If you are looking for things to do in Chattanooga, TN with your kiddos, this list should help! Living less than an hour from the city, my family and have enjoyed all of the “must see” locations on this list.
Things to do in Chattanooga, TN
Located on the Chattanooga riverfront, the Tennessee Aquarium is a must-see for families visiting the city. Two buildings make up the aquarium which features over 10,000 animals. The main building, Ocean Journey, features sharks, tropical fish, and sting rays you are welcome to pet. River Journey showcases alligators, turtles, and other animals that live in marshy swamps and forests.
The museum’s mission is “to inspire all children to explore, innovate, create, and play”, and with over 200,000 visitors every year, they are doing just that! Explore fun exhibits with several hands on actives, like the playing with boats while learning about rivers, locks, and dams in RiverPlay.
Excavation Station lets children learn more about dinosaurs, complete with a sand pit that allows for digging up dinosaur bones! The Rooftop Play Area is another exciting exhibit, filled with a large chess playing area, bubble tubs, and pulley swings! Definitely one of the most family-friendly things to do in Chattanooga!
Check out our visit to the Creative Discovery Museum!
3. Ruby Falls
This Chattanooga attraction allows you to travel over 1100 feet below the Earth’s surface to take in the nation’s largest and deepest waterfall open the public. You will also get to see amazing cave formations, stalagmites and stalactites during your tour. After visiting the falls, you can grab lunch while the kids enjoy the playground or gem mining. The ZIPstream Aerial Adventure Course is available at Ruby Falls for those really seeking an adventure!
Check out our visit to Ruby Falls!
4. Rock City
Located just a few minutes from Ruby Falls, Rock City offers another fun, naturally-formed experience for families in Chattanooga. You’ll see impressive rock formations, including the famous “Fat Man’s Squeeze” and over 400 native plant species. Lover’s Leap lets you see 7 states at once while visiting Rock City. Don’t forget the great photo opp on the Swing-a-Long Bridge and fun scenes from classic fairy tales in Mother Goose’s Village!
We highly recommend visiting near Christmas for Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights!
For the animal lovers, the Chattanooga Zoo should be the next stop after the Tennessee Aquarium. This 13-acre zoo features the Himalayan Passage, where the largest indoor red panda exhibit in the world can be enjoyed. The exhibit also features snow leopards and Hanuman langurs. Other exhibits include the Gombe Forest, filled with chimpanzees, the African Crowned Crane, and tortoises, and the Corcovado Jungle where you can see the capybaras, jaguars, macaws, and spider monkeys.
Walkin’ the Tracks is an American based exhibit that lets you see animals native to the US, such as bobcats, cougars, prairie dogs, owls, and deer. The Warner Park Ranch features a petting zoo as well as cattle, pot-bellied pigs, and camels. Be sure to take a camel ride while visiting!
Check out our visit to Chattanooga Zoo!
Located atop Lookout Mountain, near Ruby Falls and Rock City, Chattanooga tourists can enjoy the Incline Railway. The incline offers round-trip tickets, and you can board from the top, or down below in the historic St. Elmo, a small town just minutes from Chattanooga.
Up top, you can check out military points of interest like the Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map & Museum and Point Park. At the bottom, there are lots of unique shops, restaurants, and a Towing Museum in St. Elmo.
Tip! If you plan to visit the Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, and Rock City, make sure you do a bundle package to save money!
7. Duck Tours
When taking in the Chattanooga riverfront, be sure you do a Duck Tour! Enjoy up to 1 hour and 20 minutes of fun on the water in an authentic renovated WWII amphibious landing vehicle. The tour of downtown Chattanooga is narrated so you’ll learn lots of fun facts and history on the trip!
Located just across the river from the aquarium and other downtown attractions, Coolidge Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the day with family. The large lawn features opportunity to have a picnic, nap in the shade or throw a Frisbee, with a winding sidewalk perfect for your little one’s bike or trike. Visiting during the summer allows you to take advantage of the large water fountain area!
Take a stroll across the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge to get back to downtown or to the art district. Be sure to have a carousel ride while you’re at Coolidge Park too! This is one of our favorite things to do in Chattanooga.
If you’d like to get away from the busy downtown area for the day, take your family to the Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, about 15 minutes from Chattanooga. Over 40 rides, lots of food, and tons of games await your whole family. Take a ride on the Cannonball, Lake Winnie’s thrilling roller coaster, as well as the many other family rides. There is a large kiddie area filled with 12 rides for those under 36″ (with an adult passenger).
10. IMAX 3D Theater
Located alongside the Tennessee Aquarium, the IMAX theater can be added to your aquarium ticket or enjoyed on it’s on. Fascinating stories are brought to life on the six-story screen, and the featured films vary throughout the year. I personally love the nature films myself…it’s like you are out in the wilderness with the animals!
Are there any things to do in Chattanooga, TN that you would add?
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