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Winter Break

Yuletide FISH-tivities at the Tennessee Aquarium

Keeping Spirits Bright During Winter Break

Yuletide Fish-tivitiesThere’s lots to do in the 12 days after Christmas at the Tennessee Aquarium! In addition to more than one dozen daily keeper talks, animal programs and dive shows, Aquarium experts will offer Yuletide FISH-tivities each day from December 26 to January 6. These enriching and entertaining programs help extend the spirit of fun by focusing on the special gifts a wide variety of creatures have to thrive in their habitats. 

Some creatures have eye features that allow them to see equally on land and underwater. Others have offset ears to hear in surround-sound and extra vertebrae that allow them to see what’s directly behind them. Yuletide Fish-tivities are offered FREE with Aquarium admission and are available each day on a first-come, first served basis.


Day 1 – Colorful Fish
Thursday, December 26

Come to the Aquarium the day after Christmas for extended holiday fun.  Finish our “colorful fish” scavenger hunt for a special prize. 

10:30 am & Noon
Fish game in the River Journey Auditorium

10 am – 3 pm
Scavenger Hunt Hand-out and Prize Available in River Journey Lobby

Day 2 – Cephalopods
Friday, December 27   

Octopuses and cuttlefish, oh my!  Learn about octopus enrichment in a special keeper presentation and dissect a squid in one of our classrooms. Make a special octopus to take home.

11 am & 3 pm
Squid Dissection in Delta Swamp Classroom (limited to 20 children)

Enrichment Presentation in River Journey Auditorium

Day 3 – Sea Stars
Saturday, December 28 

You can’t take our sea stars home to put on top of next year’s tree – but you can watch awesome videos of sea stars eating, touch live sea stars and relatives, and make a fun ocean craft.

10 am - 3 pm
Sea Star Video Clips in Seahorse Gallery

10:30 am, 12:15, 1:15 & 2:30 pm
Sea Star Programs in Ranger Rick’s Backyard

Day 4  Turtles and Toads
Sunday, December 29

Meet one of the largest toad species and totally cool turtles during a special program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard.  Play a fun frog leaping game in the River Journey Auditorium and make a special craft.

10:30 am, 12:15, 1:15 & 2:30 pm
Turtles and Toads Presentation in Ranger Rick’s Backyard

11:30 am & 2:30 pm
Frog Game in the Auditorium 

Day 5  Penguins
Monday, December 30

Catch our daily penguin keeper presentations and fun games outside of the penguin gallery.  There will also be a few chances to go behind the scenes.  Add Penguins 3D at IMAX for just $6 to learn about the King Penguins of South Georgia Island.

10 am & Noon
Games outside of the Penguin Gallery

10:30 am & 1:30 pm
Penguin Keeper Presentation

Noon, 3 & 6 pm
Showings of Penguins 3D at IMAX

Day 6  Ancient Animals
Tuesday, December 31

What animals live at the Aquarium that also lived with dinosaurs?  Find out in our “Ancient Animals” scavenger hunt. Special ancient animal presentations will happen in Ranger Rick’s Backyard so that you can learn even more about these amazing animals.

10 am – 3 pm
Scavenger Hunt Hand-out and Prize Available in River Journey Lobby

1 & 1:15 pm Ancient Animal Presentations in Ranger Rick’s Backyard

Day 7  Seahorses
Wednesday, January 1  

During Seahorse Day at the Tennessee Aquarium you’ll meet the fish that can hold your hand. See feedings, go behind the scenes, build a seahorse from the top down and try your skill in a plankton eating contest.

10:15 am & 3:15 pm
Narrated seahorse feedings in Seahorse Gallery

Noon Seahorse Celebration Program in River Journey Auditorium

Day 8  Snakes and Lizards
Thursday, January 2

Can you find all the snakes and lizards at the Aquarium?  Our sneaky snake scavenger hunt will give you some clues.  Look for snakes and lizards at in Ranger Rick’s Backyard and make an super cool snake craft to take home.

10 am – 3 pm
Scavenger Hunt Hand-out and Prize Station in River Journey Lobby

10:30 am, 12:15, 1:15 & 2:30 pm Reptile Programs in Ranger Rick’s Backyard

Day 9  Fintastic Freshwater Fish
Friday, January 3

You’ll find a fun freshwater fish game in the Tennessee River Gallery and get a chance to go behind the scenes with some of these “fintastic” species.  Don’t miss freshwater feeding time in the Nickajack Lake exhibit.

10:45 & 11:15 am, 1:15 & 2:15 pm Pin the Fin on the Fish Game in Tennessee River Galley

2:00 pm Feeding in Lake Nickajack

Day 10  Birds That Fly
Saturday, January 4

Soaring high takes special feathers and flappers. We’ll reveal the science of flight during special presentations in the River Journey Auditorium.  Play a fun bird game or dissect an owl pellet! (Oh yeah, THAT kind of pellet.)  Make sure you have a camera ready during a special feeding of the Delta Country songbirds. They get super close at chow time.

10:15 am
“Bones and Feathers” presentation in the River Journey Auditorium

11:30 am & 2:45 pm
Bird games or craft for kids in the Auditorium

Dissect an owl pellet in the Delta Swamp classroom (Limited to 20 children)

1:30 pm
“The Science of Flight” presentation in the River Journey Auditorium

Day 11  Sharks
Sunday, January 5

Touch real shark teeth and skin at a biofact station in the Ocean Journey building and don’t miss our special shark-themed dive shows. Younger children can dress up as a shark in the River Journey lobby for a great photo opportunity. Check out the Aquarium’s “Blue Water, White Death” shark cage. Add Great White Shark 3D at IMAX for just $6 to go on a virtual cage dive with these massive ocean predators.

11 &11:30 am, 2 & 2:30 pm Shark Themed Dive Shows

11 am - Noon & 2 pm – 3 pm
Shark Biofact Cart in Ocean Journey

1 & 4 pm
Showings of Great White Shark 3D at IMAX

Day 12  Humans Underwater
Monday, January 6

Learn all about SCUBA diving from Aquarium experts during our special dive shows.  You can dress up like a diver and take a picture to show your friends. Don’t forget to make an awesome dive mask to take home.

11, 11:30 am, 2 & 2:30 pm  The Science of SCUBA Dive Shows

10 am – 2 pm  Gear Exploration Table in Ocean Journey Level 2 (Outside Penguins’ Rock)

All 12 Days

10 am - 2 pm
Craft and information table in the River Journey Lobby