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Sleep With the Sharks at Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN

Ripley's Aquarium is the place to go in Gatlinburg, TN to experience Unique Family Fun & Create Lifetime Memories!
Voted one of the Top 5 Aquariums in the USA & the World by TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice in 2014 and 2015, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies is not something you experience every day... especially in the lower Appalachian Mountains! They have thousands of exotic sea creatures inside, including: 12-foot sharks, Sally the Green Sea Turtle and playful penguins that will swim all around you in Penguin Playhouse (which, by the way, was voted by USA Today Travel 10 Best List as one of the best places to see penguins in the world)! Explore the Amazing Aquatic World Up-Close without getting wet!

Diving and Feeding Shows

Enjoy entertaining dive and feeding shows in Coral Reef, Stingray Bay and Penguin Playhouse.  Pet horseshoe crabs, jellyfish and stingrays in the Discovery Center and Touch-A-Ray Bay.  From beautiful and graceful sea creatures to the poison dart frog, Ripley's Aquarium has thousands of exotic sea creatures..

Want a Truly Unique Experience?

Sleep With the Sharks, PJ Party With the Penguins, Experience Fun-Filled Summer Camps, Kids Night Out Sleepovers or have one of the coolest Birthday Parties!

Add a sleepover or camp to your adventure! Enjoy scavenger hunts, science experiments, crafts, and so much more!
Camps at Ripley's Aquarium are interactive, innovative, and entertaining for guests of all ages. Fun, excitement, and memories that last a lifetime are what you will find when you participate in one of their camp programs.

Do sharks sleep? What do penguins do at night? Find out for yourself when you spend the night at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Drift off to sleep while the sharks or penguins keep a watchful eye on you!

Looking for a hassle free birthday party? You've come to the right place! Ripley's Aquarium takes care of everything from start to finish by providing decorations, cake, juice, goody bags, a gift for the birthday child and so much more.

Choose from one of five fun birthday themes.

Splash with the Stingrays

Have you ever wished you could swim with stingrays? Well... now you can. This unique experience takes you into Touch-A-Ray Bay where you will get up close and personal with our stingrays.

Behind the Scenes

Have you ever wondered how a 1.4 million-gallon aquarium operates behind the scenes? During this tour you will see where we prepare the food for our animals, learn how we keep the exhibits clean and discover our tricks of the trade to keeping our animals happy.

Sea Squirts

Toddlers and parents explore the ocean with a program designed for curious young minds.

Family Night Out

Leave your worries behind and have a family adventure to remember when you spend the night in Shark Lagoon tunnel!

Penguin Encounter

Meet one of the aquarium's most adorable creatures face-to-beak! Interact, learn about and pet one of the playful penguins.

Penguin Painting Experience

See the aquarium's most adorable creatures paint! Would you like to see one of the African Penguin artist in action? Join in the Penguin Painting Experience and take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you helped create!

Pearl Harbor - New for 2016

Pearl Harbor is the first 3 gallery changeable exhibit that Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies has installed. Pearl Harbor is an interactive and educational exhibit on the history of the date which will live in infamy! See, hear and interact throughout the entire exhibit as you go through the timeline of world events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Experience, first hand, the environmental impact that continues to this day, 75 years later.

The Pearl Harbor exhibit features models of ships and planes, an interactive map of the attack, life-sized figure of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a crawl through replica of the USS Arizona BB-39 Forward Magazine, a theater with memorabilia from the 1940s, as well as various aquatic animals native to Hawaii and invasive species now living in Hawaii that were brought in from the Japanese ships during the attack.

The Aquarium's Upper Level and Lower Level

With your regular admission, you gain access to The Upper and Lower Levels of the Aquarium. The Upper is where you'll find Ocean Realm (Weedy Scorpionfish, Spotted Garden eel and flounder), Tropical Rainforest (Piranhas, Poison Dart Frogs and an Arapaima), Shark Lagoon (345 ft. long Shark Viewing Tunnel, Green Moray Eels, Sand Tiger Sharks, Barracuda and a Green Sea Turtle), and Touch-A-Ray Bay (Stingrays, Bonnethead Sharks and Leopard Sharks).

The Lower level features the Coral Reef, Discovery Center, Gallery of the Seas, Stingray Ban, and Penguin Playhouse.

Hours of Operation

January - February
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm, Friday - Sunday: 9 am - 10 pm
March - Memorial Day
Monday-Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm, Friday - Sunday: 9 am - 10 pm

Memorial Day - Labor Day
Monday-Thursday: 9 am - 10 pm, Friday - Sunday: 9 am - 11 pm

Labor Day - New Year's Day
Monday-Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm, Friday - Sunday: 9 am - 10 pm

Open 365 days a year, Ripley's Aquarium is located on the Parkway in downtown at 88 River Road in Gatlinburg, TN.

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Visit their website or call 888-240-1358 for admission prices and more information.

Want more to do? Check out Ripley's U-Pick Combo packages and Save!

Have more family fun and experience more at Ripley's attractions in Gatlinburg and Sevierville. Visit the Strangest Place in Gatlinburg and have the ultimate scavenger hunt at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium! You are never alone in the dark at Ripley's Haunted Adventure! Experience 5D done right at Ripley's Moving Theater! Being lost has never been so fun at Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze! Test your skills and try to break a world record at the newly renovated Guinness World Records! Play the most entertaining, interactive and animated mini-golf at Ripley's Davy Crockett Mini-Golf and Ripley's Old MacDonald's Farm Mini-Golf!

For pricing and more information visit here.

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No experience in the Smoky Mountains should be without a few nights stay in a cabin. And, Gatlinburg has plenty of them. Select from a variety of sizes, amenities and locations. Find a cozy, rustic, or luxury cabin rental in Gatlinburg here.

Cabin Rentals...


There are thousands of hotel and motel rooms in Gatlinburg. Problem is they all fill up fast. Book early for the best rooms and locations. From in-town and off the street to budget and semi luxury. Select a room with a fireplace or creek-side balcony.



Finding food is as simple as walking down town.  Plenty of restaurants line Gatlinburg's main strip. Eat BBQ, steak, Italian, Mexican, and more. Check out the coffee shops, deli's and breweries. Family dining in our Southern restaurants.


Things to Do

A walk around the main strip in town will probably be your first introduction to this unique mountain village. After that, the sky is the limit. Gatlinburg offers so many things to do. Hike the Smokies, visit a brewery, shop the galleries and malls... dining, arts and crafts, picnics...

Things to Do...


From Ripley's museums, a mountain coaster, and hillbilly golf to Ober Gatlinburg, the space needle, and zip lines. Gatlinburg has it all! If playing is your thing, you won't be disappointed. So, grab your family, grab your plastic, and get ready to have some fun, fun, fun!



Looking for that romantic wedding in an enchanted forest? You've come to the right place. Gatlinburg has several wedding chapels, and a number of honeymoon cabins. Sky lift, Chapel at the Park, Space Needle, Creek Bridge, and Gazebo are all Gatlinburg wedding options.