Since we live in northwest Georgia, the Smoky Mountains has always been a favorite vacation destination for my family. While in the Gatlinburg area, we usually try to find the time to take the kids to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
What makes this aquarium so great, you might ask. Well first off, it is incredibly homeschool friendly. If you bring proof that you are a homeschooler (in Georgia, this is the Declaration of Intent form), then your entire party receives an extremely discounted admission. Be sure to bring your form to the customer service desk. I think the discounted rate was $6.75 per person. You simply cannot beat it!
Secondly, the aquarium’s extended hours allow your family to tour the aquarium in near-solitude if you are willing to visit later in the day. We like to try to arrive around 6:30 or 7:00 (after eating dinner at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, of course), and the aquarium is nearly empty. Our kids can get up-close to all of the exhibits and they have a blast.
Thirdly, we really enjoy the interactive atmosphere of this particular aquarium. They have a changing exhibit area, and this time around we were able to experience Swarm! Peals of laughter escaped from my children’s mouths as a school small fish nibbled on their fingers. As for me, I was less than enthused, ha!
Also, I must not forget the underwater tunnel. The children really enjoy taking an up-close look at the sharks and eels.
While Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies isn’t quite as large as the nearby Georgia aquarium, we much prefer it due to the homeschool discount. For a large family, you cannot beat it!
Back at the campground, planning our next adventure!
Would you like to take a peek inside of our travel trailer? Feel free to watch the video below.
Possibly linking to these awesome link parties!