Tennessee is a place our family loves to visit because it is so close by. Living in Western North Carolina means we are so lucky to have quick access to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We were recently given the opportunity to visit a few attractions from Ripley’s that were a ton of fun for our family. The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has been a fun visit for us for a while, but it was neat to go again. The last time we went Davis was pretty young, so this was a good treat for him.
I think being able to watch all of the sea life so up close and personal was mesmerizing for him (and me). One of our favorite stops is to touch the horseshoe crabs. These fellas get big, but they are harmless. Everyone who was working at the aquarium was extremely friendly and helpful. They answered all of the questions that my very inquisitive 5 year old had to ask.
Of course, everyone’s favorite part of the trip is the penguin exhibit. There’s a tunnel for the kids (and brave parents) that you can crawl through under water and watch them swim up close and personal. Then, stand up in the middle to catch a fun glimpse of the cuties side by side. We also really enjoy the underwater portion where you can look up and see the sharks. Davis kept shouting for us to take a picture of the shark’s mouths. They were pretty creepy and cool all at the same time!
We then moved on to Ripley’s Odditorium. This was just the place for Graham! He is very much into facts and the weirder the better! There was everything from a huge transformer made out of recycled materials to pieces from the Berlin wall. Davis and I found a giant chair and there was a place where you could save your shadow in a picture… who knew? Needless to say, while there were definitely some creepy things, if you have older kids they may enjoy this trip.
The last place we visited was the Ripley’s Mirror Maze. This was a quick adventure that was fun for everyone. You wear gloves through the maze in order not to get finger prints on the mirrors. I will say, you need to go slow because you may run right into a mirror! My favorite part was the disco room that had all of the lights and mirrors. The price is good for what you get as well especially if you are looking for an attraction that is less costly.
Overall, we had a great time. We’ve decided that quick weekend trips are a great idea and we are going to pick one new attraction each time.
We were provided free tickets to these attractions. These are all attractions we will visit again.