If you haven’t visited Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies yet, you need to go the next time you’re in town! There are so many exotic animals you may have never seen before, so you really don’t want to miss out. It’s been named the best aquarium many times. Here are 3 things you’ll love about Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies:
1. Variety of Animals
Ripley’s Aquarium has a huge variety of animals. When you walk in, you’ll first come to the Tropical Rainforest exhibit. There are poisonous frogs, piranhas, and other kinds of fish. Ocean Realm includes weedy scorpionfish, spotted garden eels, and flounder. In the coral reef, you’ll see your favorite characters from “Finding Nemo:” orange and white clownfish and regal blue tangs. You’ll also see other colorful fish that would live in a coral reef, including butterflyfish and foxface rabbitfish. There’s an octopus, jellyfish, and Japanese spider crab. Plus, don’t forget about all the sharks, eels, and the sea turtle in Shark Lagoon! Sting Ray Bay has a ton of sting rays and small sharks. Plus, there’s a penguin playhouse where African penguins hang out all day. You and your kids will enjoy seeing this huge variety of creatures.
2. Interacting with Animals
At Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you have many opportunities to interact with the creatures. In the Discovery Center, you are able to touch the tops of jellyfish. Everyone loves touching them to see what they feel like. Don’t worry though, there’s an educator right by you to ensure everyone stays safe! You can also touch horseshoe crabs in this area as well. They are known as living fossils! Touch A Ray Bay is a huge portion of the aquarium where stingrays and sharks swim around. The rays have had their stingers removed, and you are allowed to pet the tops of these beautiful creatures. An educator is on site to remind you not to touch sharks or the bottom side of a stingray. For an extra fee, you can Splash with the Stingrays, which is where you get to get in the tank with one of the employees. You can also get face-to-face with a penguin at the Penguin Encounters for an additional fee. Kids learn even more with hands-on experience, and Ripley’s definitely provides this learning tool!
3. Extra Events
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has all kinds of extra events. Here’s a list of some of the fun things you can do in addition to regular aquarium admission:
Sensory Nights – Sensory Nights are designed for guests with autism who would be more comfortable in a quieter environment.
Sleep with the Sharks – Sleep with the Sharks is an overnight event for kids where they’ll go on a scavenger hunt, eat a snack, learn about the sharks, and sleep in the tunnel!
PJ Party with the Penguins – PJ Party with the Penguins is similar to Sleep with the Sharks, but the focus is on the penguins! Plus, you’ll get to meet them in person the next morning.
Penguin Encounter and Paint – You can choose between Penguin Encounter or Paint with the Penguins or do both! You can meet them face to face, and get a personalized painting from the penguins!
Splash with the Stingrays – Get in Touch A Ray Bay with an expert and meet the stingrays in their habitat during Splash with the Stingrays!
Behind the Scenes Tour – Go on a Behind the Scenes Tour to see how the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is ran day to day.
Spring and Summer Camps – These spring and summer camps are designed for kids to learn about the animals and how important preserving their environments are, plus they’ll get to do crafts, scavenger hunts, and more.
You’ll love all of these things about Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. It’s an attraction you don’t want to miss out on! Now all you need is a place to stay. Browse through our available rooms and book one for your next trip!