The Chattanooga Zoo opened its doors in 1937 with an exhibit containing two rhesus monkeys. Pretty soon, it had expanded to include bobcats, lions, and gators, until eventually becoming the venerable non-profit institution it is today, supporting conservation efforts for rare and endangered species around the world.
In the zoo's forest area, chimps, wildcats, and tortoises roam their habitats to the sound of churning water beneath two waterfalls. Red pandas scurry around a Himalayan habitat, and spider monkeys spin gossamer webs in the jungle area. Kids can play with goats and sheep at the petting zoo, or take a few revolutions on the carousel. With a refurbished frame from 1927, it spins guests on the backs of hand-carved seats fashioned after endangered animals such as snow leopards and low lying gorillas.
Behind the scenes, the zoo's caretakers work to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year so that they can return to the wild. They also lead conservation efforts for rare species—including snow leopards, fennec foxes, and cotton-top tamarins—and educate thousands of students annually with interactive events catered to school curricula.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
Chattanooga DanceSport's qualified instructors can assist dancers of all skill levels, from beginning two-step stompers to professional rug rippers. Private classes allow couples to learn together and solo-swingers to pair off with an instructor in any of the available dance styles, including Rumba, Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, and California Raisin Shuffle. The main dance floor and its mirror-lined walls set the mood for group classes, which take place from 7–8 p.m. on select weekdays. During each class, a troupe of tyro trotters covers a specific style of body movin'—upcoming sessions include Rumba, Merengue, and the classic waltz.
The friendly staff at Cloud 9 stockpiles a variety of different tobacco and tobacco-free shisha flavors, alongside a menu of fingerpicking fare and craft beers. Guests can pack regular ($12) or large ($18) hookah bowls with tasty fusions such as the apple, cherry, and coconut blend of Al-Fakher, or add extra zest with flavor bases more juicy than grape-juice gossip ($5). Their collection of comestibles unveils the tomato bruschetta atop a toasted baguette ($4) and the stuffed pita a la jones ($5), which delivers bite-size packages of house hummus and feta to oral doorsteps. Cool off a piping-hot palate with bottles of Avery Ellie's brown ale and Yuengling lager ($3.50 each), or take a swig from your own bottle of spirits ($8 cork fee).
For more than 25 years, Choo Choo Diving and Aquatic Center's SSI Open Water instructors and assistants have been helping people feel comfortable and confident in the water. During the three-hour Scuba Rangers program, children learn about scuba safety and scuba gear assembly, then experience the sensation of breathing underwater without accidentally swallowing bubble bath. Each class takes place from 6–9 p.m. on Saturday evenings and teaches kids how to interact with underwater life and identify different types of fish, while providing them with basic underwater communication skills, such as the super slow-motion high five.