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July 21, 2024

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SCUBA Claus Returns to Tennessee Aquarium

SCUBA Claus’s visits at 2 p.m. on December 3, 10 and 17 are just one element of the Aquarium’s annual Holidays Under the Peaks celebration.

Rejoice ye merry yule-makers! A … familiar … jolly, red-suited gentleman is returning to the Tennessee Aquarium in December to help the facility’s underwater residents spread a little holiday cheer.

Scuba Claus and more!

Santa is once again slipping on his fins and donning a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus — more commonly known as SCUBA — for weekend dips in the River Journey building’s freshwater exhibits. As he floats among enormous fishes in River Giants and weaves past a variety of native species in the Tennessee River gallery, he’ll be sure to wave hello and listen to Christmas requests from passing guests.

SCUBA Claus visits at 2 p.m. on December 3, 10 and 17 are just one element of the Aquarium’s annual Holidays Under the Peaks celebration. From Nov. 25 through Dec. 21, guests will enjoy festive music will exploring merrily decorated halls and galleries packed with seasonal surprises.

Santa returns for Tennessee Aquarium's annual Holidays Under the Peaks celebration | WZTV

Social media c-EEL-ebrity Miguel Wattson will again serve as the Aquarium’s designated tree lighter, enchanting visitors with an illuminating holiday display made possible by a novel bit of yuletide tech. Thanks to sensors in his exhibit, electric discharges by Wattson —  the Aquarium’s world-famous tweeting Electric Eel — will illuminate twinkling lights on a nearby tree in the Rivers of the World gallery.

After awakening from a well-earned Thanksgiving food coma, visitors seeking cinematic thrills can venture across the street from the Aquarium to the IMAX 3D Theater for a screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21-23 and at 7:15 p.m. Nov. 25-27. The theater and Aquarium will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Those seeking a cozier activity will delight at the return of The Polar Express 3D and the Aquarium’s annual PJs and Polar event. Viewers can don their favorite set of pajamas to meet the conductor and enjoy delicious hot cocoa and snacks during an extra-special, early screening of this modern holiday classic from 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. Capacity for this one-day event is limited, but Polar Express 3D will continue playing throughout December.

If you’re still searching for the perfect gift for that special someone, consider giving a year of endless adventures by gifting an Aquarium membership this holiday season. Memberships start at $120 and provide a full year of unlimited access to both Aquarium buildings. Deluxe memberships start at $180 and include a year of free admission to 45-minute IMAX films. Additional benefits and purchasing options are detailed at

Learn more about Scuba Claus and Holidays Under the Peaks at IMAX information, including showtimes for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Polar Express 3D, visit for PJs and Polar are available at here. Admission is $15 for Aquarium members, $13 for deluxe members and $20 for non-members. 



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.