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Tennessee Aquarium offers half-price tickets for college students, faculty, and staff in September

Sep 8, 2022

Chattanooga, Tenn. (Sept. 8, 2022) – As students flock to campuses for the fall semester, the Tennessee Aquarium offers an opportunity to decompress from the stress of term papers and exams with a relaxing journey from the mountains to the sea.

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 11, all college students, faculty and staff will receive a 50 percent discount on Aquarium admission and 45-minute IMAX 3D films. The discount applies to every person in the attending party – including children – and is available through Friday Sept. 30.

Discounted Aquarium membership rates are also available for college students, faculty and staff interested in upgrading to an entire year of endless visits.

College Days guests begin their underwater exploration in the Aquarium’s River Journey building. Here, they’ll experience 90,000 square feet of exhibits highlighting the many species living in or around water as it flows from the Appalachian Mountains downhill toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Following in the footsteps of more than 26 million other guests, they’ll meet playful North American River Otters, freshwater giants like the Amazon River’s mighty Arapaima and ancient – and odd – native species like Paddlefish and Lake Sturgeon.

Across the plaza, the adventure continues in the Ocean Journey building. This celebration of marine and terrestrial species begins with a conspiracy of mischievous lemur species from Madagascar and the novel opportunity to see – and touch – various ray and shark species in the Stingray Bay touch experience. As they continue their descent, guests dive below the surf to experience the thriving biodiversity of the planet’s oceans, from the life-rich shores of tropical islands to shark-prowled coral towers in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga mascot Scrappy poses in front of the Secdret Reef exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium

After their Aquarium tour, students can save on screenings of two new films at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. Chattanooga’s largest screen offers a cinematic experience of unparalleled quality thanks to a state-of-the-art IMAX with Laser audio/visual system.

Wings Over Water 3D, presented locally by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, features stunning footage of majestic Sandhill Cranes leaping into the air during elaborate courtship dances. These massive migratory birds, whose wingspans reach nearly seven feet, spend their winters living and foraging in and around the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge less than an hour north of Chattanooga.

On the IMAX 3D Theater’s six-story screen, breathtaking 3D footage of cranes, Yellow Warblers, Mallard Ducks and other overwintering species transports viewers straight to the water-pockmarked sprawl of North America’s prairie wetlands.

The theater’s latest addition, Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker 3D, offers up a thrilling underwater adventure exploring the playful lives of some of the world’s most-threatened marine mammals: the critically endangered Australian Sea Lions.

Presented locally by CHI Memorial, Sea Lions: Life By a Whisker 3D follows a Sea Lion pup named Otto as she seeks to reunite with her mother in the chilly waters off Australia’s southern coast. Here, vast colonies of Sea Lions live, play and survive in the wild and often dangerous world beneath the waves.

As viewers glide through this expansive ocean environment, they’ll enjoy immersive 3D footage of Humpback Whales, Great White Sharks and color-changing Cuttlefish. They’ll also learn about the successful work of humans to safeguard California Sea Lions — the Australian Sea Lion’s North American cousins — on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

To receive discounted admission to the Aquarium or an IMAX screening, college students, faculty and staff must purchase timed-entry tickets onsite at the Aquarium ticketing center or the IMAX Theater box office on Chestnut Street. Discounts are offered only with the presentation of a current college ID, transcript or pay stub. Tickets cannot be reserved online or over the phone. College Days discounts are unavailable on Saturdays.

More info about College Days is available at tnaqua.org/college-days/.

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

College Days Discount Rates: 

  • Tennessee Aquarium: $17 (adults) / $11 (ages 3-12)
  • IMAX: $4 (all ages) for 45-minute films
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