Ten­nessee Aquarium to host well­ness pro­gram, open new gallery in com­ing months

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORT

Did you know the av­er­age guest walks ap­prox­i­mately one mile while ex­plor­ing the ex­hibits in the Ten­nessee Aquarium?

To cap­i­tal­ize on that well­ness as­pect of a visit to the down­town at­trac­tion, the Ten­nessee Aquarium is host­ing a well­ness event on Satur­day, Jan. 5. It’s the first of sev­eral events com­ing up in the new year to in­ter­est all ages of the fam­ily.

Th­ese spe­cial pro­grams are free with Ten­nessee Aquarium ad­mis­sion and mem­ber­ship. Ad­mis­sion is $29.95 adults, $18.95 chil­dren ages 3-12. Aquarium/Imax The­ater combo tick­ets are $37.95 adults, $26.95 chil­dren ages 3-12.

New Year, New You

› When: Satur­day, Jan. 5, 2- 4 p. m., Lup­ton Room of Ten­nessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St.

Re­search has shown that vis­it­ing an aquarium has health ben­e­fits of re­duc­ing blood pres­sure lev­els and heart rates while im­prov­ing mood. To help every­one get 2019 off to a healthy start, the Ten­nessee Aquarium and Erlanger Health Sys­tems are of­fer­ing a “New Year, New You” well­ness event.

Aquarium guests can start off the day get­ting their steps in while ex­plor­ing the ex­hibits be­fore at­tend­ing four sched­uled pro­grams.

2 p.m. Learn how the Aquarium’s an­i­mals are pro­vided nu­tri­tious, well-bal­anced meals to stay healthy and fit. A trained EMT will of­fer free blood pres­sure screenings while ex­perts from Erlanger share tips for achiev­ing over­all well­ness.

2-2: 30 p. m. Dr. Suzanne Boz­zone will

speak on stress-reliev­ing tech­niques us­ing yoga, healthy eat­ing, weight man­age­ment and bet­ter breath­ing and sleep­ing. 2:30-3 p.m. Chrissy Smith will dis­cuss “3 Se­crets to Healthy Eat­ing for Weight Loss and Well­ness” and will pro­vide tasty recipes for a quick break­fast, lunch or din­ner. 3:30 p.m. Dr. Ali­son Bai­ley will talk about heart health and some com­mon mis­con­cep­tions and sources of mis­in­for­ma­tion re­gard- ing how food im­pacts health. She will give in­sight into the science be­hind a whole food, plant-based life­style.

Small Fry Mini- Pro­grams

› When: Tues­days-Wed­nes­days, Jan. 8- 9 through Feb. 26-27, 10:15-11 a. m.

Spend qual­ity time with your lit­tle one while learn­ing about the world around you at th­ese drop-in pro­grams on Tues­days and Wed­nes­days. The par­ent-child pro­grams are held on the lower level of the River Jour­ney build­ing, un­less oth­er­wise posted.

Par­tic­i­pate in fun, en­gag­ing ac­tiv­i­ties de­signed to ap­peal to 2- to 5- year- olds. Chil­dren will meet live an­i­mals, play games, read sto­ries and cre­ate crafts as they learn to­gether.

Na­ture Nuts

› When: Sun­day, Jan. 20, 4- 6 p. m.

Chil­dren ages 5 to 12 are in­vited to join Aquarium ed­u­ca­tors and guest ex­perts for this monthly na­ture club. The goal of Na­ture Nuts is to con­nect chil­dren and their fam­i­lies to the di­ver­sity of na­ture in their back­yards and around the world, kindling a life­long ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the nat­u­ral world.

Na­ture Nuts meets monthly on the third Sun­day af­ter­noon of the month. Some meet­ings are at the Ten­nessee Aquarium; oth­ers are off-prop­erty at des­ig­nated lo­ca­tions.

Pro­grams are $ 11 for Aquarium mem­bers’ chil­dren, $16 for non­mem­ber chil­dren. Ad­di­tional sib­lings are $6/$9. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing adults are $1.

This month, Na­ture Nuts will make a sand­hill crane ex­cur­sion on Jan. 20 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Na­ture Nuts will go to Birch­wood to see the amaz­ing sight of thou­sands of sand­hill cranes com­ing in to roost on the banks of the Hi­awassee River as they travel to the Mid­west to nest. Reg­is­ter on­line: https://www.tnaqua. org/events-pro­grams.

Win­ter Signs of Wildlife Hike

› When: Feb. 17, 3-5 p. m. Meet at the TWRA wet­land in the Ten­nessee River­park. It might ap­pear that win­ter is a dead time for na­ture, but there’s a lot hap­pen­ing out there. It’s also eas­ier to see some of the signs left by sum­mer ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the win­ter.

This will be an easy hike, but an ob­ser­va­tional chal­lenge. How many dif­fer­ent an­i­mals can par­tic­i­pants “track” in an af­ter­noon?

Reg­is­ter on­line: www. tnaqua. org / events-pro­grams

Time Travel By Virtual Real­ity Sim­u­la­tor

Travel back in time or sim­u­late ex­trave­hic­u­lar ac­tiv­ity out­side the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion via the new Virtual Real­ity Sim­u­la­tor in the Imax The­ater lobby.

Guests don spe­cial head­sets to em­bark on a Pre­his­toric Dive, a new virtual real­ity ex­pe­ri­ence. Par­tic­i­pants are placed in the dig­i­tal boots of a team of ex­plor­ers who are mys­te­ri­ously cat­a­pulted through time into the har­row­ing wa­ters of a pri­mor­dial ocean.

Or be­come part of a global team of space ex­plor­ers charged with mak­ing danger­ous re­pairs in zero grav­ity out­side the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

Dur­ing the ad­ven­ture, the head­sets trans­mit re­al­is­tic 3D im­agery that changes based on where guests are look­ing. And the plat­form on which they are seated moves in re­sponse to the on-screen ac­tion. Com­bined, th­ese el­e­ments make for an ex­pe­ri­ence that’s com­pletely im­mer­sive.

This op­tional paid ex­pe­ri­ence is $8 for Aquarium mem­bers, $10 for non­mem­bers. Ad­mis­sion to the Imax is not re­quired.

New Is­land Life Ex­hibit

Is­land Life ex­hibit will open March 15 in­side the Ocean Jour­ney build­ing of the Ten­nessee Aquarium. This new gallery will take guests on an is­land-hop­ping tour around the world to meet crea­tures that have never been seen at the Aquarium.

An Indo-Pa­cific tank will give guests an op­por­tu­nity to com­pare col­or­ful fish in­hab­it­ing the trop­i­cal wa­ters of the Co­ral Tri­an­gle with beau­ti­ful species that live in the Flower Gar­den Banks Na­tional Ma­rine Sanc­tu­ary (the Aquarium’s Se­cret Reef ex­hibit).

Guests will be in­tro­duced to Flash­light Fish. Th­ese crea­tures mi­grate up from the depths at night, us­ing their bac­te­ria-in­fused, light-up cheeks to at­tract prey.

This gallery will in­clude a large Van­cou­ver Is­land ex­hibit, which will fea­ture a wave ma­chine that will crash against a viewing win­dow. Guests will be able to watch cold-wa­ter surf perch and other fish ride the waves among brightly col­ored anemones and sea stars.

And of course there will be kid-friendly, in­ter­ac­tive fea­tures for chil­dren.

A pan­ther chameleon will be part of the Is­land Life ex­hibit.


The new Virtual Real­ity Sim­u­la­tor in the lobby of the Imax The­ater is prov­ing to be a big hit with teenagers. Wear­ing a spe­cial head­set, guests can travel back in time or sim­u­late mak­ing re­pairs in zero grav­ity out­side the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

This vi­brant red sea anemone is part of the Is­land Life ex­hibit.

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