The Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder, appreciation and protection of water and all life that it sustains. Admission is $29.95 per adult and $18.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $11.95 per adult and $9.95 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $37.95 for adults and $26.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.

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College students, staff and faculty and members of scouting organizations can take advantage of half-price admission to the Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater during the month of February. Discounts apply to Aquarium tickets and 45-minute IMAX film screenings as well as combo ticket purchases.

Scouts must wear their uniform or sash to receive the discount, which applies to everyone in the paying party. To receive the discount, college students must be enrolled at or employed by a physical or online institution and present a valid student ID or online transcript. College faculty and staff can take advantage of the discount by presenting a pay stub.

The discount is available to the entire visiting party and applies to all visits between February 1 and February 28.

This discount arrives just in time to offer a reprieve from slate gray winter skies and frigid temperatures. The Aquarium’s Ocean Journey and River Journey buildings are full of charismatic, colorful animals sure to help stave off the seasonal doldrums, from leaping lemurs, romping otters and flittering butterflies to cruising alligators and a world-famous tweeting Electric Eel.

Visitors arriving in February will be able to catch up on many recent additions to the Aquarium, including vividly violet Purple-stripe Jellyfish and a new display of freshwater pipefish.

Arriving in the waning months of 2017, the Tiny, But Mighty Important exhibit features an engaging suite of interactive and high-tech displays - including a holographic animation - that focus on the importance of small fish and human behaviors that impact water quality.

Across the street in the IMAX 3D Theater, visitors will have a choice of two exciting giant-screen films. Amazon Adventure 3D follows the real-life exploits of English naturalist Henry Bates, who spent a decade in the world’s largest rainforest conducting research that provided what Charles Darwin called “beautiful proof” for his theory of natural selection. The newest addition to the theater’s slate, Conquest of the Skies, presents a stunning examination of the 300-million-year history of nature’s domination of the heavens, from Paleozoic winged reptiles to darting hummingbirds and graceful Whooper Swans.

College and Scout Day Discount Rates*:

  • Tennessee Aquarium: $15 (adults and college students) / $9.50 (ages 3-12)
  • IMAX*: $6 (adults) / $5 (ages 3-12)
  • Tennessee Aquarium/IMAX combo ticket: $19 (adults) / $13.50 (ages 3-12)

* Ticket purchases must be redeemed during the month of February. IMAX discounts valid on 45-minute screenings, not feature-length films. 

From Atlas Beetles’ ponderous lift off to Starlings’ gracefully synchronized aerial maneuvering, Conquest of the Skies 3D covers the full gamut of natural flight.

On January 27, the newest film to fill the IMAX 3D Theater’s six-story screen gets even more incredible thanks to A Party in the Sky. This one-time event will feature pre- and post-screening activities that offer deeper insights into the eons-old story of how animals took to the heavens.

Before takeoff, kids will meet “Velcro,” the Aquarium’s Flying Squirrel and complete a crafting activity in the theater lobby.

For mid-flight entertainment, the Party continues with a screening of Conquest of the Skies. For 45 minutes, guests will be dazzled by slow-motion footage of hummingbirds jousting, awed by the soaring leaps of Harlequin Flying Frogs and taken back in time (courtesy of computer-generated animation) to watch winged reptiles make the nature’s forays into the Paleozoic skies.

After touchdown, the fun continues in a nearby classroom with bird- and flying insect-related games and activities that build on the film’s lessons.

Education staff overseeing the activities will ensure no kid leaves with questions unanswered or curiosity unsatisfied, says Aquarium Group Program Manager Carrie Shaw.

“I think kids will take away from the film that there are lots of different animals that have adapted to fly for lots of different reasons and in lots of different ways,” Shaw says. “Afterward, they can ask educators about what they saw. Normally, there’s not a lot of inquiry involved with seeing an IMAX film, so this is a good opportunity to connect with us and deepen their understanding.”

Even after the party ends, the learning doesn’t have to. By purchasing a separate admission to the Aquarium, guests can get up close and personal with a wide variety of natural aviators, from a Snowy Egret and native songbirds in the Mississippi Delta Country to dozens of Longwing Butterfly species flitting through the Butterfly Garden.

The Party in the Sky is scheduled for 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Jan. 27. Registration is $8 for Aquarium members (all ages) and $12 for non-members. Price includes a ticket to the 2 p.m. screening of Conquest of the Skies 3D. Optional admission to the Aquarium is $29.95 for adults, $18.95 for ages 3-12.

For more information about A Party in the Sky or to register in advance, visit


Wednesday, 16 March 2016 09:50

A Cliff-Hanger of an Event at IMAX March 22

Meet Climber and National Geographic Young Explorer Max Lowe

National Geographic Young Explorer Max Lowe has been climbing mountains around the world since he was able to walk. But, he never imagined he’d be clinging to an icy waterfall more than 150 feet above Lake Superior while waiting for a brutal winter storm to pass. “Temperatures with wind chills were below minus 30F and I struggled to hold onto the ice in the face of increasing wind and with fingers I couldn’t feel,” Lowe wrote in his National Geographic Adventure Blog. “It was, without a doubt, one of the coldest days I could remember spending out in the elements.”

Lowe and his climbing partners, step-father Conrad Ankar and friend Rachel Pohl endured the harsh elements while an IMAX crew set up a 3-D camera. The crew was waiting to catch the trio in action for the new film, National Parks Adventure 3D. In addition to cross-country skiing and ice-climbing, this movie is an action-packed off-trail adventure that showcases many of the outdoor adventure sports that helped build Chattanooga’s reputation as “Best Town Ever.” Audiences follow Lowe and his partners as they go rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, hiking and whitewater rafting in some of the most scenic units of America’s National Parks.

For Lowe, memories of the U.S. national parks are like memories of home, and helped to etch his persona. “I actually lived in Grand Teton National Park in what they call the Climber’s Camp,” said Lowe. “I was lucky to have the very wild, idyllic childhood that a lot of kids just don’t get anymore. I would be running around exploring while my dad was off climbing and my mom was painting. It was a great gift; I was brought up to be independent, to explore and to pursue what I loved.”

Lowe was recently filming in Port Angeles, Washington, the runner-up city in Outside Magazine’s 2015 Best Town Ever contest. He’s looking forward to visiting Chattanooga on Tuesday, March 22nd and sharing his stories about his outdoor adventures around the world and being featured in National Parks Adventure 3D. Lowe will introduce the film at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater and then mingle with guests at a special after-party at High Point Climbing and Fitness.

“I’m excited to share my personal connection with the parks,” said Lowe. “And because I love film and imagery and storytelling, it feels like a natural extension of everything I’ve been about all my life. IMAX is such an amazingly rich visual experience, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the importance of these largely untouched places that belong to us all.”

Most of all, Lowe hopes audiences will get a taste of what the wilderness has brought to him, even in times of tumult. “So many people today grow up in lit-up cities, where you can never even see the stars in the night sky. But I think it’s vital to humanity to see places that are so big and wild that we can hardly fathom them. I think humankind thrives on knowing wild places,” he comments.

Meet Max Lowe, National Geographic Young Explorer

Tuesday, March 22nd from 5:00 to 7:30pm

Admission: $26 per person – Ticket price includes film, appetizers, cash bar, and after-party at High Point Climbing and Fitness.

Register online:

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