CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Celebrate some of nature’s eerie species with daily Oddtober encounters during October at the Tennessee Aquarium.
This rotating suite of programs is offered for free with Aquarium membership or admission in addition to the usual daily Extraordinary Experiences schedule. Each ODDtober session features animals that are unusual, extraordinary and (occasionally) misunderstood.
Visitors can enjoy two new programs each week. Each presentation highlights a creature that is “stranger than fiction,” from the deceptively intelligent Fish Crow and the color-changing Panther Chameleon to the surprisingly talkative Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and the blinking Giant Freshwater Pufferfish.
Here are the programs guests can look forward to:
• Oct. 3-7 — Skin & Scales (12:30 p.m. in Ocean Journey’s second level) and Opposum Oddities (1:30 p.m. in River Journey’s upper lobby)
• Oct. 8-14 — Touchable Sharks (11 a.m. in Ocean Journey’s Stingray Bay) and Colorful Chameleons (2 p.m. in River Journey’s lower lobby)
• Oct. 15-21 — Not-so-Creepy Crawlies (12:30 p.m. in River Journey’s upper lobby) and Bizarre Butterflies (2 p.m. in Ocean Journey’s Butterfly Garden)
• Oct. 22-31 — Peculiar Pufferfish (11 a.m. in River Journey’s Rivers of the World gallery) and Curious Crows (2:30 p.m. in River Journey’s lower lobby)
In addition to learning more about these fascinating animals, guests can also take home special collectible cards featuring facts about each program’s highlighted species. These will be offered to all guests at each program’s conclusion as well as at any time to Aquarium members entering via the members’ entrance.
This year, weekend visitors will have even more opportunities to become immersed in fall fun at the Aquarium.
Each Saturday, costumed divers surrounded by schooling fish and curious turtles will show off their pumpkin-carving skills during special dive presentations at 11 a.m. (Spider-Man and Buzz Lightyear’s underwater knife work is pretty spectacular.)
On Sundays, kids will love spending time up close with cool creatures during Young Scientist programs. Aquarium educators have designed this series of new interactive sessions for school-age children in the hopes of sparking waves of curiosity about creatures they might encounter, at home and around the world. Young Scientists can pop into the special program gallery on the A-level of the River Journey building (next to Seahorses), between 1:15 and 2 p.m., to get in touch with their inner biologist.
Each week features a different theme:
• Oct. 8 — Tide Pools
• Oct. 15 — Turtles
• Oct. 22 — Spiders
• Oct. 29 — Insects
Finally, the month wraps up with AquaScarium. This family-friendly Halloween bash features spooky (but not too spooky) encounters with amazing wildlife and costumed special guests, including mermaids, pirates and larger-than-life animals. Guests are encouraged to attend in costume as well. As they explore the Aquarium, visitors will be able to stock up on sweets at candy stations located throughout both buildings, then have a wild time dancing with costumed characters at the Monster Mash.
Children attending AquaScarium must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $8 for members, $25/$35 for guests of members (adults/children ages 3-12) and $30/$40 for non-members (adults/ages 3-12).
For more information, visit www.community.tnaqua.org/events/member-programs/fall/2017/aquascarium.