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Fun Family Things To Do In Chattanooga Tn

Follow The River & The Ocean At The Tennessee Aquarium

Things to Do in Chattanooga with the Family

Located on Broad Street in Downtown Chattanooga, the Tennessee Aquarium offers both a River Journey and an Ocean Journey. Innovatively designed, the River Journey traces the path of a single raindrop from the mountains to the sea. The Ocean Journey picks up the story showcasing sharks, stingrays, butterflies and those adorable penguins. And, in the River Journey, turtles, alligators and delightful river otters entertain the whole family. Scuba divers also interact with guests during scheduled shows. Definitely add this to your list of things to do in Chattanooga with kids.

Places To Eat In Southside District

This area is known to have the highest concentration of locally owned restaurants in the city. Whatever you crave, youll find at a decent price and exceptional quality.

For delicious burgers, head to Urban Stack for creative and delicious handcrafted burgers- my choice was the Hamburguesa Mamacita with chorizo, pickled jalapeno, avocado, chipotle aioli and pepper jack cheese.

  • Stuffed sweet potato
  • State of Confusion Patio

Book ahead for the patio seating at State of Confusion, a Peruvian New Orleans-low-Country fusion restaurant with ample ceviche options, tacos, and handcrafted cocktails. Vegetarians will love the stuffed sweet potato.

Mean Mug has light fare and good hand-roasted coffee, and Bluegrass Grill will be your perfect sit-down Southern breakfast option. They have a ton of gluten free options, which I greatly appreciated.

Clumpies Ice Cream Co is the place to stop for your kids ice cream treat.

I was also recommended Stir as a great place to eat and Frothy Monkey for good coffee.

Explore The Tennessee Aquarium

Visit with otters, watch an IMAX movie, meet the macaws and hear from one of the keepers on the secret lives of penguins at the Tennessee Aquarium, one of the best aquariums in America.

New IMAX movie, Great Barrier Reef 3D, will wow little ones, taking them on an unforgettable journey to one of the worlds most amazing living wonders.

Daily animal programs at this Chattanooga aquarium let kids and families get up-close with penguins, lemurs, turtles and chameleons.

The Tennessee Aquarium also hosts monthly drop-in family programs for preschoolers and school-age kids to help littles better connect with nature and animal habitats. This is easily one of the most popular Chattanooga attractions for families.

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Holiday Window Treasure Hunt

An annual tradition in Chattanoogas bustling North Shore neighborhood, youll want to have the whole family participate in the Holiday Window Treasure Hunt this Christmas season.

Participants grab a game card from a local business and go on a scavenger hunt trying to find hidden items in participating stores holiday window displays. If you find the items, you get the chance to win prizes!

Over 30 local shops participate each year, allowing a festive and fun way to explore the city and get some Christmas shopping done too.

Christmas At The Chattanooga Choo

10 Family Friendly Activities in Chattanooga

You may be familiar with the classic song that popularized Chattanoogas legendary train. One of the citys most popular attractions, visitors come year-round to see the actual famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

Located in a historic train station, the Chattanooga Choo-Choo is a festive hub of activity at Christmas time. Youll love seeing the beautiful Christmas tree inside the train station lobby, as well as the famous train decked out in holiday decor .

Plus, visitors can go ice skating, enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment, and even stay overnight in a retired train car!

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Catch A Movie At Tivoli Theatre $12 Per Person

The Tivoli Theatre opened in 1921 and the architecture is unmatched! The interior appears as a 1920s movie palace with grand ceilings, chandeliers, and gold accents, dripping with elegance. There are many shows that you can see at the Trivoli Theatre, but for an inexpensive option, see a classic movie for only $12 a person. The summer they showed Back to the Future and Jurassic Park.

Location: 709 Broad St.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park


Entry ticket: Check their website

Address: 3370 Lafayette Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Why you should go: Although listed as located in Georgia, the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is located between the states of Georgia and Tennessee.

It borders Tennessee in the South East and Georgia in the North.

The military historic parks are ideal attraction sites that exhibit the history of the American Civil War. The park also offers great and scenic views of the city as it is located on top of Lookout Mountain.

Things to do: Explore the four main areas of the parks the Chickamauga Battlefield, the Missionary Ridge, Moccasin Bend, and the Lookout Mountain Battlefield and Point Park.

Apart from learning the history of the American Civil War which consists of the Siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of the Chickamauga, the four areas above offer a wide variety of things to see and do.

The Moccasin Bend, for example, offers hiking grounds, an archaeological site that was a settlement for American Indians, and a beautiful meadow.

  • It is 19 minutes away from Chattanooga Airport.

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Unleash Your Wild Side At The Chattanooga Zoo $15 Per Person

With 7 different exhibits for various ecosystems, youre sure to have a great day spotting your favorite animals! The Chattanooga Zoo has giraffes, African birds, chimpanzees, jaguars, spider monkeys, komodo dragons, meerkats, bobcats, alpaca, snow leopard and more!

Save some money by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time.

Location: 301 North Holtzclaw Ave.

Try The Original Moon Pie

Kids Travel Show | Chattanooga Tennessee Things to Do Travel with Kids

A Moon Pie is a popular dessert made with two graham cookies, marshmallow filling, and dipped in chocolate coating. They were created at the Chattanooga Bakery in 1917 with some inspiration from local coal miners. The treat is a classic southern staple now and you can even try new flavors like vanilla and banana. The factories produce about one million Moonpies each day. You can visit the general store and get some fresh right in the town they were created.

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Hunter Museum $20 For Adults

While the higher admission price might deter you, dont dismiss it just yet. There are many discounted tickets for the Hunter Museum including educator, student, military, EBT cardholders, and even free tickets for children and teens 17 years old and younger.

So what is the Hunter Museum? Its a collection of American art from the 1700s to today. They have some incredible exhibits including some on denim, effects of wartime trauma, female artists, and more! The architecture of the museum is an art piece in and of itself as well. Its worth a visit.

Location: 10 Bluff View

Get Moving In Memphis

Photo Courtesy of BigStock/wallybird

Sure Memphis is known for Graceland and the artists who came out of Sun Studios, but this Tennessee city has unique, family-friendly appeal.

With an earthquake simulator, honeybee hives, and bookatorium, The Childrens Museum of Memphis helps kids learn through interactive exhibits.

The Memphis Zoo is one of the only zoos in the US that has pandas! It also has 4500 other animals in exhibits that focus on wildlife from North America, Africa, and Asia.

Definitely make time to watch the historic Duck March at the Peabody Hotel. At 11am and 5pm, the Peabody Duckmaster leads the ducks on their duck march down the red carpet. Performing since the 1940s, the ducks hang out in the marble fountain inside the hotel lobby when not marching.

Enjoy the Main Street Trolley by taking the Riverfront Loop route along the Mighty Mississippi. These vintage trolleys have been restored to their original beauty and are a fun and economical way to see downtown Memphis.

What better way to enjoy the might Mississippi River and the Memphis skyline than on a riverboat cruise? Some cruises even include food and live music!

You cant truly enjoy Memphis without having some great food. Have a classic Southern breakfast at Arcade, the oldest cafe in Memphis. Then, grab Memphis-style bbq at Central BBQ or Rendezvous and listen to music on Beale Street while eating at Rum Boogie Cafe or Blues City Cafe.

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Spend Some Time At Chattanooga Choo Choo

The Terminal Station was scheduled to be demolished until a group of local businessmen made the investment to save it. They restored the historic building and turned it into Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel and entertainment district. Frothy Monkey is a popular spot here with a cafe-style eatery with coffee, pastries, and different breakfast options. STIR is another restaurant that does brunch, lunch, and dinner and features local ingredients. You can also find a few nightlight options like the Backstage Bar and the Comedy Catch. It is a unique venue to explore and theres plenty to keep you entertained and well-fed.

Tennessee Aquarium & River Gorge Explorer

5 Family Fun Things to Do in Chattanooga, TN

Allow at least two hours to explore the Tennessee Aquarium, on the downtown riverfront. Its home to creatures that live in freshwater habitats from the mountains to the sea, including otters, turtles, alligators and giant catfish. In the Ocean Journey building, look for sharks, stingrays in a touch pool, penguins and an enclosure filled with fluttering butterflies.

While you’re there, catch the National Geographic exhibit, Monster Fish: In Search of River Giants. Its currently free with aquarium membership or general admission. Call or visit the aquarium website before you visit to confirm the dates of this temporary exhibit.

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Why We Recommend This Activity

With Lookout Mountain right outside of the city, family travellers may feel inspired to do some adventurous climbing. At High Point, you can scale walls in a safe and fun environment.

And their awesome Kids Zone provides youngsters a chance to test their climbing skills, making this one of the prime places to take kids in Chattanooga.

Pay Honor To Fallen Heroes At Fallen Five Memorial

In Tennessee Riverpark, there is another area worth visiting on its own.

Here, you can also find the Fallen Five Memorial, which honors the five servicemen who lost their lives in a terror attack on the nearby US Navy Operational Support Center on July 16, 2015.

Brass-colored stainless steel arc bands cut using waterjet featuring the powerful tribute of the community are woven together to form the artwork.

Its round granite bench provides a spot to sit and reflect.

In Chattanooga, the phrases and the wreath’s circular form became a powerful symbol of unity.

The city will always be connected to the Fallen Five, the symbol of hope, honor, heroism, and sacrifice.

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Find Teachable Moments In Chattanoogas History

Chattanooga also saw one of the Civil Wars bloodiest battlesthe Battle Above the Clouds. Commemorated at Lookout Mountains Point Park, youll find monuments and cannons from the period. Be sure to check out the fabulous views of the Chattanooga Valley below.

Just across the Tennessee/Georgia line, Chickamauga witnessed another Civil War battle as the troops marched down to Atlanta. At the center of the Chickamauga Battlefield stands Wilder Tower. I climbed the 136 steps to the top of this circular icon from the time I could walk. Now, my grandkids climb it with me. Of course, theyre much faster than I am!

Eat: Tap House St Elmo Neighborhood

Things to do in Chattanooga
  • Lookout Mountain views
  • CBD cider
  • Exotic Burger

The Tap House is a great lunch choice at the foot of Lookout Mountain In the nearby town historic town of St Elmo.

The front porch has great views of Lookout Mountain, and the menu features Southern favorites like mac & cheese, chili, and pimento cheese. Try the Exotic burger a mix of bison, boar, elk, and wagyu.

To refresh your thirst, the tap house has 30 taps with rotating brews and local beers. I loved my alcohol-free CBD cider. A very unique flavor and mellow refresh.

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High Point Climbing And Fitness

With 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor climbing and an incredible kids area that adults will envy, High Point Climbing and Fitness has to be one of the coolest climbing gyms in the nation. You will definitely notice it when youre in downtown Chattanooga Look for climbers scaling the outside climbing wall facing busy Broad Street. Inside, children as young as three can test their skills in the Kid Zone, which includes 15 auto belays and a 10 foot tall kids boulder.

Explore The Tennessee River

The Tennessee River winds through the heart of Chattanooga. Spend an afternoon or evening exploring on board the Southern Belle riverboat. Daily sightseeing cruises are available as well as dinner cruises. For a hybrid sightseeing experience, the Chattanooga Duck combines land and water for a splashing good time!

Cross over the river with a walk on the Walnut Street Bridge. Erected in 1890, the Walnut Street Bridge connects the north shore of the Tennessee River to downtown Chattanooga. Standing 2,376 feet high, its one of the longest pedestrian bridges in North America. Time your stroll for sunset when the lights of the city begin to decorate the sky.

Coolidge Park at the foot of the bridge provides an ideal place for an afternoon of picnicking and Frisbee. Central to the park, a restored antique carousel with 52 whimsical hand-carved animals offers rides for $1. On warm days, the youngsters can splash about in interactive fountains carved as lions, turtles and more.

Take a leisurely bike ride or walk along the Chattanooga Riverwalk also known as the Tennessee Riverpark. Currently stretching 13 miles from St. Elmo to the Chickamauga Dam, the Riverwalk will eventually span 22 miles.

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Best Things To Do In Chattanooga Tn Top Activities & Places To Go

  • Christina Rado

With all its gorgeous landscapes, breathtaking views, natural wonders and series of beautiful sights, its no wonder why Chattanooga is nicknamed as Scenic City.

Museums, aquariums, restaurants and landmarks this city has it all and more! Enjoy touring at the streets filled with all the best local shops and attractions.

But the best things to experience and see in Chattanooga are all served in plates with all the different cuisines and delicacies this city has to offer, it would be a crime to not give it a try!

Whether youre travelling with friends, with children and family, or even just by yourself, theres definitely something for you to enjoy when you pass by.

Check out our list as we narrowed down all the best things to do in Chattanooga, TN so you dont have to! Plan out the perfect itinerary as you get to visit all the best destinations for an unforgettable experience like no other.

Visit Dollys Hometown Of Pigeon Forge

5 Fun Things to Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee

As the jewel of this beautiful mountain town, Dolly Parton has poured her heart into Dollywood, a theme park with superb roller-coasters and live entertainment shows. Dollywood also has Splash Country, a water utopia including 23 slides and water rides, and two childrens playgrounds for the little ones.

Visit during the holiday season and experience Dollywoods Smoky Mountain Christmas with four million holiday lights and extravagant holiday decorations

Trekaroo families also love Dolly Partons Stampede show and dinner. Watch the North versus the South in a friendly competition, be amazed by horse riding stunts, and feast on a four-course meal while listening to some great bluegrass music.

Also in Pigeon Forge is popular Titanic Museum and Wonderworks which has 100 hands-on exhibits including an indoor ropes course, earthquake and hurricane simulations, and the chance to find oneself inside a bubble!

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Take In The Views At Rock City

When mulling over what to do in Chattanooga, its a must to start at Rock City. Situated atop Lookout Mountain, walk along a 4,100-foot walking trail at Rock City to see various rock formations before taking in panoramic views that enable you to see seven states.

Walk along the Enchanted Trail for natural beauty and wonders all along this woodland path. Littles will love Mother Goose Village and Fairlyand Caverns.

Stay for lunch at Café 7, which sits atop the mountain at Lovers Leap. Big Rock Grill is also a good choice for kid faves, like hot dogs and chicken fingers.

Chattanooga Tn Points Of Interest: Bluff View Art District

Located on East Second Street, the Bluff View Art District is a historic neighborhood in downtown Chattanooga. Stretching for one and a half city blocks, the art district is set high above stone cliffs that afford spectacular views of the Tennessee River, the Walnut Street Bridge, and downtown Chattanooga.

It is a vibrant area full of art galleries, bed and breakfasts, coffee shops, courtyards, gardens, restaurants, and much more. The first business in the district opened in 1992 and many other businesses soon began to add to the charm and popularity of the area.

411 East Second Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Phone: 423-265-5033

“Best Things to Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Locals & Tourists – Restaurants, Hotels” Back to Top or Beautiful places near me, what to do, restaurants for breakfast, travel guide, nearest beach

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