Chattanooga Things to Do

First admittance to the Aquarium is at 10 a.m. with last admittance at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. The Gift Shops close at 6:30 p.m. The Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater are open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Check the River Gorge Explorer schedule for cruise times. The Aquarium ticketing center opens at 9:30 a.m. daily.


Chattanooga Riverboat Cruise
A Chattanooga Riverboat Cruise on the River Gorge Explorer is part thrill ride and part nature tour.


IMAX Theater

So real, It's unreal
The huge, six-story screen at the IMAX 3D Theater puts YOU in the action. Travel to undersea reefs filled with colorful creatures, or visit exotic locations from around the world.


Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

Use this handy form to ask the Aquarium expert. We have scientists who know amphibians, birds, fish, insects, invertebrates, reptiles or mammals.



river scenes

Fueled by historical accounts ranging from Native American folklore to modern advances that helped tame a wild Tennessee River, artist Claire Nivola rendered 53 medallions which depict Chattanooga’s amazing story. This online guide provides the stories behind Nivola’s art.


Things to Do at the Tennessee Aquarium

Family Fun Top 10The Tennessee Aquarium is rated by locals and visitors alike as one of the best things to do in Chattanooga.  Looking for a money-saving deal better than any coupon?  Buy a combination ticket to the Aquarium, River Gorge Explorer and/or IMAX and save. 

Tennessee Aquarium – The top-rated aquarium in America offers a journey through two buildings loaded with things to do and engaging experiences on Chattanooga’s beautiful downtown riverfront.  River Journey fascinates visitors with river otters, turtles, alligators, giant catfish and thousands of freshwater wonders.  Ocean Journey delights guests with penguins, sharks, butterflies and often scuba divers who interact with guests.  Plan at least two hours for your aquarium visit.  Aquarium admission includes access to both River Journey and Ocean Journey. Tickets are good all day so you can come and go and take advantage of these great combination ticket deals. Ticket Information

IMAX Movie Theater – With a brand new state-of-the-art sound system and six-story screen, this IMAX movie theater is one of the best things to do in Chattanooga.  Plan on 45 minutes for a traditional IMAX film and add it to your aquarium visit for only $6. Check movie showtimes.

River Gorge Explorer – Four water jets propel this hydrofoil-assisted vessel smoothly and swiftly downstream. Angled seating allows each guest to relax in the climate-controlled cabin and enjoy the scenic beauty and wildlife through oversized windows.  River cruises last two to three hours. Riverboat Tickets and Schedule.

Backstage Pass – The hottest new addition to the list of things to do in Chattanooga.  Get VIP access to be up close, touch and feed Aquarium animals.  Go behind the scenes and put yourself in the boots of one of the Aquarium’s animal keepers.  Each tour lasts about 45 minutes. Go Backstage.

Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari – The Tennessee Aquarium is bringing kids, nature and fun together in a new experience. Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari  is located in the lower level of the River Journey building next to the Seahorse Gallery. Animal presentations will be offered daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. Learn more.

Chattanooga Hotel Packages – Book a hotel package that includes accommodations and attraction tickets and save.  It’s one of the best deals for a Chattanooga getaway. Chattanooga Hotels.



Current Weather

Best of the Best
 All exhibit galleries are fully accessible. Wheelchairs are available for rent on a first come first serve basis (no reservations). The rental fee is $7 (members receive a 10% discount). A drivers license is required to hold until the unit is returned. The wheelchair rentals are located at the Guest Services Information Desk at the River Journey exit.

Strollers are permitted in the Aquarium buildings and back packs are free for toddlers. For your safety, strollers and crocs (or similar soft shoes) are not allowed on escalators; however, elevators are available in all buildings. 

Sensory Bags are available for visually impaired guests and guests with special needs.

No weapons, smoking, refreshments or pets permitted in the Aquarium.

Accessibility Image
Campus Map
Aquarium campus map
Downloadable PDF Brochure
2011 Tennessee Aquarium brochure 
Backstage Pass

NEW Backstage Passes will give you VIP access to get up-close, feed, and actually touch Aquarium animals.
go backstage...

Sleepovers at the Aquarium

Ever dream of sleeping under the peaks alongside sharks, stingrays and more? Now is your chance.

Traveling with Kids

Chattanooga's fun museum for kids! Visit the Creative Discovery Museum. Pilot a riverboat, dig for dinosaur bones, make sculptures and build a car at this hands-on children’s museum full of family fun.

Traveling with your Pet

Planning a trip to Chattanooga? Bring your pet! We've got tips and links to pet-friendly hotels and boarding facilities.

Fun Stuff

Check out this fun-filled page with links to interactive games and other activities. Enjoy some of these items at home or download maps to help you "dive deeper" into your next Aquarium visit.

Chatter Magazine

Check out the digital version of Chattanooga's Chatter Magazine.

Live, Local Weather Report

Thanks to a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Tennessee Aquarium has a new weather station with live webcam. Get instant access to current weather conditions in downtown Chattanooga.
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By diving in now, you'll be among the first to learn about new animals and exhibits, conservation programs, special events at the Aquarium and new films coming to the IMAX 3D Theater.