If you go
› What: A Party In the Sky
› Where: Tennessee Aquarium Imax 3D Theater, 201 Chestnut St.
› When: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.
› Admission: $8 for Aquarium members of all ages, $12 nonmembers. Price includes a ticket to the 2 p.m. screening of “Conquest of the Skies 3D.” Optional admission to the Aquarium is $29.95 adults, $18.95 for ages 3-12.
› For more information: 423-266-4629
From Atlas beetles' ponderous liftoff to starlings' gracefully synchronized aerial maneuvering, "Conquest of the Skies 3D" covers the full gamut of natural flight.
But on Saturday, Jan. 27, the newest film on the Imax 3D Theater's six-story screen gets even more incredible when A Party In the Sky is held. This one-time event will feature pre- and post-screening activities that offer deeper insights into the story of how animals took to the heavens.
In the pre-screening fun, kids will meet Velcro, the Aquarium's flying squirrel, and complete a crafting activity in the theater lobby.
Then the party continues with a movie screening. For 45 minutes, guests will be dazzled by slow-motion footage of hummingbirds jousting and be taken back in time (courtesy of computer-generated animation) to watch winged reptiles in the Paleozoic skies.
After the movie, the fun continues in a nearby classroom with bird- and flying insect-related games and activities that build on the film's lessons. Education staff overseeing these activities will make sure no child leaves with questions unanswered or curiosity unsatisfied, says Aquarium Group Program Manager Carrie Shaw.
"I think kids will take away from the film that there are lots of different animals that have adapted to fly for lots of different reasons and in lots of different ways," Shaw says.
"Afterward, they can ask educators about what they saw. Normally, there's not a lot of inquiry involved with seeing an Imax film, so this is a good opportunity to deepen their understanding."
Even when the party ends, the learning doesn't have to. By purchasing a separate admission to the Aquarium, guests can get up close and personal with a wide variety of Aquarium aviators, from native songbirds in the Mississippi Delta Country to dozens of longwing butterfly species flitting through the butterfly garden.
For more information about A Party In the Sky or to register in advance, visit community.tnaqua.org/events/member-programs/winter/2017/conquest-of-the-skies.