Chattanooga Family Attractions for Adventure and Time Together

Located in southeast Tennessee in the Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga has become one of the best destinations for outdoor activities in the region. The city also creates an environment perfect for families as they can play and make memories together. To learn why this city is so cool, read about the top Chattanooga family attractions.

Fun Chattanooga Family Attractions and Things To Do

chattanooga attractions family aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium

Located downtown on the Riverfront, Tennessee Aquarium is one of the most popular Chattanooga family attractions. The aquarium includes two buildings and provides a home to thousands of animals including amphibians, birds, fish and other marine life. Popular exhibits feature sharks, penguins, otters, jelly fish, turtles and river giants.

In addition, visitors also have the opportunity to watch movies at the IMAX theater and take guided tours to get a behind-the-scenes look before the aquarium opens to the public.

Rock City Gardens at Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain has several things to do. One of the musts is Rock City Gardens, an outdoor attraction with ancient rock formations, gardens, and a place to see seven states in one spot. Families enjoy browsing more than 400 species of plants, walking across the swinging bridge, strolling trails with caves and a fairytale cavern. Afterwards, all ages sample sweets at the Fudge Kitchen.

While exploring Lookout Mountain, visitors have access to an incline railway, which travels about a mile and ranks among the steepest inclines in the world.

ruby falls chattanooga tn

Ruby Falls

Also located in Lookout Mountain is the country’s tallest underground waterfall open to the public. In order to see Ruby Falls, families ride a glass elevator down 260 feet and participate in an easy walking tour. The tour takes place through caves where a guide explains the accidental discovery and history of Ruby Falls.

Chattanooga Zoo

Perfect for animal lovers, Chattanooga Zoo provides a place to learn about animals and their habitats. During the visit, guests may see giraffes, chimps, large cats, coyote, reptiles and other species that live at the zoo.

For an additional fee, kids may enjoy feeding giraffes and wild encounters. Examples include red panda, fennec fox, meerkat, Komodo dragon and capybara. Guided zoo tours are also available and last about 30 minutes.

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Creative Discovery Museum

Creative Discover Museum welcomes all ages. The attraction aims to encourage interactive learning and fun. The youngest guests should play at the infant garden where they practice motor skills. Toddlers and school-aged children will love exhibits such as Tennessee River Play, Corner Clinic and Performing Arts Gallery. There is also a visual arts gallery, inventor station and excavation station.

To better accommodate all abilities, the museum hosts after school programs, summer camps and free low-sensory events each month.

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park

Those looking for an action-packed day full of rides and thrills have a blast at Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park. The park has kiddie rides, gentle rides for families, coasters and thrills, and a water park.

Kiddie rides include kid-size boats, swings, saucers and elephants, to name a few. For thrills, ride the boat chute, roller coasters, drops and genie spinner. Families also enjoy the gentle alpine ride, carrousel, Ferris wheel, paddleboats, train, and other gentle rides. At the water park, visitors can soak, slide, splash and relax on the lazy river.

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Coolidge Park

Ranked among the top Chattanooga family attractions for affordability, Coolidge Park is a place to play and mingle with local families. At the park, guests admire Tennessee River views, play in the water fountain, picnic with loved ones and ride an historic carrousel.

If that’s not enough to do, Coolidge Park at 150 River Street sits adjacent to art galleries, restaurants, shops and entertainment. All families have to do is walk across the Walnut Street Bridge.

High Point Climbing and Fitness

When it’s too hot or cold to play outside, families should head to High Point Climbing and Fitness. There are two locations in Chattanooga. Both offer beginner, intermediate and expert rock-climbing classes. The facility has a kid zone, indoor and outdoor walls, and fitness classes.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Tennessee Valley Railroad (TVR) Museum ranks among the top Chattanooga family attractions as it allows riders to experience a different time when railroad was king.

TVR hosts different train rides that range in length and price. Popular options for families include the Missionary Ridge Local and Hiwassee Loop. For something special, try the Dinner on the Diner, which welcomes all ages and serves dinner. Visitors won’t just see exhibits of trains; they actually ride them.

Learn more about vacationing in Chattanooga and find more things to do in Tennessee.