An Entire Season Of Fun, Above And Below The Surface

Holidays Under The Peaks At The Tennessee Aquarium Nov. 18 To Jan. 1

Friday, November 11, 2016 - by Thom Benson

Santa devotes a single night each year to spreading joy around the world, but during the annual Holidays Under the Peaks celebration, the Aquarium’s slate of family-friendly fun lasts throughout the season.

This year’s celebration runs Nov.

18 to Jan. 1, and the opportunities it affords families to make special memories with their loved ones are as numerous as toys in the Jolly Old Elf’s workshop. Guests of all ages will delight in a slew of new holiday programming, included free with admission, as well as the return of now-traditional activities, such as underwater appearances by SCUBA Claus and a Polar Express pajama party at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater.

Special Programming
Throughout the season, the Aquarium’s slate of daily Extraordinary Experiences — such as animal programs, hands-on encounters and dive shows — will continue uninterrupted. But during Holidays Under the Peaks, even more daily programs will roll out every two weeks, including:

  • An opossum program at 1:30 p.m. in the River Journey Lobby (Level 1) Nov. 18-Dec. 2.
  • A reptile program at 1:30 p.m. in the River Journey Delta (Level 3) Dec. 3-17
  • An octopus program at 1:30 p.m. in Ocean Journey (Level 2) Dec. 18-Jan. 1

Throughout the season, guests also will be able to get nose to shell with Horseshoe Crabs, Lightning Whelks, Crown Conchs and Top Crown Snails, as well as other aquatic beauties in the mobile Yule-tide Pool Touch Tank on the fourth floor of Ocean Journey.

A full list of the Aquarium’s year-round Extraordinary Experiences is available at http://www.tnaqua.org/animals-exhibits/extraordinary-experiences.
 
SCUBA Claus
As usual, St. Nick will slip on his fins and don his respirator for dives into the Nickajack Lake and River Giants exhibits Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 19 to Dec. 18. He says he’d love to stay longer, but he had to cut his dive schedule short because he had to prepare for “The Big Night.”

  • Saturday, Nov. 19 – 11 a.m. – Nickajack Lake
  • Sunday, Nov. 20 – 2 p.m. – River Giants
  • Saturday, Nov. 26 – 11 a.m. – River Giants
  • Sunday, Nov. 27 – 2 p.m. – Nickajack Lake
  • Saturday, Dec. 3 – 11 a.m. – Nickajack Lake
  • Sunday, Dec. 4 – 2 p.m. – River Giants
  • Saturday, Dec. 10 – 11 a.m. – River Giants
  • Sunday, Dec. 11 – 2 p.m. – Nickajack Lake
  • Saturday, Dec. 17 – 11 a.m. – Nickajack Lake
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 – 2 p.m. – River Giants 

Holidays at IMAX
[Note: A full schedule of IMAX screenings is available at http://www.tnaqua.org/calendar/month/category/imax-showtimes]

Showing throughout the holiday season, Jerusalem 3D takes audiences on an inspiring and eye-opening tour of one of the world’s oldest and most enigmatic cities. Destroyed and rebuilt countless times over 5,000 years, Jerusalem’s enduring appeal remains a mystery. Daily screenings begin Nov. 18.

 The holidays are a time to embrace joy and wonder in the world around you, and Wild Africa 3D offers an ideal way to do this via the astounding vistas and natural splendor of the wildest continent on the planet. Wild Africa 3D takes audiences on a “virtual safari” from the snow-capped mountains of Kenya to the coral reefs of the Red Sea. Along the way, they’ll witness natural marvels including the mass migration of Wildebeests across the savannahs of the Serengeti and the extraordinary mating rituals of thousands of flamingos on the shores of the volcanic Lake Bogoria.  

Additional Events

In addition to the recurring daily activities and screenings, Holidays Under the Peaks also includes a variety of other events and diversions:

  • During Caroling with the Fishes on Dec. 4, guests will be able to enjoy an after-hours trip to the Aquarium while surrounded by sounds of the season. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., visitors will make their way through galleries in both buildings that will ring to the sounds of holiday songs performed by singers (individual and choral) as well as local instrumental ensembles. Families can take home a keepsake photo of their visit with Santa then treat themselves to a seasonal beverage. Register for Caroling with the Fishes in advance at https://community.tnaqua.org/events/member-programs/winter/2016/caroling-with-the-fishes-2016  
     
  • Aquarium members also can take advantage of a 20 percent discount at the River Journey gift shop to squeeze in some holiday shopping during their visit. Or, purchase a gift membership for family or friends to provide a year’s worth of Aquarium visits, discounts on IMAX films, cruises aboard the River Gorge Explorer and other special events. 2017 will be an extra-special time to be a member. It’s the Aquarium’s 25th anniversary and members will be among the first to experience the new Lemur Forest exhibit when it opens next spring. Gift memberships are available online: http://www.tnaqua.org/members/gift-membership/
     
  • For years, families have made a Christmas Eve tradition of watching a screening of Polar Express on the enormous, six-story screen at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater. A trip to see Polar Express is always a special holiday treat, but it’s even more enjoyable when wearing a comfy set of pajamas. At 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18PJs and The Polar Express invites families to dress in their favorite pajamas — footed or open, silk or flannel — for a special screening. In addition to a 2-D screening of the animated holiday classic, guests will meet the Conductor, sip hot cocoa from Chattz on Market and snack on brunch muffins.
    Register in advance at https://community.tnaqua.org/events/member-programs/winter/2016/pjs-and-polar-express-saturday-morning-showing-Polar Express will return to IMAX on Dec. 24 for three additional showings at noon2 and 4 p.m.
     
  • Even Santa would be hard-pressed to fit the freshwater titans of the Monster Fish exhibit in his magical sack of presents. During Holidays Under the Peaks, visitors will continue to have access to this National Geographic exhibit, which is housed in the River Place building (adjacent to the Aquarium’s ticketing center). Admission is free with an Aquarium membership or general admission. A tour of the exhibit includes a variety of interactive, conservation-focused games and documentary screenings, but the centerpiece of the experience is taking stock of the life-size sculptures of more than 20 aquatic giants, all of them larger than six feet and topping 200 pounds.

Curb Free With Cory Lee Named Best Personal Blog By Webby Awards

Airbnb Delivered $22.4 Million In Tennessee Tax Revenue In First Year Of Agreement

Special Screenings Of CUBA Coming To IMAX May 3, 4, And 5


The Webby Awards announced Tuesday that Curb Free with Cory Lee, a travel blog by LaFayette local Cory Lee Woodard, has been named the Best Personal Blog/Website in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards. ... (click for more)

Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced Monday the company delivered a combined $22.4 million in tax revenue to Tennessee in the first year of its statewide ... (click for more)

About 93 miles south of the tip of Florida lies a land that has been preserved in time, yet poised on the cusp of dramatic change. Despite its geographic proximity to the United States, many ... (click for more)


Travel

Curb Free With Cory Lee Named Best Personal Blog By Webby Awards

The Webby Awards announced Tuesday that Curb Free with Cory Lee, a travel blog by LaFayette local Cory Lee Woodard, has been named the Best Personal Blog/Website in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the leading international awards ... (click for more)

Airbnb Delivered $22.4 Million In Tennessee Tax Revenue In First Year Of Agreement

Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced Monday the company delivered a combined $22.4 million in tax revenue to Tennessee in the first year of its statewide tax agreement, exceeding initial expectations. Collecting and remitting lodging taxes can be complicated and it is for this reason Airbnb has worked with hundreds of governments throughout ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County School Supt. Bryan Johnson Submits Budget That Requires A Tax Increase

County School Supt. Dr. Bryan Johnson said Thursday he is submitting a budget that is $34 million above the projected revenue. Asked where the $34 million would come from, Dr. Johnson said it would be "up to the funding body." If approved by the County School Board, the school board would go to the County Commission requiring a sizable tax increase. Dr. Johnson said he ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Red Wolves Investing $125 Million In East Ridge For Stadium, Mixed-Use Development

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC will build a state-of-the-art, soccer-specific stadium in East Ridge as part of a mixed-use development with living, working and entertaining opportunities. On Thursday, team owner Bob Martino presented renderings and the layout for the area, which will include the first-class professional stadium, housing, retail, restaurants, a hotel and significant greenspaces ... (click for more)

Opinion

How Can City, WWTA Get Away With Chronic Sewage Discharges Onto Our Streets?

A wastewater or service utility is simply a defined service in exchange for a fee. What if I pay a utility fee in exchange for a defined service, and the utility fails to deliver the service as agreed? As an example, I pay a private solid waste collection service to collect, transport, and dispose of garbage. Municipalities also operate waste collection and disposal. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Guest Columnists

Every day I get over 100 emails. Add what I find in My Morning Readings and I am a good candidate to be “Mr. Inspiration.” I have tried to figure out a way to pass some of what I believe are “The Wonders of Life” like I now do on weekends with “The Saturday Funnies.” You would have no idea how popular those jokes have become and several readers say they are the best thing I write ... (click for more)