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17691
Tennessee

Underwater and Outer Space: Chattanooga With Your Grandchild

Learn all about Chattanooga and beyond as you and your grandchild ride a historic train, experience a space simulator, visit an underground waterfall and explore an aquarium!
Rating (5)
Program No. 17691RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,999 / ADULT
1,249 / CHILD
Tennessee

Underwater and Outer Space: Chattanooga With Your Grandchild

Learn all about Chattanooga and beyond as you and your grandchild ride a historic train, experience a space simulator, visit an underground waterfall and explore an aquarium!
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,999 / ADULT
1,249 / CHILD
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
1,999 / ADULT
1,249 / CHILD
Program No. 17691RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Age 9 - 12
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jun 25 - Jun 30, 2023
Per Adult
1,999
Per Child
1,249
Select
Jun 25 - Jun 30, 2023
1,999
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
1,999
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
2,549
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
Select Date
Jul 9 - Jul 14, 2023
Per Adult
1,999
Per Child
1,249
Select
Jul 9 - Jul 14, 2023
1,999
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
1,999
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
2,549
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

This adventure with your grandchild will launch you far beyond the borders of Chattanooga and into your imaginations as you play and learn together. Become an astronaut for a day at the Challengers Space Center as you fly a simulated space mission. Imagine you’re a conductor or an escaping outlaw as you climb aboard an old-school train for a ride on the rails. And transform yourself into a fish or favorite wild animal during visits to the Tennessee Aquarium and Chattanooga Zoo! After a week of science, history and a little make believe, you’ll head home with unforgettable memories under your belt!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day over uneven terrain and including stairs.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Ride the rails across Chickamauga Creek, and hang around the sharks at the Tennessee Aquarium.
  • At the Challenger Space Center, get “launched” into space and conduct research in a real Space Lab.
  • Hear tales of notorious outlaws, Civil War Soldiers and Native American warriors and discover an underground waterfall at Lookout Mountain.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-12.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Justin Strickland
Justin Strickland has been fascinated by trains his entire life. His first "railroad" job was with the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway at the age of 15, where he eventually became a conductor. Justin has also worked with the Southeastern Railway Museum, Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. He authored the only book dedicated to the Terminal Station in Chattanooga and has been interviewed for the railroad documentary "Tracing the Tracks."

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Justin Strickland
Justin Strickland View biography
Justin Strickland has been fascinated by trains his entire life. His first "railroad" job was with the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway at the age of 15, where he eventually became a conductor. Justin has also worked with the Southeastern Railway Museum, Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. He authored the only book dedicated to the Terminal Station in Chattanooga and has been interviewed for the railroad documentary "Tracing the Tracks."
Profile Image of Maury Nicely
Maury Nicely View biography
Maury Nicely is a lawyer and historian in Chattanooga, Tenn., and author of the “Chattanooga Walking Tour & Historic Guide” and the “East Tennessee Walking Tour & Historic Guide.” Maury has served on the boards of Chattanooga History Center and Cornerstones, Inc., Chattanooga's historic preservation organization.
Profile Image of Carol Burton
Carol Burton View biography
Carol Burton attended Dalton State College, where she began her 16 years as a Road Scholar coordinator with its Center for Educational Adventure. Married to her childhood sweetheart, she grew up in Hampton, Va., and moved to Georgia in 1970. Carol said she was born with a love for animals and volunteers with her local humane society.
Profile Image of Bud Ellis
When Bud Ellis was an art professor at the University of Tennessee, a student brought in an old carousel horse that needed repair. Bud took the horse apart and studied how it was put together decades ago. This was the start of Bud’s career building carousel horses and, eventually, two complete carousels in Chattanooga, Tenn. Bud is also an excellent woodcarver and artist who teaches students the proper techniques for shading, gold leafing and making the animal look realistic.
Profile Image of Matt Downer
Matt Downer View biography
Matt Downer has been documenting and performing with the elder musicians of the Tennessee Valley region for more than a dozen years. Specializing in pre-1930 string band music on fiddle and banjo, Matt performs regularly with the Old Time Travelers and does solo performances in and around the Tri-State area.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Chattanooga's Terminal Station (TN)
by Justin W. Strickland
Long before Glenn Miller made the world-famous "Chattanooga Choo Choo" an American icon, Chattanooga was already a bustling railroad community. By the beginning of the 20th century, passenger trains overwhelmed Chattanooga's two railroad depots and a larger station was needed. The solution was Terminal Station, which rivaled most Southern depots in size, expense, and aesthetic beauty. Providing transportation to cities throughout the country, the terminal made its mark as the gateway for rail from the agricultural south to the industrial north. Following its closure, the terminal was reopened as a renowned hotel and entertainment complex in 1973, becoming one of Chattanooga's many exciting attractions. Images of Rail: Chattanooga's Terminal Station follows the history of this depot in both stories and photographs.
Chattanooga Landmarks (TN): Exploring the History of the Scenic City (The History Press) [Paperback]
by Jennifer Crutchfield
Chattanooga's history and heritage are embodied in the historical sites, structures and groundbreaking feats of engineering that have defined the city from its beginning. Many of the Scenic City's most important landmarks are still preserved. Yet with so many fascinating historic sites and storied destinations, seeing them all is no easy task. Fortunately, Chattanooga Landmarks offers a helpful survey of the most historically significant sites in the city and the surrounding area. Join Chattanooga local Jennifer Crutchfield as she guides you through the city's historic wonders, both natural and man-made. From the top of Lookout Mountain down to the banks of the Tennessee River and through downtown, Chattanooga Landmarks covers the breadth of the historic sites that make this Tennessee city a landmark all its own.
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Chattanooga, TN
D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After checking in and receiving your key at the front desk, please go to the conference room located near the lobby area to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Orientation 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program.] Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren during the program. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Afterwards we'll have a "Getting to Know You" activity with grandparents and grandkids. This program features many different opportunities for learning and doing things together. Intergenerational relationships are the key as we learn with and from one another.

DAY
2
History, Ride the Rails, IMAX Theater, Choo Choo Terminal
Chattanooga, TN
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking on paved and some uneven terrain at the Railroad Museum. Getting on/off a train with 3 steps up.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will begin today’s adventure with a history of Chattanooga given by our expert who has taught numerous programs for Road Scholar in Chattanooga. Kids will enjoy this summary of history, as well as adults. Next, we'll take a motorcoach ride to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, where we’ll hear from an expert about the exciting history of Chattanooga following the call for “all aboard” on a shortline railroad ride. We’ll cross Chickamauga Creek and pass through the pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge tunnel that became the hub of local railroading activity in the early 1900s. We’ll see a turntable demonstration and explore the railroad repair shop, where we’ll learn how the railroad was built, how railroads are maintained today, and about the lives of those who fought here. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Especially for Kids: After lunch we will experience the six-story IMAX screen, the largest in the region at the Tennessee Aquarium. It is the only one big enough to display a life-sized blue whale. There will be time for swimming or socializing with newfound friends this afternoon.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We’ll travel by motorcoach to the 106-year old Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal, where we’ll enjoy stories of this majestic station, see train cars, and learn more about the famous Terminal significant in its role of the train era with its “Track 29”.

DAY
3
Horsin' Around Carving School, Coolidge Park, Space Center
Chattanooga, TN
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking at Coolidge Park includes over some uneven, paved terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board the motorcoach for Soddy Daisy, TN, a 20-minute drive, to visit a carving school, the only one of its kind in the country. We will see firsthand the students’ carving ability and master carvers at work as we learn of their role in the restoration of the antique 1894 Dentzel carousel at Coolidge Park on the Chattanooga waterfront. Especially for Kids: We will then visit the carousel and pick a favorite animal to ride.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: We will board our motorcoach for the Challenger Center. The UTC Challenger Learning Center is a member of the National Challenger Center Network that has 45 centers located in the United States, Great Britain, South Korea and Canada. The Challenger Centers were built as a living memorial for the crew of the Challenger Space Shuttle mission that ended in tragedy on January 28, 1986. Especially for Kids: In the Mission Control room, designed after NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station, we will fly simulated space missions. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: This evening we will enjoy a musical presentation for kids and grands.

DAY
4
Rock City and Ruby Falls, Lunch On Top Lookout Mountain
Chattanooga, TN
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles, less than 1 hour. At Rock City, walking 100-foot trail; 35 stairs in sets of 4-5 stairs with handrails; uneven, inclines. Ruby Falls building entrance handicapped accessible, cave not wheelchair accessible. Elevator down to starting point of cave walk, approximately 4/5 of a mile each way; hard packed dirt, uneven paths, no seating. Participants must be able to remain comfortably on their feet up to 90 minutes.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, we will take a motorcoach to Lookout Mountain, famous for its many unusual geological features. Located 1,700 feet above sea level, with a 100-foot waterfall that cascades down the mountain, and the famous Swing-A-Long Bridge that spans nearly 200 feet, Rock City is a true marvel of nature, featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking panoramic views of seven states. We’ll take an unforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail, where each step reveals natural beauty and wonders along the woodland path. The magic of Fairyland Caverns is a favorite for kids and grands.

Lunch: At a restaurant atop Lookout Mountain.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll continue our adventure on top of Lookout Mountain. Ruby Falls is unique: a 145-foot underground waterfall more than 1,120 feet beneath the mountain’s surface. The fascinating story of the formation of Lookout Mountain, the cave and Ruby Falls itself, on the banks of the Tennessee River, is told by the rocks that formed each of these wonders. We’ll learn about the rich history of this cave from our expert, a story that includes Native Americans, cave explorers, notorious outlaws, Civil War soldiers, and even a President of the United States.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Chattanooga Zoo, Duck Boat Land to Sea, Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga, TN
B,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

Activity note: Walking at the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Zoo is approximately 1-2 hours at each location. Getting on/off duck boat is 4-5 steps up into the boat.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, we will visit the Chattanooga Zoo, a 13-acre zoological park. This zoo is designed specifically to view the animals up close and personal. The zoo always has special programs for visitors but at this time we don't know which program is available but our group will get to see and hear up close as always. After a morning at the zoo, we’ll board an authentic WWII amphibious landing craft, built specifically for the D-Day invasion, to enjoy an historic trip through downtown Chattanooga before splashing into the Tennessee River at Ross' Landing for an historical and ecological exploration of the river and the Chattanooga Waterfront. More than just a ride—it’s an adventure!

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll meet up at the Tennessee aquarium at a designated time and place. We will take a remarkable journey through the aquarium’s two buildings, from a cove forest high in the Appalachian mountains to a coral reef in the blue depths of the Gulf of Mexico, to explore life above and below the water's surface.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Get together at the pool for one last swim together.

DAY
6
Wrap-up Session, Program Concludes
Chattanooga, TN
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel classroom with our group leader we will review what we’ve seen and learned as share our fondest memories of this time together. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.