No Passport Required For This Tropical Holiday Adventure

World-Wide Fun Right Down The Road At The Tennessee Aquarium

Monday, November 3, 2008 - by Thom L. Benson

Visiting exotic locations in every corner of the world is just a short trip down the road in downtown Chattanooga. Relax and enjoy waves of fun by cruising over to the Tennessee Aquarium for "A Tropical Holiday Adventure" Nov. 21 through Jan. 4.

This quick trip allows people to bask in balmy temperatures while enjoying crystal clear ocean views, Caribbean holiday music, cascading waterfalls and lush tropical forests. Throughout this journey guests will learn more about exotic island and underwater wildlife in a relaxed setting.

Venture into a Brazilian rain forest to hear the call of the hyacinth macaws. Through the lush vegetation the brilliant blue and vivid yellow of the largest member of the parrot family really stands out. Each day visitors will get a chance to see these "Parrot Heads" display some remarkable behaviors during a special keeper talk that is engaging for all ages.



Travel to the Secret Reef where tropically clad Santa divers lead visitors on a Gulf of Mexico adventure through a spectacular coral reef filled with big, toothy sharks and a multitude of colorful fish. Move into the shallows at Shark Island where guests will feel like they are "down under" while feeding stingrays and bamboo sharks. Relax and reach out. All of the aquatic residents at Shark Islandare friendly and welcome the human touch.

Meander through a tropical forest filled with hundreds of beautiful butterflies. Every day dozens are hatched and released to swirl around the exotic plants that provide nectar and shelter. Festive looking wood partridges from Borneo and Sumatra can be seen strutting among the butterfly trees searching for seeds and fruit. Peaceful, relaxing and awesome are words visitors use to describe this slice of paradise.

The fun extends throughout both buildings at the Tennessee Aquarium. Recharge while enjoying the exotic animals that dwell in the tropical habitats in the Rivers of the World gallery in River Journey. Or check out the high energy antics of the river otters during "enrichment" time. See what happens when treats like ice and toys mix with the Aquarium's wacky otters. No passports are required to hopscotch the world to see seahorses and seadragons. Enjoy watching these animals from Tasmania to Southeast Asia during an afternoon feeding show.

"Ho, Ho, H20" daily schedule - Nov. 21-Jan. 4
(The Aquarium is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)
-10:15 a.m. – See keepers surface feed stingrays & bamboo sharks -- Ocean Journey – Tropical Cove, Shark Island, Level 4
-10:30 a.m. – Delight in the first flight of butterflies when they are released into a lush tropical garden – Ocean Journey – Butterfly Garden, Level 4
-11 a.m. – Talk to tropical "Santa" divers as they take you on a shark-filled journey through spectacular coral formations – Ocean Journey -- Secret Reef, Level 2
-11:15a.m. - You otter chill out with the river otters during "enrichment" time. See what happens when treats, ice and toys mix with two playful otters – River Journey – Cove Forest, Level 4
-11:30 a.m. - Talk to tropical "Santa" divers as they take you on a shark-filled journey through spectacular coral formations – Ocean Journey -- Secret Reef, Level 2
-1 p.m. -- Get a gander at one of the real "Parrot Heads," the highly social hyacinth macaw, during this program that explores the bold behaviors and adaptations of the largest member of the parrot family – Ocean Journey – Tropical Cove, Level 4
-2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. -- Talk to tropical "Santa" divers as they take you on a shark-filled journey through spectacular coral formations – Ocean Journey -- Secret Reef, Level 2
-3:30 p.m. -- Join the seahorses for their version of "Slurpin' a Cheeseburger in Paradise" and discover what these steeds of the deep really eat – River Journey, Level A
-4 p.m. – Surround yourself with butterflies and meet their perfect compliment, two partridges living near the trees - Ocean Journey – Butterfly Garden, Level 4

Relax and enjoy the holiday magic of The Light Before Christmas or The Polar Express 3D at the IMAX Theater. The Light Before Christmas leads audiences on an adventure into the classic tale, "The Night Before Christmas." The animation style is reminiscent of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and fills the giant IMAX screen with lavishly detailed sets.

The Polar Express 3D has become a family tradition for many. This heart-warming film starring Tom Hanks tells of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. Audiences grab at snowflakes during this amazing 3D film.


Tennessee Tourism Announces June - December Events

Tennessee travelers find music continuously flows through every nook in the state from world-famous events like the Grand Ole Opry’s 90 th  Birthday Bash in Nashville, Boomsday in Knoxville, and Elvis Week in Memphis to small towns keeping music roots preserved like at the Rockabilly Fest in Jackson, Blue Plum Art & Music Festival in Johnson City, and Uncle Dave Macon Days ... (click for more)

Hike Rugby! Event Will Be March 14

The Friends of the Rugby State Natural Area and Historic Rugby, Inc. will kick off the 2015 season on Saturday, March 14, with an opportunity to see beyond the buildings in the National Register Historic District of Rugby, Tn. Free morning and afternoon guided hikes on up to seven different trails will take participants to early settler home sites and ... (click for more)

Snow In Today's Forecast After Balmy Wednesday; Hamilton County Schools, CCS, State Offices Closed Thursday

Temperatures were mild on Wednesday, reaching 74 degrees, but they began dropping as the day went on - leading to a winter weather advisory. The advisory went into effect at 4 a.m. on Thursday and is to continue until 4 p.m. The forecast is for freezing rain,sleet and snow. Hamilton County Schools will be closed Thursday . Officials said, "Due to the continued drop in temperatures ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Indicts Mark Kaylor In Alleged Beating Case; He Resigns From Red Bank Police; His Attorney Asks For Trial

A Red Bank officer was indicted on Wednesday by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on charges related to an alleged assault against a detainee. At the same time, Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said he had accepted the resignation of Officer Mark Kaylor. The Hamilton County District Attorney General’s Office earlier said it had reviewed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)