Always a big hit is the butterfly garden. Holding butterflies and having them land in your hair or on your clothes is high adventure and the butterflies always seem to oblige.
The smaller children also discovered some type of ground birds hiding in the shrubs.
When we came to the petting tanks, Colby (2) mustered enough courage to try to touch a one of the sting rays, so as the largest ray in the tank swam over, he had his hand in the water. The ray did not content itself with a nice calm swim under Colby's hand but came right up the side of the tank as if to jump into Colby's arms, spraying and flapping water as he came. Mr. calm, cool, and very grown up Colby merely stepped back from the still flopping, splashing ray with his face and clothes dripping. He however, no longer had any desire to touch a stingray. Who knew that rays were such social creatures? While some of the children were fairly wet after petting the rays, technically no one fell all the way into the water.
We have an annual pass to the Tennessee Aquarium and it has been so much fun to visit. It is a great value for large families as the pass is about the same as general admission for a family of six. There are two buildings of exhibits. River Journey has fresh water fish from around the globe and Ocean Journey boasts penguins, and the butterfly garden in addition to their varied selection of salt water creatures.