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College students, faculty and staff receive half-price admission to Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater in February

Feb 7, 2024

Chattanooga, Tenn. (Jan. 29, 2024) – Have you ever been eye-level with an Electric Eel or shared a longing gaze with a Red-ruffed Lemur? Face-to-face connections with wildlife, where you can pause just inches away to notice the textured feathers of a floating Gentoo Penguin or the toothy grin of a Sand Tiger Shark, help build an enduring appreciation for the natural world. Next month, college students visiting the Tennessee Aquarium can make that connection to the wildlife around them for half the regular price.

Local college students and out-of-town visitors can receive a 50-percent discount on admission to the Aquarium and 45-minute films at the IMAX 3D Theater during the Aquarium’s bi-annual College Days event in February. The discount applies to college students, faculty, staff, and their accompanying party and is available Sunday-Friday from Feb. 1 to Feb. 29.

This special discount brings Aquarium admission to just $20 for adults (regularly $39.95) and $15 for children ages 5-17 (regularly $29.95). Discounted IMAX 3D tickets are $5 for all ages.

A new film at IMAX might offer guests taking advantage of this discount some special insight into recent regional weather events.

Sunshine, the Tennessee Aquarium's new female North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) in the River Otter Falls exhibit.

Chattanoogans endured frigid temperatures over the last week that would have sent even the Aquarium’s Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins – who live at a comfortable (for penguins) 42 degrees Fahrenheit in Penguins’ Rock – running for shelter. This rare dip of the mercury into single digits was brought by a blast of Arctic air from the north.

The Arctic: Our Frozen Planet 3D offers viewers insight into the amazing animals and hearty people living in the extreme climates where that Arctic air originated. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, viewers will come face to face with baby Harp Seals as their mothers prepare them for independence in just 12 days and learn how Bowhead Whales become 100-ton giants eating only a diet of microscopic plankton.

If meeting Narwhals, Beluga Whales and Polar Bears while exploring life in the planet’s great frozen north isn’t appealing, IMAX’s other 45-minute offering – Deep Sky 3D – introduces viewers to the wonders of the universe through the awe-inspiring images captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

As viewers follow NASA’s mission to build and launch the planet’s most sophisticated telescope ever created, they’ll also journey to the beginning of time and space across cosmic landscapes to reveal the universe as it has never been seen before.

Ridges to Rivers member night.

Guests visiting during College Days will find many new additions since last February. Splashing through the currents of River Otter Falls, Sunshine, the energetic female North American River Otter, has made herself at home since her arrival last year. She might be spotted roaming the exhibit alone or in the company of a male from the Aquarium’s romp.

Last March, the Aquarium opened the all-new Ridges to Rivers gallery, which features multi-sensory exhibits focused on the remarkable diversity of aquatic species in the Southeast. With brilliantly-colored Rainbow Shiners and charismatic Tangerine Darters, guests can see, hear, and even touch some of the aquatic life – like armor-plated Lake Sturgeon – swimming in the waterways and mountain streams just outside the Aquarium’s doors.

Many new additions, like majestic Spotted Eagle Rays, colorful Poison Dart Frogs, and baby Four-eyed and Arakan Forest Turtles, have arrived over the past year.

A Red-ruffed Lemur climbs through the Tennessee Aquarium's Lemur Forest.
Rainbow Shiners display spawning colors in the Tennessee Aquarium's Ridges to Rivers exhibit.

For those who would like to extend their visit into a year-long adventure of learning about water and wildlife, eligible College Days visitors can receive a special 15-percent discount on Aquarium memberships. A Dual Membership costs just $114.75 (regularly $135) for eligible College Days guests, while family memberships are discounted to $165.75 (regularly $195).

To receive the College Days discount, purchase tickets on-site at the Aquarium’s Riverplace ticketing center on the Aquarium Plaza. Please bring a college ID, transcript, or paystub to receive your discount. The Aquarium operates on a timed entry system, and wait times may apply.

Learn more about College Days at the Tennessee Aquarium at https://tnaqua.org/college-days/.

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