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.



New Aquarium Exhibit Features Holographic Technology To Tell Story

Despite exhibiting some species that have existed long enough to earn distinction as “living fossils,” the Tennessee Aquarium is no stranger to being on the leading edge of technology.  From virtual reality immersive learning and the region’s first IMAX with Laser projection system to the world’s only tweeting electric eel, the Ocean Journey and River Journey buildings have ... (click for more)

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: The Start Of The Holidays

It’s that time of year again – shopping for that perfect gift, caroling, Christmas light shows, feasts and more. Tennessee has plenty of opportunities to make family memories while supplying every gift on the wishlist. For a complete list of events, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing Nashville –  Guests can  receive free admission  on Mondays ... (click for more)

$100,000 Powereball Winner In Greeneville

A Tennessee Lottery Powerball player in Greeneville woke up Thanksgiving morning a $100,000 winner.  The as-yet-unknown player matched 4 of 5 white balls drawn plus the Powerball in the Wednesday night drawing, which has a base prize of $50,000. Since he or she added the Power Play option for a dollar, the prize was multiplied by the Power Play number drawn, which was ... (click for more)

Hixson Burglary Suspect Tries To Swim Away; Deputies Catch Him In Borrowed Boat

A Hixson burglary suspect on Wednesday tried to swim away from deputies, but to no avail.   The proprietor of Chattanooga Fish and Fun was notified when his camera system was triggered by an individual attempting to break into his business. The owner immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and drove to the business location.   As deputies arrived on scene, ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Chicken Gun

On the very day when more poultry is consumed in the United States than at any other time in the year, fun-loving Wendell Burns shared a wonderful story about “The Chicken Gun.” What makes the tale even better is that it was designed and built to perfection by the folks at the Arnold Air Force Base that you know is near Tullahoma, Tn. Wendell’s mistake in sending the story is ... (click for more)