Emily, her sister, and her American Heritage Troop got to enjoy a truly unique experience: a sleep over at an aquarium! American Heritage Girls is a group that offers girls an opportunity to learn new skills and develops socially and spiritually. This outing to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga taught them more about appreciating the wonders of aquatic life forms. This world-class aquarium is an approximately two-hour drive from Emily’s home in Atlanta.

Once they arrived, the girls explored the aquarium during a special after hours behind the scenes tour of the facility. They saw how the filter and pump system worked. This technology helps provide the aquatic animals with a safe, healthy environment.

Awesome Animal Interactive Exhibits

It was fun and exciting for the girls to have the whole aquarium to themselves. Because no one else was in the aquarium at this time of night, the troop of girls took their time. They got to explore all sorts of interactive exhibits, including touching sturgeons and stingrays. They even got to tour a butterfly garden where butterflies landed on them!

Delicious Dinner, Intriguing IMAX, and a Cool Critter Encounter

After the interactive exhibits, the girls got to feast on a tasty pizza dinner. Next, they watched an impressive IMAX film that detailed the importance of conservation efforts. Next, they were introduced to some unique reptiles, such as snakes and lizards. They got to touch and learn interesting facts about each of the different reptiles they were privileged to meet.

Sleep In The Deep

Next came the main event of the evening. The girls, along with their parents, brought sleeping bags, cots, and air mattresses along with them to the aquarium. The girls changed into pajamas and got ready for the most unusual sleep over of their lives. They each picked a spot to sleep along the walls or in a tunnel exhibit under the aquarium’s largest display tank.

Emily chose to place her sleeping bag in a small cove with two large glass windows to the tank. She was right below one overhead viewing window. The rest of the troop was pretty worn out from all the activities of the night and soon fell asleep. Emily, the animal lover, took this opportunity to stay awake for awhile and gaze into the windows. She was entranced by the beauty and wonder of this underwater world.

One window near Emily’s spot contained a giant sea turtle that was fast asleep. This particular sea turtle was a rescue animal and had undergone surgery. After the surgery, the sea turtle’s shell trapped air bubbles that would lift him to the top of the tank during sleep. His ingenious solution was to wedge himself beneath a giant rock that kept him from floating all the way to the surface. From her air mattress, Emily was also able to see a shark occasionally swim past her. It was a truly magical experience that Emily will always cherish in her memory.

If you’d like to have this same type of experience, you can visit the Tenessee Aquarium and arrange to have a Sleep In The Deep tour. These special tours are available on scheduled nights throughout the year. They’re available for families and large or small groups. Participants need to be six years old or older. The evening includes guided, interactive touring of the facility, snacks, dinner, breakfast, and the opportunity to sleep on site. To find out about current pricing and availability, you can fill out and submit a Sleep In The Deep Inquiry or contact the Tennessee Aquarium. Emily highly recommends this unforgettable experience to anyone who loves interacting with and observing amazing aquatic animals!

Tennessee Aquarium
Address: 1 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
website: www.tnaqua.org