The Polar Express

The Polar Express

Climb aboard the Polar Express for an extraordinary 3D train ride to the North Pole. Grasp at snowflakes and duck as the train screeches into your lap.


Backstage Pass

New Backstage pass

Get VIP access to get up-close, feed, and touch Aquarium animals.



Searching for that perfect gift? Check out our online gift shop. We have hundreds of great items available that have been selected as "favorites" by animal lovers from coast-to-coast.

Seahorse and candy canes

Holidays Under the Peaks

Holidays Under the Peaks

You probably know that a group of fish is called a school. But did you know that a group of stingrays is called a fever? Frogs? An army. Butterflies? A flutter. And owls? A parliament. Whatever you call your group of loved ones, the holidays are a great time to spend with them at the Tennessee Aquarium. 

Guests are invited to meet a waddle of penguins, a shiver of sharks and a smack of jellyfish during Holidays Under the Peaks - November 22nd to January 6th. Aquarium educators and animal experts will deliver daily programs to help connect visitors to some of nature’s most wonderful gifts.

A company of parrots can be found during special scheduled programs in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari along with a menagerie of native and exotic creatures guests may encounter throughout the day.

SCUBA Claus will make his underwater appearances at the River Giants exhibit alongside some of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. Look for the jolly old elf weekends 11 am from Nov. 23rd - Dec. 22nd.

  • Holidays Under the Peaks Daily Schedule

Nov. 22, 2013 - Jan. 6, 2013

The Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Bird Shows in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari (River Journey)

10:45 am, 11 am, 12:30 pm, 12:45 pm, 2:00 pm & 2:15 pm 

Penguin Programs in Penguins’ Rock Gallery (Ocean Journey)

10:30 am and 1:30 pm 

Interactive Dive Shows in Secret Reef Exhibit (Ocean Journey)

11:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm & 2:30 pm 

Butterfly Releases in the Butterfly Garden (Ocean Journey)

10:30 am and 4:00 pm 

Additional Diver viewing:

Look for divers in the River Journey Building each day at 11 am and 2 pm. You’ll see them working in either the Nickajack Lake Exhibit or the River Giants Exhibit. 

SCUBA Claus Weekend Dive Schedule November 23rd – December 22nd 
Saturdays at 11 am & Sundays at 2 pm in the River Giants Exhibit:

 Nov 23 – 24 | Nov 30 – Dec 1 | Dec 7 – Dec 8 | Dec 14 – 15 | Dec 21 – 22

Sounds of the Season 

Enjoy live performances of seasonal music while visiting the Aquarium on the following dates:

Sat. Nov. 30 & Sun., Dec. 1 ~ 11 am - 3 pm

Paul Vogler provides lively steel drum music in Ocean Journey

Mon. - Fri., Dec. 1 - 6 ~ Noon - 2 pm                     

Matt Downer performs traditional Appalachian music in River Journey.

Wed. Dec. 4 ~ 11 – 11:30 am & 12:30 – 1 pm

Celebrate the season with the Ooltewah 8th Grade Choral Ensemble in Ocean Journey.

Sat. & Sun., Dec. 7 & 8 ~ 11 am – 3 pm

The music of rising Nashville artist Jessica Campbell provides a holiday vibe in Ocean Journey.   

Mon. - Fri., Dec. 9 - 13 ~ Noon - 2 pm                   

Matt Downer performs traditional Appalachian music in River Journey.

Sat. & Sun., Dec. 14 & 15 ~ Noon – 3 pm

Matt Downer performs traditional Appalachian music in River Journey.

Mon. - Fri., Dec. 16 -20 ~ Noon - 2 pm

Matt Downer performs traditional Appalachian music in River Journey.

Sat. & Sun., Dec. 21 & 22 ~ 11 am - 3 pm                            

Paul Vogler provides lively steel drum music in Ocean Journey

Mon., Dec 23 ~ Noon – 2 pm

Matt Downer performs traditional Appalachian music in River Journey.


November 29 - December 24:

Polar Express   Great White Shark Penguins 3d 


Extend Your Holiday Fun Aboard the River Gorge Explorer

Winter wonders abound aboard the River Gorge Explorer. Aquarium naturalists report more sightings of bald eagles in the Gorge as well as seasonal birds that only visit the area when it’s chilly outside. Fear not, fair-weather fans. The River Gorge Explorer is climate-controlled, so the weather inside is always comfortable. Escape the seasonal hustle and bustle with a relaxing trip into Tennessee’s Grand Canyon.  CLICK HERE for cruise times and to purchase tickets online.

Penguin opening gift

Fishing for that Perfect Present?

You can’t gift-wrap a penguin, but you CAN give family and friends the gift of a year’s worth of fun visiting thousands of amazing animals. Aquarium memberships help families reconnect and have fun with annual unlimited visits. In addition, members get discounts on: IMAX and River Gorge Explorer tickets, special events, gift shop purchases and travel adventures. Memberships also help support the Aquarium’s education and conservation initiatives. So giving an Aquarium membership is a gift that really keeps giving. Purchase an Aquarium family membership gift certificate online or by phone at 423-267-FISH (3474).

Visit the Tennessee Aquarium Online Gift Shop

The Tennessee Aquarium’s online gift shop makes holiday shopping fun and easy. For those wishing to give an experience, give someone a day out to the Aquarium, IMAX or Tennessee River Gorge Explorer with Tennessee Aquarium gift certificates. We also have a wide variety of unique t-shirts, mugs, books, jewelry and much more. Visit our online gift shop to find that perfect gift today! 

Special Holiday Events:

Winter Wildlife Cruise, “Eagle Eyes”
Saturday, December 28
2:00 – 4:00 PM  
Winter is prime time to watch for the arrival of wintering Bald Eagles in our area. So bring your binoculars and dress appropriately for eagle spotting. Learn how these majestic birds of prey have become an American conservation success story.  *Coupons and other discounts are not valid for this cruise.  

New Year’s Eve Sleep in the Deep
December 31st – January 1st, 2013
Usher in 2014 at the Tennessee Aquarium by registering for the New Year’s Eve Sleep in the Deep. Celebrate New Year’s Eve visiting animals and habitats from around the world and then raise a “midnight” toast with a sparkling non-alcoholic beverage. This night of adventure includes activities in both Aquarium buildings. Explore behind the scenes, get up-close with our critters, and at lights out, bed down in the Undersea Cavern of Ocean Journey. Includes overnight, guided tours, special activities, pizza and continental breakfast. Families with children AGE 6 AND OLDER, accompanied by an adult.

Breakfast with the Penguins … in 3D! 
Saturday, January 4
8:30 – 10:15 AM 
Enjoy a savory breakfast and presentation by our penguin expert in the IMAX Great Hall. Learn fun facts about our tuxedoed birds! Then see Penguins 3D, a heart-warming tale of one King Penguin who raises a family amidst millions of other penguins, feisty seals and enormous sea lions. Includes breakfast, penguin program, activities, souvenir, and IMAX 3D film.

Special thanks to our Holidays Under the Peaks sponsors: 

Big River Grille                WDEF News Channel 12      

 KZ106                 107.9 Big FM