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Field Trip Information

Please read the following field trip information carefully before you arrive! This information will prepare you for a successful experience at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Chaperone Information
Payment and Cancellation Information
Name tags
Education Programs
Activity Sheets
Lunch
Restrooms
Aquarium Orientation
Encounter Exhibit Guidelines
Sensory Bags
IMAX 3D Theater and Orientation
Movie Protocol
Movie Snack Packs
Gift Shops
Directions
Bus Parking
School Group Behavior Contract PDF
Complimentary Admission Reservation Sheet PDF

Chaperone Information

Please organize your class into small groups. Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater policy requires one chaperone for every ten students for grades 3 - 12 and one chaperone for every 5 students for grades Pre-K - 2. Only the required number of chaperones may receive complimentary passes to the Aquarium and the IMAX Theater. Additional adults may purchase their tickets individually upon arrival or the additional cost may be added to the group payment. Each chaperone must wear the sticker supplied at check-in.

Chaperones must remain with their group at all times.

Payment

One person must handle payment for the entire group upon arrival by either school check, MC, VISA, Discover, AMEX or cash. Be sure to have your children and adult counts ready for the cashier.

Click here to see current Education Group Rates

Cancellation Policy

To cancel or receive more information about the Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater cancellation policy, please call Reservations at (423) 265-0698. Groups that fail to cancel within 48 hours of their field trip or fail to arrive will be charged a $50 cancellation fee.

Name Tags

Please provide a name tag for each student which includes the school name. They may be stick-on or attached with safety pins or string. Be sure that they are fastened securely. Each required chaperone must wear the Aquarium chaperone sticker supplied at check-in.

Education Programs

A FREE educational program is available for school groups when visiting the Tennessee Aquarium and/or IMAX Theater. Students in grades K-12 have the opportunity to experience learning in an exciting way by participating in hands-on, minds-on programs in our classrooms or auditorium at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Click here to learn more about our classroom or Auditorium Education Programs.

Activity Sheets

Click here to see a list of Downloadable Activities.

If you have scheduled an education program...
It is helpful to provide the students with background information for their Aquarium program so that every group receives the full educational experience. You will find Activity Sheets for your specific program next to the program name on our website.

Please Keep in Mind!
Writing against the exhibits or graphic panels may scratch the acrylic so please provide each student with something to write on and a pencil.

Lunch

When planning lunch for your group, please keep in mind that although you may purchase snack items for the IMAX Theater, food (this includes gum) is not allowed in the Aquarium. No food storage or eating areas are available within either building, so please plan your lunches accordingly. Groups will be asked to leave lunch boxes on the bus or in a sheltered location on the plaza before they visit the Aquarium or IMAX Theater. There are opportunities to have a picnic lunch outside the Aquarium. Two sheltered outdoor areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Your bus driver may deliver your lunches and return to bus parking. The Aquarium Refreshment Center is located just outside the Gift Shop of the River Journey Building.

Click here to find out about our Lunch and Learn programs!

Restrooms

There are restroom facilities and water fountains on Ross's Landing Park & Plaza, under the arches to the left (west) of the Aquarium. In the Ocean Journey Building, restrooms and water fountains are located in the Tropical Cove and on the ground floor. Restrooms and water fountains in the River Journey building are located in the lower lobby and in Discovery Hall on the third floor. Restrooms are also located on either side of the queuing area within the IMAX Center. If you are scheduled for a school program, plan your restroom time accordingly.

Aquarium Orientation

Your education experience begins with an orientation prior to entering the building. A Guest Services Associate will greet your group at the bus and take your signed Behavior Contract. If no associate is available, please go to the ticketing area and notify the attendant that your group has arrived.
It is necessary to arrive 30 minutes early if you have scheduled an education program. This will ensure ample time for both the orientation and a restroom break. If your group is late, your program may be cancelled to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Due to limited space in the buildings, groups cannot be admitted until their scheduled entrance time on the confirmation letter.

Ocean Journey

The path through Ocean Journey is one-way, beginning with the Tropical Cove on the 4th level. From the Cove, it’s on to Shark Island, Butterfly Garden, Penguins’ Rock, Secret Reef, Boneless Beauties and the Undersea Cavern. The trip through Ocean Journey will take about 1 hour.

River Journey

The path through River Journey is one-way, beginning with a visit to Seahorses on the “A” Level, followed by a four story escalator ride to the Riverview Room. Your journey then follows a drop of water from its origin in the Appalachian Mountains through the river and delta systems and out into the Gulf of Mexico. The trip through River Journey will take about 1.5 hours.

Encounter Exhibit Guidelines


The Tennessee Aquarium offers two opportunities for your students to have an encounter experience with our animals. To ensure your student’s success and safety, they must follow the two finger touch policy while visiting Sturgeon Encounter and Shark Island.

Students and chaperones must never attempt to hold or restrain the sturgeon, sharks or stingrays.

The Butterfly Garden offers a fascinating experience with hundreds of tropical butterflies.

Butterflies are fragile and are not to be handled by students or chaperones!
Butterflies may land on you, enabling you to closely observe them, but please do not touch! They should fly off before you exit the garden. If not, please see the attendant at the exit for assistance in removing the butterfly.

Sensory Bags

Educational materials are available for visually impaired students. Each Sensory bag consists of a duffel bag (one for Ocean Journey and one for River Journey) which has hands-on props and printed out teacher information for dictation.

If someone in your group would like to use the sensory bag during their visit, please check with a Guest Services Associate when you arrive.

IMAX 3D Theater and Orientation

IMAX Movie Schedule

The IMAX 3D Theater is located on Chestnut Street across from the Tennessee Aquarium. Your IMAX movie will take approximately 45 minutes. It is necessary to arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the movie. If you are late and have scheduled a classroom program, your program may be cancelled to ensure that your group arrives in the theater on time. A Guest Services Associate will greet your group at the bus and confirm your reservation. As part of your visit, your group will be given an orientation prior to entering the theater. There will also be time for your group to use the restrooms. Group seating begins 15 minutes prior to the start of the movie. Due to the IMAX schedule and to insure the safety of our visitors, no groups are allowed into the theater once the house lights have dimmed.

IMAX Educator Guides are available for many of the films we show.

Teachers guide for Grand Canyon Adventure PDF (5MB)
Dolphins and Whales Educators Resource Guide PDF (5MB)

Movie Protocol

It is important to enter the theater in a single line as the lighting is dim. School groups will be seated in the front of the theater to insure unobstructed viewing. Groups will be ushered to their seats and be seated together. The Tennessee Aquarium Shops at both the River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings feature merchandise that reflects the many exhibits your students have just seen. The Geo Store at the IMAX Center offers items related to the movies that are currently showing.ether. If you are seeing a 3-D movie, a Guest Services Associate will hand out your 3-D glasses at the entrance to the theater and will collect the glasses at the conclusion of the show. Disruptive and unsafe behaviors are prohibited, so please encourage your students to be on their best behavior. Please refrain from talking during the movie and turn cell phones off. Disorderly groups will be asked to leave the theater.

Movie Snack Packs

The IMAX Center offers a snack pack for school groups. The snack packs are $2.00 each and includes a snack item and a Sprite, no substitutions. Snack Packs may be picked up at the IMAX concession stand.

To order Snack Packs please call:
1-800-262-0695 ext. 4199 or (423) 785-4199 to leave a message after normal business hours. You may also email us at lsk@tnaqua.org.

Orders must be made at least one week prior to your visit. School checks will be accepted as payment and will be accepted at the IMAX concession stand or any Aquarium Gift Shop. Please make payment separate from Admission check.

Gift Shops

The Tennessee Aquarium Shops at both the River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings feature merchandise that reflects the many exhibits your students have just seen. The Geo Store at the IMAX Center offers items related to the movies that are currently showing.

No time to shop? All stores offer a fun pack for $5.00 containing some of our most popular and fun items for kids. A Fun Pack Contains: (Items may change according to availability.)

 

Penguin lanyard key chain
Ocean putty with 2 plastic fish
A fish coin holder
Bubbles in a fish bottle
Growing butterfly toy

For older students order an engraved dog tag necklace! To receive order forms and more details, contact the Aquarium Gift Shop at the number listed below.

;

We also offer a white T-shirt with the Tennessee Aquarium Logo for $8 (a $10.95 value).
Shirts come in child sizes (S, M & L) and adult sizes (S, M, L, XL & 2XL).

To order Fun Packs, T-shirts or dog tags, please call the Aquarium Gift Shops at: 1-800-262-0695 ext. 4199 or (423) 785-4199 to leave a message after normal business hours.
You may also email us at lsk@tnaqua.org.

Orders must be made at least one week prior to your visit. School checks will be accepted as payment and will be accepted at any Aquarium Gift Shop. Please make payment separate from Admission check. Your order will be bagged and waiting for you at the specified gift shop at the end of your visit.

How to Get Here

Click Here to see a Google Map

FROM KNOXVILLE AND POINTS NORTH

  1. Take I-75 South to Chattanooga.
  2. Take I-24 West to downtown Chattanooga.
  3. Once downtown, follow US Hwy 27 North.
  4. Take Exit 1C (4th Street).
    Turn Left at the 2nd light on Broad Street.
  5. The Aquarium is 2 blocks straight ahead.
    Stay in the middle lane.
  6. Buses may drop off and pick up students in the turn around directly in front of the Aquarium.

For IMAX, go one block up from the Aquarium on Broad Street, turn west on 3rd Street, circle behind the IMAX and drop students off on 2nd Street.

FROM ATLANTA AND POINTS SOUTH

1. Take I-75 North to Chattanooga.
2. Follow Directions 2-6 above.

FROM NASHVILLE AND POINTS WEST

1. Take I-24 East to Chattanooga.
2. Follow Directions 3-6 above.

FROM HUNTSVILLE AND POINTS SOUTHWEST

1. Take I-59 North to I-24.
2. Take I-24 East to downtown Chattanooga.
3. Follow Directions 3-6 above.

 

Bus Parking

DIRECTIONS TO FREE BUS PARKING FROM THE AQUARIUM

Park “A” - Take Chestnut St. north to Riverfront Parkway. Turn left and park under the Olgiati Bridge (Hwy 27) in the designated bus parking.

Park “B” - If parking is not available at “A”, continue on Riverfront Parkway to the intersection with MLK Jr. Blvd. Turn left on MLK and then turn left at the 1st traffic light, Gateway Ave. Parking is on the right side of Gateway and 6th St. To return to the Aquarium, simply continue on 6th St. to Chestnut or Broad Sts. and turn left.

Park “C” - Do not turn left on MLK. Continue on Riverfront Parkway. Take the first right after both Kelly Cadillac Used Car lots.

Limited parking is available along Power Alley and 2nd Street next to the IMAX. This is your best option if arriving early in the day.

We hope this information will help make your visit to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga a more valuable educational experience.

Please read your confirmation letter and packet contents. Your signed Behavior Contract and Free and Reduced Lunch Reservation Sheet must be returned by
mail or fax no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your visit and a copy presented at the time of payment.

Remember to call the Reservations Department with a final number no later than 48 hours before your reservation date. Carefully check your schedule and call if you have any questions.  

Tennessee Aquarium Reservations Department
P.O.Box 11048
Chattanooga, TN 37401-2048

Phone: (800) 262-0695, ext. 3600
           (423) 265-0698
Fax:     (423) 785-2029 

A FREE educational program is available for school groups when visiting the Tennessee Aquarium and/or IMAX Theater. CLICK HERE to see a list of available programs for your school group.

For information about our educational programs, please contact:
George Bartnik, (423) 785-4049 or
Jennifer Latour, (423) 785-4050
Toll Free: (800) 262-0695 ext. 4049 or 4050

 



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