Chattanooga’s Spring Break Safari 

Rock City Gardens

Enjoy family time in Chattanooga this spring break with one or more of these activities  

By Corinne Minard 

Still looking for something to do as a family this spring break? Consider visiting Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is hosting what it’s calling a Spring Break Safari March 10 through April 9. According to the Chattanooga Tourism Co., “participating attractions will allow kids to use their imaginations and explore with hands-on activities designed just for them.”  

While attractions throughout the city are participating, here are 10 to give you an idea of what you and your family could be doing this spring break. 

1. Creative Discovery Museum 

Your family can explore the different exhibits, like Tennessee RiverPlay, where you can explore the engine room of a tugboat; Little FarmHouse; ArtSpace; and STEM Zone. The temporary exhibit during spring break is “Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit.”  

2. Ruby Falls 

Families can take an underground tour underneath Lookout Mountain, which includes an underground glass elevator. After, you can try the zip line. For Spring Break, children 12 and under can receive a free geode to crack at home.  

3. Rock City Gardens 

Explore the nature atop Lookout Mountain with a RockQuest Guide. The guide will take through the enchanted trails and its 400 varieties of native plants and flowers, to Lover’s Leap for a view of seven states, and more.  

4. National Medal of Honor Heritage Center 

This museum puts you in the boots of people who have received the Medal of Honor with the help of state-of-the-art exhibits. 

National Medal of Honor Heritage Center

5. Bluff View Art District 

Visitors to the district can pick up an Artisanal Adventurer Map at Rembrandt’s Coffee House to help them explore this historic district. While the kids solve the mystery in the map, parents can enjoy the food and observe artisans at work.  

6. Tennessee Aquarium 

Already home to aquatic animals from around the world, the Tennessee Aquarium’s newest exhibit introduces you to creatures closer to home. The new Rivers-to-Rivers gallery features freshwater creatures like Saffron Shiners, Tennessee Dace, Stonerollers and Lake Sturgeon. 

Tennessee Aquarium

7. Hunter Museum of American Art 

Introduce the family to a variety of American paintings, sculptures, photography, glass art and more at this museum. Make sure to stop by the museum’s two traveling exhibits—”Beauford Delaney’s Metamorphosis into Freedom” and “Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe”—while you’re there. 

8. Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center 

Families can discover the animals and plants that call Tennessee home by exploring the Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center. The arboretum’s different environments include the Nature PlayScape, Lookout Creek and Candy Flats. Make sure to check in with the Welcome Center when you arrive to find out what the day’s activities are.  

9. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum 

Train fans will find lots to love at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. You can take the 55-minute Missionary Ridge excursion, which includes a ride through a tunnel built in 1958 and two methods for turning a train. Other excursions are offered throughout the year, so check the schedule before you visit. 

10. Chattanooga Zoo 

Meet chimpanzees, giraffes, jaguars, Komodo dragons, meerkats and more at this zoo. If you’re looking to get even closer, the zoo also offers a WILD Encounters program (where you go behind the scenes of exhibits like the red panda exhibit) and giraffe feedings.