Spring Break Safari: Backyard Scientist

What if you could. . .

Backyard Scientist. . . be a Backyard Scientist at the Tennessee Aquarium? The Southeast is home to an astounding array of animals, yet many of them lead secretive lives. Through the eyes of a scientist, kids will get a glimpse into the hidden lives and wonderful adaptations of native and exotic species while exploring the Aquarium’s incredible River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings.

Kids can become backyard scientists during spring break as they meet fascinating animals and the experts who care for them. Extra programs will be offered each week between March 9 and April 8 to give youngsters a scientist’s view into the hidden lives and wonderful adaptations of the region’s creatures. They’ll also discover how the Tennessee Aquarium’s scientists are saving threatened and endangered animals. Once their curiosity is aroused, kids will see the Aquarium’s myriad other animals – from alligators, turtles, and frogs to lemurs, penguins and butterflies – with more inquisitive eyes.

More than one dozen Extraordinary Experience programs are offered FREE each day with Aquarium admission. These short presentations provide even more opportunities for Backyard Scientists to ask questions of and learn from animal experts. Download the FREE Tennessee Aquarium app to see the complete listing of programs. After visiting the Aquarium, budding scientists can further stoke their passion for animals by seeing a new IMAX adventure that offers unprecedented views of the natural marvels they might encounter every day.  

New at IMAX: The Wild Around You 3D – opens March 16
You’ll be surprised and entertained by the unexpected wonders of nature found under our noses in our own backyards. Through cameras mounted inside dens and nests and moving along the forest floor and pond bottom, the filmmakers present rare, breathtaking and intimate moments most people will never see. You’ll follow young Katie and her family throughout the year as they — just — miss out on real-life spectacles taking place in and around their home. Initially absorbed by the array of electronic devices in their busy lives, Katie gradually awakens to the intricate secrets nature has hidden so close to her front door. You’ll share the joy she finds in her newfound awareness of this otherwise hidden world. The film reminds us that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters, that the out-of-doors really is “great” and that, sometimes in ordinary places, you can uncover extraordinary things that will transform you forever.

Also showing at IMAX: Conquest of the Skies 3D – now playing
Almost everyone has dreamed of flying at one time or another. Conquest of the Skies 3D, a new giant screen adventure, offers a thrilling opportunity to explore the aerial realm with animal aviators. This film contains spectacular close-up and slow motion footage of hummingbirds, dragonflies, birds of prey, butterflies and more. You’ll be entranced by the agility of insects, the velocities achieved when Peregrine Falcons dive, and by the majesty of migrating swans and soaring Griffon Vultures. This feature pairs well with your Aquarium experience as you get up close to birds in several exhibits and spend time observing the colorful wings fluttering around you in the Aquarium’s butterfly garden. Check website or Tennessee Aquarium app for daily schedule.

IMAX 3D: Check website for daily schedule.


  • Dates available: Friday, March 9-Sunday, April 8, 2018.
  • Free Spring Break Safari Guide: Available at ticketing and all entrances.
  • Extraordinary Experiences schedule, including new Backyard Scientist programs: Check the Aquarium’s website or mobile app for daily times.
  • IMAX 3D films: Add The Wild Around You 3D or Conquest of the Skies 3D at IMAX for just $6.
  • Aquarium hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

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