Recently I had the chance to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies thanks toRipley’s and US Family Guide! This was my second visit to the aquarium but it was my husband’s first visit. Even though I’ve been to the aquarium previously I still very much enjoyed my visit there.
We happened to be visiting Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies the week before Christmas. If you’ve ever been to Gatlinburg in the winter then you know how Gatlinburg is lit up with Christmas lights so it was no surprise that the aquarium was decorated as well. As you approach the aquarium entrance you will see the giant Christmas tree with none other than Santa Claus sitting on a bench in front of the tree!
What happens when University of Kentucky fans see other UK fans while traveling? You ask them to take your picture because of course you can trust them with your camera, they are UK fans after all!! As we were admiring the tree and snapping some pictures of ourselves with Old Saint Nic, another couple, also dressed in UK gear asked if we would take their pictures and of course they offered to take our picture as well!
The ticket buying process at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is quick and easy! Even when I’ve been there during their peak times, the employees are very fast and efficient. They know that you came to visit the aquarium, not spend all day in line to buy tickets! To speed up the process you can also purchase your tickets online and skip the line!
Upon entering the aquarium you will first visit the Tropical Rainforest area where you will be greeted by Piranhas, Poisonous Dart Frogs and Anablebs, a 4-eyed fish from South America.
From the Tropical Rainforest you will move into the Ocean Realm. Here you will see beautiful schools of fish, Weedy Scorpion Fish, Flounder and Seahorses.
One of the things that I love about Ripley’s Aquarium is that it’s such an educational experience. Throughout the aquarium you will see information posted so that you can learn about each exhibit.
After exiting the Ocean Realm you step into what is my favorite part of the aquarium….Shark Lagoon! Inside Shark Lagoon you step onto a moving sidewalk which transports you through a tunnel where sharks, stingrays, and so many other species of fish are swimming around you and overhead. Below, you can check out my video from within the tunnel.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has so much to offer! I seriously could share pictures with you for days! My husband was like the shark paparazzi, snapping pictures of everything!
After exiting the Shark Lagoon there is so much more to see! I love seeing the jellyfish and watching them as they change colors. Be sure to check out the video below to see what happens.
If you have little ones with you be sure to stop in at the Discovery Center where your little ones can touch and learn about nature firsthand.
You will also want to check out the Penguin Playhouse where you can crawl through tunnels and see these amazing birds up close and personal!
Customize Your Visit
Your visit to the aquarium can be customized just for your group! Schedule a time in the Penguin Playhouse, splash with the stingrays or even schedule a sleepover! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers programs for school field trips, birthday parties, weddings and receptions, group outings and private events.
Even after you’ve seen all of the exhibits you’re visit is not complete without a visit to the Feeding Frenzy Cafe!
Cargo Hold Gift Shop
And finally, be sure to pick up a souvenir of your visit as you exit through the Cargo Hold gift shop!
If you’re ready to plan your visit we have a great deal for you!
Save on Tickets to Ripley’s Attractions
Our Readers Save $3 Off Adult and $2 Off Child Admission to all of Ripley’s Attractions in Tennessee. Use Online Promo Code: USFAMILYGUIDE Must purchase online.
This deal is valid for all 8 Ripley’s Attractions in Tennessee. Guinness World Records Museum, Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium, Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, and Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze
Have you visited Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies? What was your favorite part of your visit? If you haven’t visited yet, what do you want to see while you’re there?