It’s tough to find a more family-friendly destination than Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. With penguins, stingrays, overnight summer camps and the return of the Live Mermaids, your kids will be the envy of every “What I Did Over My Summer Vacation” presentation on the first day of school this fall.


From the Tropical Rainforest and Underwater Tunnel to the Discovery Center and Touch-a-Ray Bay, you’ll encounter thousands of aquatic species under one roof. In addition to the impressive daily shows, Ripley’s offers some special excursions that are sure to knock your aqua socks right off: Splash With the Stingrays, Penguin Encounter and Sleep with Sharks, to name a few.


And this summer, they’ve added some star power to their lineup. (Just be warned—the high-pitched squeals might stir up every blue tick coonhound in the Gatlinburg area.) With Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Kid’s Fin-Tastic Season, some of the biggest names in tween TV will be right here in our neck of the woods this summer for signings and performances:



June 7th – Keegan Allen from ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars”


June 14th – Jason Dolley from Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie”


August 16th – Jake Short from Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm”


August 23rd – Avan Jogia from ABC Family’s “Twisted”


November 15th – Drake Bell from Disney Channel’s “Drake & Josh”

There will even be celebrity sightings for the younger fans—Mr. Potato Head and the Cat in the Hat will be showing up in September!

Get tickets and see the full calendar of events.