Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies - Gatlinburg

Saturday, June 9, 2012

One of the most amazing attractions in Gatlinburg is Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. You will easily spend a few hours in amazement as you stroll by {and under} the various exotic displays.  I am fascinated with the natural world around us and enjoy introducing it to my children.
The kids love seeing the live Jelly Fish!  On our family vacation last year, they were able to see one as well... except that was one that came ashore and was left behind by the waves.  That wasn't a great experience for them.  Having the opportunity to watch the Jelly Fish swim and float while behind a glass wall - the kids highly approved!  Though, you can see that Savannah was still a bit worried.

The Giant Crabs were among my favorite stops at the aquarium.  Our eyes immediately fixated on the enormity of their shells and how tall they stood. Turning the corner into the room with their display, they will immediately capture your attention.  The kids were leery and took a moment to slowly approach the glass.

Another beautiful creature you won't want to pass by is the Weedy Sea Dragon.  I tried to take a picture and capture its beauty and splendor as it glided through the waters.  However, I wasn't able to get a shot without a glare.  So I guess you will have to visit Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and see it for yourself.
Currently, there is a fantastic Shark display at this Ripley's Aquarium.  Walking through the special observation tunnel, you will be able to see all types of fish swimming above and around you.  Included in this tank, you will find sharks! How amazing and surreal to see a shark swimming overhead!  The kids were intimidated by it in the beginning, but by the time we reach the end of the tunnel - they were ready to turn around and go through it again.

It was amazing to see the peacefulness at which all the different types of fish swam through the tank and inhabited it together.  

Savannah loved seeing schools of fish.  She was fascinated at how well they swam together and stayed together at every turn.

They have also set aside a special section dedicated to sharks and a lot of incredible information about this amazing creature!  There are interactive displays the kids can use to help solidify their understanding of different shark facts.

The most adorable exhibit is by far the penguins!  How can you not love penguins!  They were by far the biggest amusement to the children in the aquarium that day.  At various times throughout the day, you can assemble in front of their exhibit to learn more about these adorable little animals.  I never knew how high maintenance they are!  You'll be amazed at all there is to know about penguins.

Check here for location, hours and ticket information - Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

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