Spring Break Safari

Spring Break Safari

March 11th, 2011 by Susan Pierce in Chattnow Outabout

It's safari time in Chattanooga. For the next few weeks, nine local attractions will entertain families with special activities during the March madness known as spring break. To accommodate the differing schedules of area school systems, most events will last through mid-April. A couple even prolong the fun through summer vacation.

There are several roles for kids to play during Spring Break Safari. Families may choose any combination. Costs vary. Here's a brief look at what's available. Get more details, including which ones require reservations, and a downloadable field guide to keep track of your adventures at www.springbreaksafari.com.

TENNESSEE AQUARIUM

  • Role: Keeper Kid.

  • To do: Feed otters, turtles and partridges; release butterflies; go behind-the-scenes with scuba divers; meet the vet (select dates).

  • Dates: Saturday through April 17.

  • Phone: 800-262-0695.

  • Website: www.tnaqua.org.

Extras

  • Williams Island Family Adventure Cruises take River Gorge Explorer passengers on 90-minute tour to the gateway of the Tennessee River gorge to learn about the history and wildlife of the area. Available Saturday through April 17. Spring-break pricing: $20 per person (ages 3 and older), $18 under age 3).

  • Imax movies include "Hubble 3D," a look into outer space through the NASA satellite through April 7, and "Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D," following world surfing champion Kelly Slater. Coming April 8 is "Born To Be Wild 3D," about the bond between humans and animals.

ROCK CITY GARDENS

  • Role: RockQuest Adventurer.

  • To do: Learn about native plants, birds, wildlife, sedimentary rocks, minerals, crystals and the forces of nature as you hike along the Enchanted Trail; get a free climb on the 25-foot climbing wall; take home a RockQuest guide and a bag of polished rocks.

  • Dates: Tuesday-May 1.

  • Phone: 800-854-0675, 706-820-2531.

  • Website: www.SeeRock City.com.

CREATIVE DISCOVERY MUSEUM

  • Role: Detective.

  • To do: Follow the adventures of Ginger, her dog and six friends through the "Good for You" exhibit, which teaches the importance of good diet and exercise through hands-on activities; munch on free trail mix snack.

  • Date: Daily through May 15.

  • Phone: 756-2738.

  • Website: www.cdmfun.org.

HUNTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

  • Role: Art explorer.

  • To do: View the artworks and architecture of the three structures from different time periods; uncover hidden treasures in each gallery; read, draw or watch videos; get a free Art Explorer Pack.

  • Dates: Saturday through April 24.

  • Phone: 267-0968.

  • Website: www.huntermuseum.org.

BLUFF VIEW ART DISTRICT

  • Role: Culinary creator.

  • To do: Wild About Cookies & Chocolate and Bakery Science Lab offer an exploration of the kitchens in the district; make cookies and bread; hand-dip chocolates; taste samples.

  • Dates: March 19-27.

  • Phone: 265-5033, ext. 481.

  • Role: Art explorer.

  • To do: Go on a scavenger art hunt to learn about the arts, architecture, gardening and cooking techniques in the district; get a reward from Rembrandt's when you solve all the mysteries.

  • Dates: Through Sept. 30.

  • Phone: 265-5033.

  • Website: www.bluffviewartdistrict.com.

Extras

  • Picnic in the Park, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Place an order for a picnic lunch from Rembrandt's Coffee House (265-5033, ext. 3) or Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria (265-5033, ext. 6), $8 to $15 per person, depending on order.

  • Break Out the Bocce (Italian lawn bowling), daily till sundown, March 19-27. Free but reservations required; call 265-5033, ext. 2.

RUBY FALLS

  • Role: Spelunker.

  • To do: Journey into the cavern not usually accessible to the public with only the flickering light of a lantern to learn about the folklore, history and geology of the cave; dig for fossils.

  • Dates: Monday-Wednesday through April 13.

  • Phone: 800-755-7105.

  • Website: www.rubyfalls.com.

SOUTHERN BELLE

  • Role: Pilothouse Mate.

  • To do: Join the captain and crew as the riverboat cruises the Tennessee River to learn about the Trail of Tears, Civil War battles, river life and water transportation; take home a free souvenir when you show your field guide.

  • Dates: Fridays and Saturdays through March; daily starting in April.

  • Reservations: 266-4488.

  • Website: www.chattanoogariverboat.com.

TENNESSEE VALLEY RAILROAD MUSEUM

  • Role: Conductor.

  • To do: Board the Missionary Ridge Local for a 55-minute ride on a rolling time machine and witness two ways to turn a train around; pass through the horseshoe-shaped Missionary Ridge Tunnel; tour the East Chattanooga repair/restoration facility.

  • Dates: Saturday-April 17.

  • Phone: 894-8028.

  • Website: www.tvrail.com.

CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO

  • Role: Conductor.

  • To do: Tour the 24-acre complex, complete with five restaurants, seven retail shops and Model Railroad Museum; get a free ride aboard the 1924 electric trolley and ring the bell as you pass through the Choo Choo station; get a free train whistle when you show your field guide. Overnight packages also available.

  • Dates: Saturday through April 17.

  • Phone: 800-TRACK29 or 423-266-5000.

  • Website: www.choochoo.com.