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College students, faculty get half-price Tennessee Aquarium tickets during College Days

Sep 1, 2023

Chattanooga, Tenn. (Sept. 1, 2023) – What’s better than exploring a world-class aquarium filled with toothy sharks, armored crabs, sleek otters, leaping lemurs, waddling penguins and some seriously enormous river giants? Snagging a ticket for half price.

Whether their campus is located in the Scenic City or they’re visiting from a far-flung institute, college students and faculty can enjoy a 50-percent discount on Tennessee Aquarium admission during the bi-annual College Days celebration. The discount is available Sunday-Friday from Sept. 10 to Sept. 29.

A colorful (and toxic) Mantella Frog from Madagascar sits poised on exhibit in the Tennessee Aquarium’s Island Life gallery.
An Alabama Shiner swims through an exhibit in the Tennessee Aquarium’s new Ridges to Rivers gallery.

The discount applies not only to the 120,000 square feet of animal-filled galleries in the Aquarium’s River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings but also to tickets for 45-minute film screenings at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. The savings apply to tickets for every person in the eligible individual’s party.

With this special discount, admission to the Aquarium will be $20 for adults (regularly $39.95) and $15 for ages 5-17 (regularly $29.95). Discounted IMAX 3D tickets will be $5 for all ages. Eligible guests may also save on unlimited year-round visits by taking advantage of a 15-percent discount on a Dual Membership or Family Membership.

A still from the film Ancient Caves 3D.
A whale featured in Secrets of the Sea 3D.

Stills from Ancient Caves 3D and Secrets of the Sea 3D (credit: MacGillivray Freeman Films

Guests visiting during College Days can view a host of recent additions to the Aquarium experience, such as the introduction of many new species to long-standing favorite exhibits, including majestic Spotted Eagle Rays, spine-maned Lionfish, roly-poly Porcupinefish, beautifully toxic Mantella frogs and a sinuous Fire Eel. In River Otter Falls, guests beginning their adventure from the mountains to the seas may be lucky to spot the Aquarium’s newest North American River Otter, a plucky two-year-old female named Sunshine.

In March, the River Journey building celebrated the opening of an all-new gallery, Ridges to Rivers. This collection of multi-sensory exhibits shines a spotlight on the Southeast’s unparalleled diversity of aquatic life, letting visitors get nose-to-fin with eye-catching native fish such as azure Alabama Shiners and sunshine-bright Tangerine Darters. As they explore this new space, guests will experience dozens of species, brave an indoor thunderstorm and lay fingers on armor-skinned Lake Sturgeon (aka living fossils), all without the muss or fuss of donning a wetsuit and snorkel.

Sunshine, a newly introduced female North American River Otter, waves hello while swimming in the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Otter Falls exhibit.
Guests line the sides of Sturgeon Bend, a Lake Sturgeon touch experience located in the Tennessee Aquarium’s recently opened Ridges to Rivers gallery.

Across the street at the IMAX 3D Theater, College Days guests have their choice of a pair of incredible films:

  • Ancient Caves 3D: Experience the rarely seen majesty that lies beneath the Earth’s surface. This stunning giant-screen film explores wet and dry cave systems all over the world, featuring moments both awe-inspiringly beautiful and claustrophobically tense.
  • Secrets of the Sea 3D: Brought to theaters by a multi-generational team of legendary underwater filmmakers, this giant-screen globetrot features fascinating and mind-boggling examples of inter-species cooperation that demonstrate a gentler side to the ocean and debunk its reputation as a wilderness where “big fish eat little fish.”
A still from the film Ancient Caves 3D.
A still from the film Secrets of the Sea 3D.

In order to receive the College Days discount, guests must present a valid student ID, transcript or employee pay stub. Discounts are only available for tickets purchased at the Aquarium’s on-site ticket center or IMAX 3D Theater box office. The discount is not applicable to Saturday visits but can be applied to tickets for a future dates, so long as that visit falls within the College Days period.

Learn more about College Days at tnaqua.org/college-days/

Volunteer diver Jimmy Lowrey holds a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football helmet in the Secret Reef at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Information about the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater, including showtimes, is available at tnaqua.org/imax/

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