“Ghosts Of The Forest” Will Welcome Guests To AquaScarium

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - by Thom Benson

As they wander through Lemur Forest on Oct. 27, guests to the AquaScarium Halloween party at the Tennessee Aquarium will find their steps watched from above by creatures with a cute-but-eerie appearance. The new exhibit’s namesake residents have eyes that seem to glow in the dark and furry faces that appear to be wearing masks.

In their native Madagascar, Red-ruffed, Ring-tailed and other lemur species are frequently referred to as “Ghosts of the Forest” courtesy of their eerie vocalizations, which fill the island nation’s wildlands with unusual — sometimes spooky — echoes.


“The first time our guests hear our Red-ruffed Lemurs barking and howling, they’re a bit shocked,” says Chelsea Feast, one of the Aquarium’s lemur experts. Feast, who recently visited Madagascar, says even the Ring-tails make sounds that could be a bit unsettling if you heard them in the dark. “They make a sound that’s a bit like a cat mewing. It probably sounds pretty strange to most people the first time they hear it.”

AquaScarium will get off to a howling good start at 4 p.m. this year. There will be trick-or-treat stations throughout both buildings with activities like the Monster Mash dance floor spilling out onto the Aquarium Plaza. Face-painters, costumed SCUBA divers, pirates, mermaids and special animal encounters await families during this night of fun.

AquaScarium continues until 8:30 p.m., well past the Aquarium’s normal 6 p.m. closing time. Exploring the Aquarium after hours is always a treat, but it’s especially exciting when you have the opportunity to meet a mad scientist or pose for pictures with a costumed Aquarium mascot along the way.

Families are encouraged to come dressed for the season. A large part of the fun is seeing the creative costumes that others are sporting.

The Tennessee Aquarium’s AquaScarium is a spirited, safe Halloween party for all ages, but younger guests must be accompanied by an adult. Aquarium members and their children can attend at a discounted rate of $8. Non-member tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for ages 3-18. All tickets include admission to both Aquarium buildings and includes AquaScarium activities like face painting.

Aquarium family memberships are available for $175 and include year-long unlimited daily admission for two specified adults and five unspecified children ages 18 and under. Aquarium members also enjoy reduced admission to special events, such as AquaScarium, fall color cruises, and IMAX films. Some special events, such as Caroling with the Fishes on Dec. 3, are free for Aquarium members. www.tnaqua.org/members

To pre-purchase AquaScarium tickets online, visit https://community.tnaqua.org/events/member-programs/fall/2017/aquascarium. Tickets also will be available at the door.


Rivers To Oceans: An Evening With Ocean Explorer Fabien Cousteau

It’s almost unimaginable anyone would give a preschooler a weight belt, mask and air tank and invite them to dive into the open ocean. Unless of course, his or her last name is Cousteau. “I’ve been SCUBA diving since my fourth birthday,” laughs Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed ocean advocate and documentarian Jacques Cousteau. “It’s always been an integral part of my life. ... (click for more)

This Week's Tennessee Tourism Round Up

 Witness fire breathers, compete in a city-wide scavenger hunt, join an interpretive hike, watch a free movie under the stars, strike a pose with yoga on the field, listen to live music or go to festivals like the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree. Here are the events going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing ... (click for more)

Alexander Says There Is No Doubt Russia Interfered In 2016 Presidential Election

Senator Lamar Alexander on Monday released the following statement on Russia:   “There is no doubt that Russia interfered in our 2016 presidential election. On July 3, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a bipartisan report that agreed with the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in our 2016 presidential election. Last ... (click for more)

Senator Watson And Rep. Hazlewood Ask TDOT To Move Swiftly On Highway 127 Road Project Up Signal Mountain

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road. ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)