Here you will find everything you need to know to plan and safely enjoy your next Aquarium visit.
Beginning June 1, the Tennessee Aquarium will offer special early bird hours for any guests with special health concerns. Prior to 11AM EDT each day, masks will be required for all guests ages five and up (regardless of vaccination status) while inside the Aquarium buildings.
In accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, masks will be optional beginning June 1 for fully vaccinated guests who visit after 11 am each day. The Tennessee Aquarium will not require proof of vaccination, but we ask our members and guests to responsibly and respectfully cooperate with our safety protocols.
For now, Aquarium staff will continue to wear masks.
- The Aquarium is currently limiting the number of guests allowed to visit each day.
- Timed–entry tickets are required for Aquarium visitors and are available online.
- Timed entry tickets can be secured in 30-minute blocks. Guests must arrive within their scheduled time block to be admitted. Once inside, guests can tour at their normal pace. (It typically takes a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours to tour both Aquarium buildings.)
- The Tennessee Aquarium is located – and tickets are sold – in the Eastern time zone.
- Group size is limited to no more than 10 guests.
- We will not be able to accept coupons or other special offers at this time.
- If you have purchased tickets but are unable to use them due to illness, inclement weather or other circumstances, our admissions team is happy to help you reschedule your visit. (Please note: we often experience a high volume of calls and messages on weekends but will assist you as soon as possible – even after the date of your scheduled visit.)
Health and Safety Precautions
- All Aquarium staff and volunteers will be required to wear face masks while working.
- We will be operating a one-way building flow, beginning with River Journey first.
- Physical distancing is encouraged on signage throughout the plaza and buildings to help family groups remain at least six feet apart.
- Additional hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the Aquarium, including at the entry, exit, and restrooms.
- We have enhanced our excellent standards of cleanliness by increasing the frequency of disinfection procedures completed by our housekeeping staff.
- LATEST UPDATE: Tennessee Aquarium Upgrades HVAC Systems As Another Layer of Safety
IMAX Safety Info
- All guests (ages 5 and up) admitted to an IMAX film are required to properly wear a mask in compliance with guidelines from the Hamilton County Health Department.
- To ensure adequate physical distance in the 400-seat theater, each screening will have an audience cap of 80 viewers.
- Guests will enter and exit the theater through different entrances. Families may sit next to each other, but unrelated groups will be spaced at least three seats apart and on every other row.
- The theater schedule includes time to sanitize the theater between films.
- Hand sanitizing stations are available at entrances, exits and other high-traffic areas.
Exhibit and Facility Information
- Popup tanks, Lake Sturgeon encounter, and many of our interactive touch screen exhibits are not available at this time.
- The Butterfly Garden is not accessible.
- Dive Shows and animal presentations are paused until further notice.
- Restrooms are open and cleaned frequently.
- Wheelchairs are available for rent and disinfected before each rental.
- Sensory bags are available for checkout (free of charge). Bags and sensory items will be disinfected between each use.
- Drinking fountains are unavailable, but touchless water bottle refill stations are provided.
- The Snack Island concession stand will be open outside the River Journey exit.
- The River Journey and Ocean Journey gift shops are open. The IMAX gift shop is closed.
- Showtime Pictures will be onsite taking souvenir photos in the River Journey lobby.
Help us keep each other safe and healthy with this self-assessment:
Before coming to the Tennessee Aquarium, answer this self-assessment honestly. If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the following questions, do not visit the Aquarium. We will be happy to issue you a rain check for another date. Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe.
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
- Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
- Have you experienced a loss of taste or smell recently?
- Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
- Have you had any chills or shaking?
We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for you, our guests, and employees. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting the Tennessee Aquarium.
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
By visiting the Tennessee Aquarium, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
Most of the surrounding downtown Chattanooga restaurants are open with pickup and/or dine-in options.
Nearby attractions, such as the new Medal of Honor Heritage Center (located adjacent to the Tennessee Aquarium), are also open and within walking distance.
Chattanooga’s Riverwalk, Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, and local parks are open to provide additional opportunities to enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding the Tennessee Aquarium. Visit What You Should Know About Visiting Chattanooga for the latest information.