Happy Friday morning!
Last Friday, we kept the kiddos out of school to visit the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. I thought I would share (more than) a few photos with you today .
How fun are these steps?!
These Smokey Mountain views never get old.
“Best U.S. Aquarium.” I would have to agree.
It was easy to “be a kid again!” This was the first aquarium I’d been to that had a two story playground in the middle of the atrium. Parents, you may want to give your climbers a heads up. Preston begged to play as soon as we walked through the door. We made him wait until after we saw the exhibits.
Since JP was a toddler, he’s been completely enthralled with jellyfish. Ripley’s must feel the same way. JP got to create his own virtual jellyfish. It appeared on a big computer screen as a cartoon – he was in heaven. Right next to this station was a tank where you could touch jellyfish.
He was definitely living his best life.
I was mesmerized by this tree, it was SO HUGE.
Cheesy smile, anyone? <insert all the eye-roll emojis>
Now, this was my favorite part. This tank had SO many sharks and they were swimming right over my head!
Ripley’s Aquarium has a Glass Bottom Boat ride. It lasts about twenty minutes and it costs roughly ten dollars a person. We were all pretty bummed because we didn’t get to ride – they were booked up for two hours and we didn’t have time to wait. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to go back. When you go, it’s a good idea to put your name on the list early.
I might have lied earlier. The penguins ranked right up there in my favorite’s spot. The kids climbed through a tunnel under the exhibit and popped up in the middle! It was SO COOL, no pun intended!
We found our friend, Melinda’s, book in the gift shop on the way out!
I’ll stop here, although this is probably only half of what we saw. The aquarium is located in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg. Parking is not an issue. A big parking garage is waiting for you directly behind the aquarium, complete with elevators. My only regret was not allowing enough time in our schedule to walk around town when we finished. It’s such a beautiful area.
Clearly I was impressed with the whole experience. I think I speak for everyone in my family when I tell you to GO!