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Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is now a Certified Autism Center! This recognition means that the aquarium is committed to ensuring that guests with autism and sensory sensitivities have the best experience when they visit. Read on to learn more about this designation and the steps Ripley’s Aquarium took to become a Certified Autism Center.
Ripley’s Aquarium Now a Certified Autism Center
Becoming a Certified Autism Center isn’t a simple task. This designation is given by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Some of the roadblocks businesses have to overcome are sensory experiences, dietary restrictions, and safety concerns. The staff at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies completed autism sensitivity and awareness training to learn how to communicate with guests with sensory needs. They also learned safety concerns and protocols. It is currently the only spot in Tennessee listed as a Certified Autism Center on AutismTravel.com, a resource for parents that lists certified destinations. Now, everyone who visits Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies can have a fun-filled experience!
Ripley’s Aquarium Sensory Friendly Nights
One of the programs Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has is Sensory Friendly Nights. The Sensory Friendly Nights occur on specific dates throughout the year and provide a quieter experience for guests. Families receive $3 off of admission! All you have to do is mention “Sensory Nights” at the admission window to get the discount. Sensory Friendly Nights happen from 5 p.m. until the Gatlinburg aquarium closes.
Annual Autism Family Day
Each year, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies holds an Autism Family Day. The aquarium opens extra early, with all the background music turned off. The event is hosted by Advocates for Autism and allows everyone to be able to experience what the aquarium has to offer. There is also a Quiet Room available in the aquarium during Autism Family Day.
More About Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the top aquarium in the country, and it’s no surprise why! It has something to offer for everyone and is home to thousands of aquatic animals. See everything from fish, to eels, to stingrays, to sharks! Walk through an underwater tunnel in Shark Lagoon and come face-to-face with nurse sharks, sandtiger sharks, and even a green sea turtle. You can also participate in unique experiences that allow you to interact with the animals. Touch a stingray, waddle with penguins, hold a horseshoe crab, or touch a jellyfish! Once you visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you’ll understand why it’s the best aquarium in the country. Throughout the year, you can be entertained by a variety of live shows, like the Shark Lagoon Dive and the Mermaids Dive! If you want to learn more about the ocean, watch the Marine Science show, which teaches you about the ocean and the animals that live in it. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this Gatlinburg aquarium.
Now that Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a Certified Autism Center, it truly is a place where everyone can have a fun and exciting time in Gatlinburg! Don’t miss your chance to visit this incredible aquarium while you’re in the Smoky Mountains. When you get your tickets through Visit My Smokies, you’ll receive a $2 discount and free cancellation up to a certain date! Click here to get your tickets today.