Day Trippin’ to Chattanooga


Family Adventure Days began when my husband and I realized that while we were all together at home on the weekends, we weren’t actually tuning into each other as a family. With the temptations of video games, tv, and the internet at home, we decided to set aside one day each weekend that we are able to leave the house and get out and have some inexpensive fun together as a family. This began in September of 2009 and has been the best thing that ever happened to the Jordans!


Over Labor Day Weekend, we really wanted to get out of the house and have some fun with the kids, but didn’t want to do anything overly expensive. Fortunately, we live in a fantastic location with countless day trip options!

My husband and I got the kids in bed early Friday night and sat down to go over our options. Chattanooga quickly won out because, truly, it is one of the most family friendly cities we’ve ever encountered and we all just have a ball whenever we go there.

My post is going to focus on the Aquarium in terms of photos, but there is far more beyond that to see and do in Chattanooga so be sure you check it out and plan your visit today.

Chattanooga hosts the Tennessee Aquarium (our very favorite!), with two different buildings, River Journey and Ocean Journey. River Journey focuses on the habitat and wildlife found around the Tennessee River. We especially enjoy this because my parents live on the river so it’s fun to see what it looks like underwater around Grandmama’s house! Giant turtles, alligators, otters, and fish from A to Z swim right by as the kids press their noses against the glass. There is also a fascinating and very large seahorse exhibit in the basement of River Journey. It was put there long before Ocean Journey was built so it still remains today.

Ocean Journey begins with a visit to an entire floor of encounter opportunities where kids can touch and visit with sealife as well as exotic birds, ending with a loop inside a butterfly house, Katy’s favorite.

From there, we ride an escalator downstairs to the penguin exhibit – WE LOVE THE PENGUINS! After you have your fill of frolicking with Tacky and Happy Feet, head on into the massive salt water aquarium to take a gander at slow moving sharks far bigger than the tallest among you, coral reefs, and all manner of creatures, including another huge jellyfish exhibit.

The Tennessee Aquarium is wonderful and enjoyable for people of all ages over and over again but as much fun as that is, what makes it the absolute most family friendly aquarium around in my eyes is the attention to detail on the outside…the water!

Here is one of many photos of the kids playing in water outside of the aquarium. There are little waterways all around the area just for this purpose and we could easily spend an entire day here alone.



This is Ricky and Katy Rose walking down some water stairs to the wading pool at the bottom.

The wading pool overlooks the Tennessee River.

Goodness, how is my son growing up so fast!?

Our family portrait :)

My wonderful little family walking back up the stairs.

Katy and Brady walking down another waterway. I couldn’t possibly photograph every one of these, you’ve just got to go see it. There is even a concrete beach and lots of waterways underneath a bridge for nice shade when you need it.

This is the kids in a brick canoe outside one of our favorite restaurants, Big River Grille, just across from the aquarium. This is also my finger partially covering the lens..

They have a brick couch and a few other things downtown like this for some great photo ops and more free fun for kids and families :)

There is also an imax theater, which we went to for the first time on this trip. That is a blog post for another day though because quite a story unfolded as a result… ~winks~

Get out of the house, even if it’s your own back yard. Spend time with your family because families are at their best when they’re not left to collect dust on the shelf :)

You’ll be glad you did!

Now here is the amazing part. All of these photos were taken using an HTC Droid Incredible cell phone. I’m thrilled to have been chosen as a Verizon Ambassador for the next three months. I’ll be carrying a Droid, trying it out, and enjoying Verizon’s cell phone service. My husband is enjoying this opportunity to try a new carrier because we’ve been with AT&T since we first got married. So far, we’ve found the service to be much better, with reception in areas we’d never had it before. Our kids love that we can have a mobile hot spot in the car whenever we’re on the go and need quick internet access – which is great because we like to figure out where we’re going on the fly!


Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions. I honestly love this phone but I think the main selling points as a mom are the camera and the fact that I can get cell phone reception in New Market, Alabama- Belvidere, Tennessee – and Woodville, Alabama :) A cell phone you can use when you need it! Go figure! :)


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  1. Pat says

    My wife and I took our kids there on August 27th. My wife’s parents live in Hermitage, just outside of Nashville so she’d been to the aquarium a few times. Being from Michigan, I’d never had a chance to see the aquarium. My expereince with Chattanooga was blasting through on the way to Florida wondering what all the fuss was regarding Ruby Falls!

    I can honestly say it was a great experience and the kids loved it! I’d go back again in a heart beat.

  2. Dawn says

    Christy Jordan for president! No but really, I want to be like you when I grow up, I’m 50, LOL! I really just want you to know that you are such a great lady whom I admire very much.
    Whenever I read your site it always touches my heart. Thank you for all you do!

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