Family Fun in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Don't Miss the Creative Discovery Museum, Rock City and the Tennessee Aquarium

By Arlynn Filomeno-Suarez April 11, 2019

Our 2019 Spring Break kicked off in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Chattanooga is just a short drive from Atlanta and is loaded with fun attractions for unforgettable family adventures! Our top picks for this visit included the Creative Discovery Museum, Rock City, and the Tennessee Aquarium. For information on other activities, check out the Chattanooga Visitors Bureau website at

The Creative Discovery Museum offers several exhibits to inspire your curious kids to innovate, create, and learn through play. My daughter's favorite areas included the massive indoor play gym, and Riverplay, where she explored currents, built dams and floated boats down a river. The Rooftop Fun Factory provided us a great outdoor break where she played with simple machines - wedges, levers, and pulleys. The fun is limitless at this awesome children's museum! Start planning your visit to the Creative Discovery Museum for spring and summer by visiting

Rock City was a surprisingly fun natural wonderland! It's located in Lookout Mountain, GA, just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga. We were amazed as we journeyed pathways through ancient rock formations, gnome filled gardens, and a beautiful waterfall. We had a blast squeezing and ducking between the rock walls and walking across the swinging sky bridge. The seven states view at the top was breathtaking! The Fairyland Caverns and Mothergoose Village were so enchanting! Bring your cameras and prepare for an unexpected magical adventure at Rock City. Plan your visit

The highlight of our trip was at the Tennessee Aquarium. After watching Oceans: Our Blue Planet at their IMAX® 3D Theater, we were excited to check out the newest gallery, Island Life, located in the Ocean Journey building. This exhibit takes guests around the world from the Pacific Northwest to the tropical seas of Southeast Asia all the way to Madagascar.

My daughter had a blast pretending to be a Clownfish by weaving through oversized anemone tentacles and lighting up the Flashlight Fish on the touch-sensitive wall. We watched incredible video footage of a Chameleon’s tongue catching bugs.

The Island Life Gallery includes:

•         Vancouver Island, featuring a wide variety of colorful anemones, urchins, sea stars and other marine life. This habitat is Island Life’s piece de resistance, a massive, dynamic display with artificially generated waves that rush along 20 feet of sinuously curved acrylic before crashing against an upright viewing window.

•         Indo-Pacific Reef highlights a huge variety of aquatic life found off the coast of Southeast Asia in a region known as the Coral Triangle. Here, guests will see a bustling community comprising more than 30 species of vibrant reef-dwellers, including Polleni Groupers, Kole Tangs, Picasso Triggers and Guinea Fowl Pufferfish.

•         Cave of the Flashlight Fish - Inside this dim, mirror-filled room, the darkness will glow with flashes of light courtesy of hundreds of Split Fin Flashlight Fish. This deep-dwelling fish generates light through pockets of glowing bacteria housed in a pouch under its eyes. This habitat features one of the largest schools ever exhibited of this bioluminescent species.  

•         Clownfish and Anemones will show off how colorful Pink Skunk and False Percula Clownfish (AKA Nemo) have adapted to seek shelter within the venomous, stinging tentacles of Bubbletip Anemones, which act as a kind of living “island.”

•         Marvelous Madagascar, where guests will become familiar with a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians, including colorful Panther Chameleons, nimble Madagascar Giant Day Geckos, poisonous Mantella Frogs, and critically endangered Radiated Tortoises.    

Definitely make a stop at the Tennessee Aquarium to see check out Island Life as well as the other amazing exhibits in River and Ocean Journeys. Plus, on April 4, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater premiered a new documentary, Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia. For more information on tickets and hours please visit

* The writer received complimentary admission to the Tennessee Aquarium. All opinions, however, are her own.