This is a sponsored post on behalf of Ripley’s which provided us free tickets in exchange for our honest review.
I think everyone has heard about Ripley’s but not everyone knows about all the attractions that they offer in the Gatlinburg area! We were staying in a cabin for 3 nights so we had only 3 days to visit as much as we could. We were not able to visit all the attractions this trip but plan to go back Spring 2018!
As we walked up the steps from the parking garage we saw this very large tree stump outside the aquarium. Big Red volunteered to get his picture taken.
We caught the Coral Reef talk and thought it was very interesting to learn about the fish in that particular tank. Lots of the fish were striped and it was a little hard to figure out which fish was being pointed out at times when 2-3 fish had very similar stripe patterns or colors. I had to chuckle a few times when a fish was pointed out in a large group and I wasn’t even sure which one was being talked about. The talk did describe some of the fish from Nemo and Finding Dory which was good for kids to be able to relate to.
Lil’ Red has been fascinated by the show Octonauts and recognized the Coconut Crab right away! He said, “Mom that’s a Coconut Crab and he cracks open coconuts!” I was so proud of him for remembering something that he learned a few weeks ago.
Then he saw the tank with a Seahorse and a Leafy Sea Dragon. I think he would have stayed at this tank for an hour if we had let him! We helped point out the creatures in the tank to other visitors who were grateful for what my 4 year old was excited about.
Hands-on experiences included petting horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, and sharks & Stingrays. I was a little disappointed in the lack of stools or benches for children to be able to reach the creatures. Since we have a 4 year old and a 7 year old it made it difficult to get them both up and able to reach some of them.
I liked the moving walkway through the larger tunnel tank area. You could stand and be moved through the tank or you could use the walking area on the right to go faster.
Bathrooms seemed to be well marked and include water fountains.
We were greeted outside by a giant marble ball that was floating on a tiny bit of water but could be rotated! Next the kids got to sit in the world’s largest tire made by Goodyear!
A little creepier then I was expecting. I would definitely skip this attraction if ALL of your children are under 10 years old or if darkly lit areas bother them. Some fun hands-on experiences that my children enjoyed included the jumbo lite brite station, dance area and optical illusions.
Tons of hands-on challenges that are real World Records. Some activities are Official Attempts at breaking a world record such as… while other activities were just for fun.
Lil’ Red loved the giant rubber band ball and the fact that we could make our own to take home. We made a few starts to rubber band balls which we plan to add onto during the Winter.
Riley attempted to take a selfie but we forgot our selfie stick so this is the best we could do with the little boys, lol.
I took a more traditional picture by the door with the 3 children that would stand still long enough. They were all so excited to go in.
I had heard about the mirror maze from our chiropractor the week before we arrived. He said his wife sorta freaked out a bit so I was a little concerned that one of us might do the same. Once everyone got their food service gloves on we headed into the maze. I think my kids must have had some secret training because they went through without a hitch which made it even easier for me to go through, lol.
Everyone had fun and begged to go through again but we didn’t have enough time to do each attraction twice even though we were told we could come back the same day for free!
Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf
This mini golf course was right down the road from our cabin but I ended staying back with a tired Lil’ Red while Riley took the older three to enjoy a round of miniature golf. This location offered two unique courses called the Fort and the Village.
Ripley’s Old McDonald Mini Golf
3 farm themed courses- cows, chickens, pigs. Each with 17 unique holes and then the 18th is a return hole into the chicken coop with a chance to win a free game. Two of our kids won a free game! We will be using our free game tickets when we return Spring 2018!