Backstage Pass

New Backstage pass

Get VIP access to get up-close, feed, and touch Aquarium animals.



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

Ranger Rick

Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari

Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari



Ranger Rick

In partnership with National Wildlife Federation

The Tennessee Aquarium is bringing kids, nature and fun together in a new experience. Special animal shows are offered daily at 10:45 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 12:45 pm, 2:00 pm and 2:15 pm. Meet additional creatures on weekends from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Get up close to one of the largest owls in the world, the Eurasian eagle owl. Or get introduced to a friendly groundhog or another native critter from our region - a Virginia opossum. Slither with a legless lizard and be amazed while you’re surrounded by notorious piranhas. Encounter red-fronted macaws or rose-breasted cockatoos as they fly through the gallery and learn why kids all over the world treasure these furry, feathered and finny friends.

Come with a sense of adventure. Leave inspired to care for the wildlife in your own backyard!

Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari


Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari in River Journey
Daily at 10:45 am, 11 am, 12:30 pm, 12:45 pm, 2:00 pm and 2:15 pm
You’ll meet fantastic animals such as red-fronted macaws, a possum, eagle owl or groundhog. Stop by for additional animal action on weekends from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm  In addition to the special main stage shows, you’ll meet a variety of amazing critters presented by Aquarium staff during up-close animal encounter programs.

Secret Reef Exhibit in Ocean Journey
Daily at 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 and 2:30 pm
Ask our scuba divers questions during special dive shows

Penguins’ Rock in Ocean Journey
Monday through Friday at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
Quiz our experts while they are feeding our gentoo and macaroni penguins.

Secret Reef Exhibit in Ocean Journey
Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:15 pm
Check out the big, toothy sharks and colorful fish during feeding time..

Lake Nickajack Exhibit in River Journey
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2 pm
Enjoy SCUBA divers feeding paddlefish, sturgeon and gnarly gar.

River Giants Exhibit in River Journey
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 2 pm
SCUBA divers hand feed wallago and redtail catfish while giant Australian whiptail stingrays feast in front of guests.


SCUBA divers help ensure the health of our animals by performing underwater cleaning duties. Wave and the divers will wave back. If they have time, you might try beating them at a quick game of rock, paper, scissors.

Lake Nickajack Exhibit in River Journey
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:00 am

River Giants Exhibit in River Journey
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11:00 am

How did they do that? Go behind the scenes of the making of our Ranger Rick commercial.

Location & Schedule

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.

Meet the Safari Animals

The animals are the stars of Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari. Some will make you laugh, others may make you shiver. Some you can touch. Some you won't want to.

Fun Activities

Solve a puzzle, create a bird feeder or play a game! Ranger Rick invites all explorers to discover these fun activities before or after you visit the Tennessee Aquarium.

Your Backyard Habitat

After visiting Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari, you’re ready to explore your own backyard with new eyes. What creatures are living there now and how can you make it a better place for more animals?

Bug Club

Curious young naturalists will love learning about fascinating multi-legged creatures. Membership includes a monthly newsletter (the Monthly Moult), fun meetings and a Bug Club t-shirt.

Safari Links

Fun and educational links about wildlife and nature
more info...

Buy Tickets Online

Buy your tickets online now for no waiting in line.