certified autism center

We are Proud to be a Certified Autism Center

We are pleased to announce Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has earned certification as a Certified Autism Center. This designation given by IBCCES (International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) is awarded to organizations who have completed a training and review process to better serve individuals with sensory needs. Additionally, we host several sensory-friendly events and nights throughout the year which offer lowered lighting and music throughout the facility. We also offer quiet spaces for those that may need a break during their visit. We work with Autism Site Knoxville and Advocates for Autism to provide a safe and fun environment for all of our guests. Please be sure to check out our Sensory friendly events.

On Sensory Friendly Event, families receive $3.00 off admission – just mention “Sensory Nights” at our admission windows to receive discount.

UPCOMING DATES

Wed 26

Sensory Night

October 26 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Nov 30

Sensory Night

November 30 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Dec 28

Sensory Night

December 28 @ 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Aquarium Accessibility Helpful Hints

For any additional questions guest can contact aquariumofthesmokies@ripleys.com and (865) 430-8808

Best Time To Visit?

The best times to visit are either from 9:00am to 10:30am or after 5:00pm.

Are Service Animals Permitted?

It depends on the species. If you want more information on this please contact one of our amazing staff at (865) 430-8808 and they will be happy to assist you.

Where Can I Park?

There are various parking areas nearby in Gatlinburg. There is a City owned parking garage directly behind the Aquarium. The City charges a maximum of $10 per day.

Do We Have Wheelchairs?

Wheelchairs are available free of charge at our Guest Services counter on a first come first serve basis. Valid ID required. Aquarium will hold ID until wheelchair is returned.

Do We Have Noise Canceling Headphones?

Noise cancelling headphones and sensory bags are available free of charge at our Guest Services counter on a first come first serve basis. Valid ID required. Aquarium will hold an ID until headphones are returned.