It happens to the best of us. You plan, you wait, you pack up and head to your family vacation destination only to find that it’s raining. So, if you find yourself in Chattanooga with the kids, and they want to go out and play – where to go?
One of the first places I would suggest is the High Point Climbing and Fitness center. It’s a pretty cool place, and there are not many like it. In fact, a whole “none” that I’ve seen personally. Perfect for everyone in the family, this indoor (and some outdoor as well) rock climbing facility has beginner auto-belay walls, a top roping room, leading climbing pit, and two bouldering areas. What does that mean, you ask? It means that there are rock walls for people of all abilities. If you already knew that – then all the more reason you should go there. What about the kids? The Kid Zone is newly opened, with many (very cute) themed walls for the kids to scale, as well as run amok atop a city, a la King Kong. I kind of wanted to do that. OK, I totally wanted to do that. Alas, I was way not-a-kid, and was designated to taking photos only. A sad moment. If the kids are more experienced, there is a campus, moon, and adjustable wall. If one feels brave, they can scale the outdoor climbing wall – note; that one is all about the speed to the top, so know what you are doing. The view must be nice. I’m not that brave.
Centrally located in downtown Chattanooga, it is one block from the riverfront and has many attractions, restaurants, and facilities in the same area. Grab some dinner when you are done, let me recommend the Blue Water Grille if you like seafood.
It’s still raining? That’s too bad. Maybe not, because it’s the perfect excuse to visit the Creative Discovery Museum for children. You can easily spend the whole day here and still not experience the whole museum. Interactive, (shhh!) educational, and a whole lot of fun, it has won several accolades in children’s museums, as well as hosting regular and rotating exhibits. Children can be active and be exposed to music, art, science, animal science, human behaviors and abilities, gardening/plants, performing arts, and more. There are several times a day where kids and families can take classes, such as baking, sewing, or woodworking. There is also a roof top exhibit where kids can play on (and learn how to use) larger machines, teaching them basic principals of physics (think Archimedes screw).
How about a museum that moves? The Tennessee Valley Railroad is chock full of restored vintage trains, some of which are functional and you can take a ride in. Get your ticket from an old fashioned window, hand it to the conductor, board the train, and away you go. Once aboard, you will be given a loudspeaker tour about the area, the history of trains in Tennessee and beyond, about the equipment and towns you pass, and of course the trains you see themselves.
The train you ride will leave from Grand Junction Station and ride along one of the original railroad lines in Chattanooga, and pass through a pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge Tunnel dating back to 1858. In the middle of your ride, you can get off the train, visit a repair shop (and bathrooms) and also watch the engine spin around 180 degrees on a turntable to make a return trip.
Fun fact – it used to be done manually by four men. That’s a job.
For more information or to plan your next trip, visit http://www.chattanoogafun.com/ .