3 Exciting Activities at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

3 Exciting Activities at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Are you looking for more things to do during your stay in one of our Smoky Mountain cabins? Do you love the ocean and all its magnificent creatures? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, let us tell you about a must-see attraction! Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the popular things to do in Gatlinburg, and it was on USA Today’s list of “Top Aquariums in the Nation!” Read on to learn more! Here is a list of 3 exciting activities at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies:

1. Glass Bottom Boat

One notable area of the aquarium is the Shark Lagoon. It was a rich ecosystem of over 8,500 marine creatures representing more than 75 different species. As the name implies, there are giant 12-foot sharks. There is also a great number of smaller fish swimming about as well as colorful marine plants. See it all at your feet when you set sail on the Glass Bottom Boat. The aquarium’s staff will be available to tell you more about the animals during the ride. They will also give visitors the inside scoop on everything that goes into maintaining the aquarium.

2. Penguin Playhouse

ripley's aquarium of the smokiesRipley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is also home to the Penguin Playhouse. It is regarded as one of the best penguin exhibits in the world. All visitors, especially kids, love to crawl through the tunnels and watch the penguins as they waddle and play. Get an even closer look when you get tickets to special events, such as the Penguin Painting Experience. Watch the penguins as they create works of art using their feet. All participants get to help create a painting and keep it as a souvenir. There is also the Penguin Encounter where visitors get to pet a penguin and get a picture with it. There is no wrong choice, as you will have a fun time at both events!

3. Touch a Ray Bay and Live Dive Shows

Another up-close experience with marine life here is Touch a Ray Bay. Watch the stingrays as they gracefully float about the water. Reach out to touch their smooth backs when they come close. Their soft skin is called cartilage, and humans have it on their ears and nose. Other unique features of a stingray include their ears. Their main food sources include shrimp and moderately sized fish. They find them by detecting vibrations using hairlike cells in the inner ear. These stingrays at Touch a Ray Bay don’t have their pointy barbs, so visitors don’t have to worry about getting stung. The staff at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is at every exhibit to tell you all about the various creatures and the ocean itself. In some instances, they may participate in Live Dive shows and teach visitors from behind the glass.

We hope you get to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to experience all these fun activities! Looking for more fun things to do in the area? Check out our list of the top free and affordable things to do in Gatlinburg!  

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