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sleep in the deep

Sleep in the Deep | Overnight at the Aquarium

Ever dream of sleeping under the peaks alongside sharks, stingrays and more? Now is your chance. Come ‘sleep in the deep’ and wake up to a whole new world.

Your fast paced adventure takes you on a whirlwind tour around our world as you tour both River Journey and Ocean Journey. We will make stops along the way to take you where the aquarists and divers go and give you some idea of what it’s like to be part of the Aquarium team. We round off the night with time for a snack and meet with some of our critters up close as we see what it’s like in the Aquarium after the lights go down. Just when your eyes can’t stay open any longer, we’ll bed down alongside our largest exhibits where you can dream about all the magnificent creatures found in the Tennessee Aquarium.

If you are interested in attending Sleep in the Deep, please select the description that best fits your needs.

Family Sleepovers
Families can select from several scheduled dates throughout the year.

Large Group Overnight
Groups of 30 to 80 people attending can schedule any available date.

Small Group Overnight
Groups with less than 30 can reserve spots from several scheduled dates each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during the overnight?
A typical schedule includes: brief tour of Ocean Journey with stops Behind the Scenes, dinner (if included), IMAX film (if included), tour of River Journey with Behind the Scenes stops, snack, critter encounter, continue tour of Ocean Journey, bed down around 11:30 pm, lights out at midnight, breakfast at 7:30 am, final touring in River Journey, leave at 8:30 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. Groups may sleep in one of two locations: Ocean Journey’s Undersea Cavern or River Journey’s River Giants. All sleeping areas have a carpeted surface but you will need to bring your own bedding.

What time should we arrive?
The program begins at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, so we need your entire group at the Aquarium site around 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. 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.

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.
Breakfast - includes mini bagels and spreads with a selection of fruit juices. (Coffee will be available for adults.)

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

When is the program over?
The program is schedule to end by 8:30 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?
At this time 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 around 5:00 pm.


Sleep in the Deep patch
The “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 overnight@tnaqua.org.

These are the group forms needed for each event:

pdf Waiver of Liability
pdf Behavior Contract