School Group Programs

School Group Programs

Lunch & Learn, Classroom Programs and Auditorium Programs are FREE for school groups visiting the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX 3D Theater or River Gorge Explorer.

Education programs are available from September through May, Mondays through Fridays. FREE programs are limited to one per school group. Additional programs may be scheduled for $3 per student.

Click on the grade level links below to see full program descriptions.

Lunch & Learn Programs:

This is a great option for a tight schedule since it combines lunch time with an educational learning experience.  Lunch & Learn Programs last 45 minutes and may be scheduled at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM.

Pre K - K 1st & 2nd   3rd - 5th 6th - 8th 9th - 12th

Things to know about Lunch & Learn Programs:

  1. Bring your own lunches or buy them from the Aquarium. Boxed lunches must be purchased in advance for $6. They include a turkey and cheese sandwich, fruit, dessert and a drink.
  2. Lunches may be stored in the Aquarium buildings depending upon availability. If space is not available, lunches may be kept on the buses and brought to the classrooms before the program. Lunches should be packed together in boxes or coolers labeled with the school and teacher’s name. 
  3. Your group may be separated into different classrooms.  Please note that classroom assignments are subject to change. 
  4. Seating may not be available for all chaperones.

Classroom Programs:

Students are taught by an Aquarium Educator in our state of the art classrooms.  Programs last 45 minutes and may be scheduled at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM. New in 2014! Classroom programs are available beginning at 9 am.

Pre K - K 1st & 2nd   3rd - 5th 6th - 8th 9th - 12th

Auditorium Programs: 

Auditorium Programs are available to school groups of 50 or more students and can accommodate up to 185 people. Programs last 30 minutes and may be scheduled at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM.  The Tennessee River Auditorium is located on the A level of the River Journey building.

Pre K - K 1st & 2nd   3rd - 5th 6th - 8th 9th - 12th

Education Tours: 

The Tennessee Aquarium offers educational tours for school groups on weekdays September through March between the hours of 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM.  Please call Reservations for availability. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.

  • Behind the Scenes Tours 
    Find out how we recreate habitats in the Aquarium as you are led from the aquarium kitchen to the filtration room.  Behind the Scenes tours are 60 minutes long and are available for groups of students in grades 4-12 for a fee of $5.00 per student. Group size is limited to 15 participants per tour and we can offer up to 2 tours at the same time. 
  • Adaptations from A-Z Tours
    Aquarium educators guide your group through the Aquarium's galleries to explore the fascinating world of animal (and plant) adaptations. This 2.5 hour tour can accommodate 3rd through 8th grade groups of up to 100 and is an additional $3.00 per student. 

For more information about our programs, call Carrie Howell Shaw at (423) 785-4050 or email To schedule your programs call (423) 265-0698 or (800) 262-0695 ext 3600 and speak with a reservationist. The Tennessee Aquarium Group Reservation Department is available Monday through Friday 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM ET.