ripley's aquarium

5 Fun Things to Do at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg

If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies, Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg should be at the top of your bucket list! From interactive experiences with the animals to live shows, there’s something here for people of all ages to love. To help you make the most of your trip, here are 5 fun things to do at this exciting attraction!

1. Interact with the Animals

Ripleys Penguin PlaceMeet some fun-loving new friends face to beak in Penguin Encounter at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! You’ll have the chance to pet one of the playful penguins and get a souvenir photo with them. Watch one of the African Penguin artists in action as they paint you a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! Reach out and touch the stingrays as they glide by in the lagoon and ask an educator any questions you might have about these amazing creatures in Touch a Ray Bay. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can even get in the water and Splash with the Stingrays. You can also get a behind the scenes look at one of the training sessions with Sally the sea turtle and you might get the chance to feed her some lettuce in Turtle Time!

2. Take a Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Take a behind-the-scenes tour and discover how Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg keeps all of these amazing sea creatures happy and healthy. Along the way, you’ll be shown through staff only doors that will lead you to several life support rooms. You will also be able to see where the water quality is monitored and where the food is prepared for the animals.

3. Watch a Live Show

Live shows are both educational and entertaining! Watch divers interact with exotic creatures like Sally the sea turtle and other giant predators while they clean the aquarium’s largest exhibit in Shark Lagoon Dive. You can also observe a colony of African Penguins being fed and learn more about the challenges they face in today’s environment. When you watch the Coral Reef Dive, you’ll discover the world of coral reefs and about the many colorful fish that live there. During the summer months, there have even been mermaid dives!

4. Grab a Bite to Eat

It’s easy to work up an appetite when you’re having so much fun! Enjoy some quick and delicious food with the whole family at the Feeding Frenzy. This eatery offers a wide range of menu items at affordable prices. It also overlooks the Stingray Bay so you’ll have a meal and a show!

5. Visit the Gift Shop

Explore a unique collection of keepsakes at the Cargo Hold Gift Shop. You can browse a variety of marine treasures from around the world as well as the work of local artisans. These amazing items can serve as a reminder of all the fun you had during your adventure! They can also make great gifts for all of your sea creature loving friends and family members!

Be sure to check out our coupons page so you can save on tickets for Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg and other exciting Smoky Mountain attractions!