A trip to Gatlinburg isn’t complete without exploring all the fun Ripley’s attractions. Perhaps the most popular is the incredible aquarium that Ripley’s erected in 2000. For over 20 years, this aquarium has played host to millions of visitors. With over 10,000 exotic sea creatures, there is so much to see at this Smoky Mountains attraction. Here are 4 things to do at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg TN:
1. Glass Bottom Boat Adventure
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the sea creatures within the aquarium, the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure is the perfect activity for you. On this adventure, the only thing separating you from the creatures lurking below is 3 inches of glass. They don’t call it Shark Lagoon for nothing, so keep an eye out for fins and teeth. The Adventure Crew on the boat will be there to educate you about the over 8,500 aquatic animals residing in Shark Lagoon.
2. Turtle Time
Hang out with one of the oldest and most popular residents at Ripley’s Aquarium, Sally the sea turtle during Turtle Time. Here, you’ll get to feed Sally her daily lettuce and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium. After a 10 minute classroom program dedicated to teaching you about the aquarium and Sally, you’ll get a tour of the husbandry department, as well as a look at one of Sally’s training sessions.
3. Penguin Paintings and Encounter
Come make a penguin pal at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg TN at either the Penguin Painting Experience or Penguin Encounter. At the Penguin Encounter you can interact with Ripley’s penguins within their state of the art indoor and outdoor habitat. You’ll be able to pet the penguins and the expert staff will educate you on these amazing creatures as you watch them play.
At the Penguin Painting Experience, you’ll get to see African Penguin artists in action and you can even take home one of their pieces. You can collaborate with these talented animals to create a one-of-a-kind painting that’s worthy to be exhibited in your home.
4. Aquarium Camps
Guests of all ages are invited to the awesome camps hosted at Ripley’s Aquarium! These fun, educational and interactive camps will help you create memories that you’ll never forget! Choose between the Expedition Camp, Jr. Aquarist Camp and the Vet Camp.
At the Expedition Camp, you’ll spend a half-day meeting animals, doing arts and crafts and going on a scavenger hunt throughout the aquarium. Campers will also enjoy some storytime and snacks. Ages 4-7 are recommended for this camp.
At the Jr. Aquarist Camp you’ll get a first-hand experience of what it takes to become a Ripley’s Jr. Aquarist. At this camp you’ll learn all about marine science and conservation, and how Ripley’s is doing its part to protect the oceans and the creatures within. Ages 8-14 are recommended for this camp.
For those interested in being a marine veterinarian, the Vet Camp is a great choice for you! During this camp you’ll get to see what Ripley’s marine vets are responsible for, including suturing, reading ultrasounds and more! Ages 9-14 are recommended for this camp.
Now that you know a few more things to do at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg TN, you can purchase your tickets. Are you still looking for a place to stay on your next trip to the Smoky Mountains? Check out all of our Gatlinburg cabins and stay near fun attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium!