not confirmed until your deposit has been received. Deposits are due two weeks after you have booked your date. All deposits are $500.00 and nonrefundable. Deposits can be paid with organization checks, cashiers checks (no personal checks) or over the phone with a credit card. Nonpayment of deposit will be viewed as canceling the reservation and the date will be open to other groups.


Friday or Saturday Overnight, Dinner & IMAX film
Overnight and IMAX film $55
Sunday through Thursday
Overnight and Dinner
Overnight only

* Please be aware that the IMAX film schedule is subject to changes that may make it impossible for your group to view an IMAX film.

If you need to cancel a reservation, your deposit can be applied to a new date provided that you give us at least two week’s notice. There is no refund for individual members of your group who cancel after your final numbers are established and your final payment has been made.

To inquire about dates or for more information about the large group overnight program (groups must have thirty to eighty participants), please email us at or leave a message at (423) 785-4175 or (800) 262-0695, ext. 4175.

Sleep in the Deep patch“Sleep in the Deep” patches are here!

They’re a great souvenir of your overnight experience at the Tennessee Aquarium. The patches cost $3.50 each and you can order them before or after your trip. To order the patches please contact us via email at




Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during the overnight?
A typical schedule includes: brief tour of Ocean Journey with Behind the Scenes stop, dinner (if included), IMAX film (if included), tour of River Journey with Behind the Scenes stops, snack, critter encounter, continue tour of Ocean Journey, bed down around 11:30 pm, lights out at midnight, breakfast at 7:30 am, final touring in River Journey, leave at 8:30 am.

Will we see the whole facility?
A complete tour is planned. Provided your group follows our plan, all exhibits will be seen.

Where and when will we sleep?
We plan for groups to bed down at 11:30 pm as the lighting turns off by midnight. Groups may sleep in one of two locations: Ocean Journey’s Undersea Cavern or River Journey’s River Giants. All sleeping areas have a carpeted surface.

What time should we arrive?
The program begins at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, so we need your entire group at the Aquarium site around 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. If you are coming from the Central Time Zone, keep in mind that we are an hour ahead of you.

Where should we park? Is parking provided?

There are six public parking faculties within easy walking distance of the Aquarium. The closest and easiest to use is directly in front of our River Journey building and is paid at a flat rate. Unfortunately we are unable to provide parking for your group. If arriving by bus, bus parking is available by the IMAX Center but you must arrive prior to 6:00 pm to secure that parking.

After we arrive, where should we meet?
The overnight staff will meet you near the River Journey Member’s Reception entrance at the large white tent. This is located between the two Aquarium Buildings.

What is included in the meals?
Dinner - includes at least two slices of pepperoni or cheese pizza, carrots, a cookie, lemonade or water.

Snacks - water along with bags of Chex Mix, Cheez Its, pretzels or similar items.

Breakfast - includes mini bagels and spreads with a selection of fruit juices. (Coffee will be available for adults.)

What IMAX film will my group view?
Overnight groups typically see the 8:00 pm movie. The IMAX schedule changes often, so check about a month before your date.

If we choose a night without the IMAX film option, how will we spend the extra time?
You will have more time to tour the exhibits and take things at a slower pace.

What is the minimum age for participating in an overnight?
Only attendees six years or older will be allowed to participate in the overnight.

Is this only for children’s groups?
While most of our groups are schools, scouts and youth groups, we can take groups of any age.

How many adults are required?
For every group of ten children attending, one adult is required. For example, if you bring 27 children you need at least three adults.

Can we have more than 80 participants?
At this time we can not comfortably accommodate more than 80 people. If we went over this number we could not guarantee the quality of the experience.

Do all adults have to sleep at the aquarium?
If there are adults with your group that cannot stay the night, they may be able to leave around 11:30 pm. But you must still maintain the 1 to 10 ratio and adults not spending the night will still pay the same amount.

When is the program over?
The program is schedule to end by 8:30 am Eastern Time.

Are there showers available during our overnight?
Showers are not available, but there will be restrooms with sinks if people care to wash faces, brush teeth, etc.

After the program ends, will we get to tour on our own?
Reentry to the Tennessee Aquarium is not an option as our staff needs this time to prepare the building for guests.

Will there be time to look in the Gift Shops?
The gift shops at River Journey and Ocean Journey close at 6:00 pm and do not reopen until 10:00 am the following morning. If you care to look in the shops, please plan to arrive by 5:00 pm.

When can we get Tennessee Aquarium Sleep in the Deep Patches?
Patches may be purchased before or after your overnight. Please contact Thaddeus Taylor by e-mail for purchases or additional questions.

How much is our deposit and when is it due?
All deposits are $500.00. Deposits are due two weeks after you book your event. This information will be sent to you in a confirmation letter shortly after your tentative reservation is made.

When should our final payment be made?

You must be paid in full for all of your confirmed attendees two weeks before your scheduled event. Payments will be used to determine your final number which we use for ordering food and staffing. Additional attendees may be added to your reservation after this point provided that payment accompanies these additions. You have up to two days before the event to increase your number. This information will be sent to you in a confirmation letter shortly after your reservation is made.

These are the group forms needed for each event:

pdf Waiver of Liability
pdf Behavior Contract