You Can Have A Sleepover With Penguins At Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies

There are plenty of unique animals in the world but penguins seem to be in a class of their own. I don’t know if it’s the way they walk, the funny antics they display, or the fact that they often look like they’re dressed for dinner.

Regardless of why we love penguins, many of us want to get to know as much about them as we possibly can. Unfortunately, we are often limited to seeing them from afar, either through online videos or from a distance at a zoo.

Photo: Flickr/Brent Moore License: CC BY 2.0

That is, of course, unless you are visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you have the opportunity to see penguins up close and personal.

Even better than seeing them, they are taking part in a program called Pints and Penguins.

Photo: Flickr/Todd Fowler License: CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are at least 21 years of age and have $165 to spend on the ticket, you can hang out with the penguins for 13 hours. The event takes place from 7:30 PM until 8:30 AM, and it has much to offer for the price.

You will be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour and can roam around the aquarium until breakfast the next morning. You will be served appetizers and cocktails.

Some have expressed concerns that they would miss out because of penguins sleeping all night. The aquarium gives a good explanation. “Don’t worry — African penguins have unusual sleeping patterns and will keep you entertained until your drift off to dreamland,” they shared.

The aquarium went on to say that penguins take short naps throughout the day and they can even sleep while standing or floating in the water.

Photo: Flickr/Paul Hudson License: CC BY 2.0

If you are unable to take part in the event or if you just want to watch them more when you get home, they have a 24-hour live feed.

African penguins have some unique abilities. They average 2.5 minutes under the water while holding their breath. They also mate for life and although they can’t fly, they do share parenting duties. June 24 is the next opportunity to take part in this event. It will also be coming up in August and October.

Aside from the Pints and Penguins events, they also offer a $99 early admittance to their Pancakes and Penguins event. For $75, you can watch them paint a painting or you can just make a Penguin Pal for $50.

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