One of the largest in the country, the exhibits at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokey Mountains seemed to be endless! Around every corner there were signs that said “Aquarium continues this way”!
We were given the opportunity to touch the soft, smooth tops of the jelly fish and of course catch a feel of the sting rays wing as they swam by! Though the touch tank that normally houses the horse shoe crabs was closes until further notice, the ability to touch, and feel is a very important part of learning and the kids were very excited to have those opportunities!
Playing with penguins was and unexpected treat, after getting a front row view of the penguins being escorted through the Aquarium, we met them in the Penguin Playground! They were more than happy to have the kids to swim beside as the ran along the glass, and if you waved your hand along the glass, they would follow and swim up to you giving an up close and personal encounter you don’t get very many places!
Going UNDER the fish on the conveyer belt was such a beautiful sight! Having the opportunity to see the sharks, the sea turtles and all of the fish swimming all around us has always been an awe inspiring moment for us! It’s always an comforting moment when your kids take the time to learn about each individual creature, by reading the plaques conveniently placed at the base of the glass, perfect reading level for the little ones!
We even saw creatures we had never seen in an aquarium before like the GIANT spider crab! One of the FREAKIER creatures in the ENTIRE Aquarium!
We sat and ate our lunch in front of the huge sting ray display, where the kids were able to play and explore the scenery, and enjoy the serene beauty of the rays gliding through the water, as if they were flying through the air!
Not to forget about the bi-level playground they have nicely placed at the half-way point, along with the bathrooms so the parents can sit and relax while they kiddos climb and slide to their hearts content!
Straight from the mouth of the Kids!
We love to ask the kids about their favorites part of the day, and in the cases we visit a place of learning, we especially love to integrate the day into our lessons for each of them!
Ellie– The penguins, and the cow nose sting rays!
Josiah– Playing in the penguin playground!
Clara– Touching the sting rays, and finding out how soft jelly fish are!
Emelia– Touching the jelly fish and sting rays!
Over all, this place is top on our list of learning mixed with fun experiences!