Large Groups

The Sleep in the Deep Program is offered any day that the Aquarium is open except for the months of June and July or when the facilities are booked for other events.

Please note that all Fridays and Saturdays are full for group overnights until August 2020 and September 2020, respectively.  Overnights are limited to a maximum of 80 participants and require a minimum of 30 to reserve a date. If your group is interested in reserving a date, please put a plan together as weekends fill quickly. All overnights include guided tours of River Journey and Ocean Journey, mini Behind-the-Scenes tour, evening snack, and critter encounter. Children must be at least six years of age and must be accompanied by chaperones in a ratio of at least one chaperone to ten children. Additional chaperones are welcome if space permits. 

If your group is interested in a date, please put a plan together soon, as some dates fill up quickly (Saturdays in January, February, March, and April are often booked six months in advance). A minimum of one month’s notice is required to reserve a date.  

Your reservation is not confirmed until your deposit has been received. Deposits are due two weeks after you have booked your date. All deposits are $500.00 and nonrefundable. Deposits can be paid with organization checks, cashiers checks (no personal checks) or over the phone with a credit card. Nonpayment of the deposit will be viewed as canceling the reservation and the date will be open to other groups.


Overnight, Dinner, and IMAX film   |   $60
Overnight and IMAX film   |   $55
Overnight and Dinner   |   $55
Overnight only   |   $50

* Please be aware that the IMAX film schedule is subject to changes that may make it impossible for your group to view an IMAX film.

If you need to cancel a reservation, your deposit can be applied to a new date provided that you give us at least two week’s notice. There is no refund for individual members of your group who cancel after your final numbers are established and your final payment has been made. 

To inquire about dates or for more information about the large group overnight program (groups must have thirty to eighty participants), please email us at or leave a message at (423) 785-4062 or (800) 262-0695, ext. 4062.

“Sleep in the Deep” patches are here! They’re a great souvenir of your overnight experience at the Tennessee Aquarium. The patches cost $3.50 each and you can order them before or after your trip. To order the patches please contact us via email at

Frequently Asked Questions 

What happens during the overnight?
A typical schedule includes a brief tour of Ocean Journey with Behind the Scenes stop, dinner (if included), a tour of River Journey with Behind the Scenes stops, snack, critter encounter, bed down around 11:30 pm, lights out at midnight, and leave at 7:30 am.

Will we see the whole facility?
A complete tour is planned. Provided your group follows our plan, all exhibits will be seen.

Where and when will we sleep?
We plan for groups to bed down at 11:30 pm as the lighting turns off by midnight. Small groups will sleep beside River Journey’s River Giants exhibit. All sleeping areas have a carpeted surface.

What time should we arrive?
The program begins at 5:15 pm Eastern Time, so we need your entire group available for check-in at 5:15. If you are coming from the Central Time Zone, keep in mind that we are an hour ahead of you. 

Where should we park? Is parking provided?
There are six public parking faculties within easy walking distance of the Aquarium. The closest and easiest to use is directly in front of our River Journey building and is paid at a flat rate. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide parking for your group. If arriving by bus, bus parking is available by the IMAX Center but you must arrive prior to 5:00 pm to secure that parking. 

After we arrive, where should we meet?
The overnight staff will meet you near the River Journey Member’s Reception entrance at the large white tent. This is located between the two Aquarium Buildings. 

What is included in the meals?
Dinner - includes at least two slices of pepperoni or cheese pizza, carrots, a cookie, lemonade or water.

Snacks - water along with bags of Chex Mix, Cheez-Its, pretzels or similar items.

What IMAX film will my group view?
Overnight groups typically see the 4:00 pm movie. The IMAX schedule changes often, so check about a month before your date.

If we choose a night without the IMAX film option, how will we spend the extra time?
You will have more time to tour the exhibits and take things at a slower pace or we may have a special activity for the small groups.

What is the minimum age for participating in an overnight?
Only attendees six years or older will be allowed to participate in the overnight.

How many adults are required?
For every group of ten children attending, one adult is required. For example, if you bring 17 children you need two adults.

Can we have more than 20 participants?
If your group will be larger then 20, you will need to reserve a date for a large group overnight (30 – 80 participants)

Do all adults have to sleep at the aquarium?
Generally yes. If your group has more than the required number of chaperones some may be able to leave provided the 1:10 ratio is maintained. 

When is the program over?
The program is scheduled to end by 7:30 am Eastern Time.

Are there showers available during our overnight?
Showers are not available, but there will be restrooms with sinks if people care to wash faces, brush teeth, etc.

After the program ends, will we get to tour on our own?
Reentry to the Tennessee Aquarium is not an option as our staff needs this time to prepare the building for guests.

Will there be time to look in the Gift Shops?
The gift shops at River Journey and Ocean Journey close at 6:00 pm and do not reopen until 10:00 am the following morning. If you care to look in the shops, please plan to arrive before 5:00 pm.

When can we get Tennessee Aquarium Sleep in the Deep Patches?
Patches may be purchased before or after your overnight. For purchases or additional questions, please email us at

How much is our deposit and when is it due?
All deposits are $500.00. Deposits are due two weeks after you reserve your spots. This information will be sent to you in a tentative reservation letter shortly after your reservation is made.

When should our final payment be made?
You must be paid in full for all of your confirmed attendees two weeks before your event. This information will be sent to you in a confirmation letter shortly after your reservation is made.

These are the group forms needed for each event: