Education & School Toolkit
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies strives to provide students of all ages and adults with an interactive, educational experience while building an understanding of the aquatic world and the need to conserve and protect it. We invest immersive detail into our programs and our goal is to develop each person’s passion for marine stewardship.
We offer a varied selection of grade level based classroom programs designed to meet the Next Generation Science and Common Core Standards. We strive to ensure that the experiences provided will be an extension of what is learned in the classroom and to provide students with a deeper understanding of why it is important to protect and conserve our ocean’s environment.
Whether you have been planning field trips for years or this is your time, our Education Department is here to help with anything you may need. From the first stages of planning to arrival, we strive to make this a smooth experience for teachers, students and parents.
Requesting Your Date: The Aquarium takes school groups any day of the year. If you are choosing to book a classroom program we advise providing several available times on your reservation form as classroom times are on a first come first served basis.
Choosing Your Experience: Groups can choose to do a self-guided tour only or a self-guided tour and a classroom program. One classroom program comes free with every paid reservation and last approximately 30-45 minutes. Classroom programs are offered every hour on the half beginning at 10:30 am. A self-guided tour will give you access to the Aquarium for the day, including feedings and dive shows.
Classroom programs are offered Monday-Friday, based on availability.
Classroom Programs: Classroom programs are linked to the Next Generation Science and Common Core standards. Most programs include one or more hands on activities and all programs include a conservation message. There is a maximum of 40 students per classroom program. See the list of classroom program descriptions below!
Arrival Time: The Aquarium opens at 9:00 am every day. Due to the volume of school groups that attend the facility please provide a realistic arrival time when filling out your reservation form as this time frame will determine parking availability.
Students (K–12): $10.00 +tax per student | Adult Chaperones (18+): $15.00 +tax per adult
Title 1 Students: $6.00 +tax per student | Title 1 Adult (18+): $6.00 +tax per adult
*If teachers exceed number of complimentary admissions based on student grade level, the teacher rate will be the same as the student rate.
Non-School Educational Groups (Ages 6–11): $12 +tax per person
Non-School Educational Groups (Ages 2–5): $6 +tax per person
Comp Chaperone Policy (Grades PreK–2): One FREE Chaperone for every 5 paid students
Comp Chaperone Policy (Grades 3–12): One FREE Chaperone for every 10 paid students
Tax: Tennessee Tax is 11.75%, unless Tennessee State or Federal 501 (c) 3 Tax Exempt Form is provided prior to arrival and payment is made by organization check/credit card.
*School Rates and Group Rates cannot be combined for the same field trip, regardless of student age.