Our hotel was a quick 10 minute walk from the famous Walnut Street Bridge...the LONGEST pedestrian bridge in the WORLD! It was our pathway from downtown Chattanooga to the North Shore. After about a 10 minute stroll across the Tennessee River, we cooled off at Coolidge Park.
Coolidge Park was very, very kid friendly...the kiddos played in the water fountain and climbed on the giant animals. We had a packed lunch or dinner there a couple days and was able to stay COOL. Allie ran right in and liked to stand in the middle where most of the water sprayed out. Ayden also jumped right in. He was even so brave to stick his face right in the fountain.
Another favorite attraction at Coolidge Park was the antique 100-year old carousel. The kiddos rode on it a number of times during our trip.
We enjoyed the views at the look out points when we reached the top. We also were able to see the gears in action pulling the train up and down the side of Lookout Mountain.
We ALL loved the Aquarium in Chattanooga...and it was around the corner from our hotel...so convenient. There were two separate buildings to venture through...the River Journey and Ocean Journey. Along with all the unique fish, sharks and seahorses...we all had the opportunity to touch some fish, stingrays and even SHARKS!! It was really cool. Allie was very nervous to touch, but Ayden would have dove in and swam with the sharks if we would have let him. Another cool thing was the peek-a-boo tanks where we could crawl up into the tank to get an up close view of some of the sea creatures.
At the aquarium plaza, the kiddos were able to cool off in the "river." Allie and Ayden both liked to walk and climb on the rocks and splash in the water. Some days the kids played in their clothes (or diaper) and other times we wore our suits.
Also by the aquarium were the water stairs...they were so fun! Ayden spent most of his time walking up and down as the water rushed across his little feet. Allie found a friend or two to hang out with. Ayden wanted Allie to hold his hand (not Momma's) when he walked up and down. He would often yell for her..."AAAAlllliieee!" They played a bit together...so sweet.
I was very surprised to discover that MOON PIES were originated in Chattanooga! Who knew?!? I grew up on Moon Pies. It must be a southern thing. Downtown we strolled past the one and only Moon Pie store. It was filled with Moon Pie paraphernalia, all different kinds of Moon Pies, and even Moon Pie ice cream and milkshakes! Allie and Ayden both discovered they too like Moon Pies. Allie's favorite was lemon and salted caramel. Ayden liked banana the best (I think) and I had a few too many banana ice cream Moon Pie sandwiches. Delish!!!
Our tour started on land...then continued ON the Tennessee river. The highlight of the tour was entering the river (of course). And Captain Allie even had the opportunity to drive us! She did a great job and kept us afloat.
The last two days of our trip were spent at the Children's Museum right next door to our hotel. The museum was HUGE and there were so many fun things to keep the littles busy, busy, busy! There was a giant indoor play structure with a wet and wild water area, a doctor's office with all kinds of doctor tools, a music room to play any instrument you'd ever dream of, a dinosaur room to dig for dino bones, the bee alley where we saw REAL BEES in their hives making honey, a playhouse with the best little kitchen and garden, and a super tall tower to climb to get a view of downtown.
This year the feature of the summer was Thomas the Train. There was an area dedicated to Thomas and his friends. Allie and Ayden liked making Percy chug by adding coal and water to his engine. Allie spent hours at the GIANT train table. The museum was a favorite place for the littles so we decided to go back for a second day.