Located on the Tennessee River in Tennessee, Chattanooga has several great family activities that we’ve been able to check out over the years. Although it’s not in the Atlanta-metro area proper, Chattanooga is not far from Atlanta and is worth a trip to check out all it has to offer.
It only takes us about 1 1/2 hours to get to Chattanooga from our house. We have only gone up on day-trips, being able to drive back and forth in one day. But, it’s also worth staying overnight or over a long weekend, to have more time to explore the activities around the area.
Where we went: The Creative Discovery Museum (a children’s museum), and the Tennessee Aquarium. These are both located in the Downtown Chattanooga area. We parked at the Museum, and walked around the Downtown area to see the Tennessee River, and to go to the Tennessee Aquarium.
The Creative Discovery Museum:
The Creative Discovery Museum is probably most fun for age 9 or 10 and under. Arrive early for easy parking. The museum has lots of things for kids to see and do. Check the website to see what special exhibits will be open during your visit. My 6-year old son absolutely loved this museum. We probably could have spent even more time there. He can’t wait to go back!
We are spoiled by the awesome Atlanta Aquarium. The Tennessee Aquarium matches the Atlanta Aquarium in awesomeness, in my opinion. There are lots of water exhibits, like many aquariums. And then there are some other fun exhibits too. There’s a big lemur forest area that is opening this year (we missed it!). There are some IMAX movie options at the IMAX theater close by in the Downtown area. There is also a river cruise that you can ride. We’ve just never had the time to fit all these activities in! My biggest complaint with the aquarium is that it is not housed in one building. You have to go in and out of several buildings to see everything, which is a bit odd, especially if you’re used to the ease of Atlanta Aquarium. On a nice day, this is not such a big deal. The aquarium is right on the river, and it is a pretty around there. But, we did go last year on a rainy day, and that made building-hopping more of a challenge.
Near the River:
You can walk down along the river in the Downtown area. It’s fun to see what boats are riding the river. I’m sure there are other fun things to do. Sound like we need to go back soon! For land-locked Atlanta residents, it is a nice change to visit a city on some water!
Have you ever visited Chattanooga? What other sites and things to-do would you recommend for families, kids?
David E says
Looks like you had a lot of fun there. I’ve only been out to Tennessee once and then only in an airport. I hope to make it back there with my daughter.