Holidays Under the Peaks

The wonders of nature are some of the greatest gifts to share with family and friends. This year, the Aquarium is offering over a dozen fun ways to make special memories with the ones you love.

During Holidays Under the Peaks, November 20, 2015 – January 3, 2016, guests of all ages will be delighted by new holiday programs, offered FREE with admission, throughout both Aquarium buildings.  Meet fascinating creatures like the Peacock Mantis Shrimp, touch a Moon Jellyfish or catch a special reading of the Night Before Christmas (with a cajun twist) in the Delta Swamp as alligators swim by!  These new programs are offered in addition to our daily Extraordinary Experiences

November 20 - December 4

  • Opossum Program - 10:30 AM in the River Journey Lobby (Level 1)
  • Sea Star Program - 3:30 PM in Boneless Beauties (Ocean Journey Level 2)

December 5-19

  • Mantis Shrimp Program - 11:15 AM in Boneless Beauties (Ocean Journey Level 2)
  • Cajun Night Before Christmas Reading - 3:30 PM in the Delta Swamp (River Journey Level 3)

December 20 - January 3

  • Gopher Tortoise Program - 11:00 AM in the Delta Swamp (River Journey Level 3)
  • Moon Jelly Touch Tank - 2:00 PM in Jellies Living Art (Ocean Journey Level 1)


SCUBA Claus at the Aquarium

Look for the jolly old elf diving in the River Journey building Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 2pm from November 21 – December 20.  (After that he will be a busy guy.)  SCUBA Claus will be in Lake Nickajack on odd dates and in River Giants on even dates.

Special Event: Caroling with the Fishes

Sunday, December 6   |   6:00 - 9:30 pm 
Our galleries will be decked with sounds of the season—including Jazzanooga, Dan Landrum on the hammered dulcimer, flutes, strings and more! Here’s your chance to visit with Santa and take home a keepsake photo for a nominal fee. Enjoy holiday shopping with special discounts and extended hours at our River Journey Gift Shop. Gift boxes and shipping will be available. Traditional family caroling with the Metro Musicians in the auditorium concludes this night of fun and good cheer. Register now.

​Holidays at IMAX

Polar Express 3D

PolarExperiencing this holiday tale on the giant six-story screen has become a family tradition for many. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks upon a journey of self-discovery showing him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Audiences are drawn into this immersive film, grasping at falling snowflakes, ducking as the train screeches into their lap and feeling the howl of the steam whistle in surround sound. See showtimes.

Special Event: PJs and The Polar Express! 
Friday & Saturday, December 18-19   |   9:30 – 11:45 am
Choo! Choo! All aboard the Polar Express for a trip to the North Pole! Begin winter break in a leisurely style. Dress in your favorite pajamas and enjoy a special screening of The Polar Express 3D. This is your chance to meet the Conductor, sip hot cocoa from Chattz on Market, and enjoy brunch muffins before the movie. 

Register for Friday, December 18 or Saturday, December 19.

Jerusalem 3D

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. What made it so important to so many different cultures? How did it become the center of the world for three major religions? Why does it still matter to us? See showtimes.

Extend Your Holiday Adventure Aboard the River Gorge Explorer

RGEWinter 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

Winter Wildlife Cruise, "Eagle Eyes" 
Sunday, December 28     |      2:00 – 4:00 PM 
It’s prime time to watch for the arrival of wintering Bald Eagles in the our area! With the leaves fallen down and the eagle population soaring up, viewing is even better on the river from the vantage of the River Gorge Explorer's observation deck. Bring your binoculars and dress appropriately for an eye-full of our national mascot. Register Now.

Fishing for that Perfect Present?

GiftYou 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. 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).

The Tennessee Aquarium’s online gift shop makes holiday shopping fun and easy. We 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! 

More Holiday Fun!

Ice Skating Downtown

While downtown, families can enjoy ice skating on the riverfront. Ice on the Landing will open on November 20 just steps away from the Aquarium. According to Chattanooga Presents, this year a larger rink will be set up on the Chattanooga Green at Ross’ Landing.  It’s the perfect way to finish your holiday Aquarium adventure. (And, you never know when one of our penguin mascots might skate by!)


Make the most out of your holiday visit by downloading the FREE Tennessee Aquarium app from Android or the iTunes Store. Get reminders about daily programs, IMAX showtimes and more!

The Tennessee Aquarium is Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Special thanks to our Holidays Under the Peaks sponsors: