Family-friendly tourist attractions pack downtown Chattanooga

Family-friendly tourist attractions pack downtown Chattanooga

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By TEARSA SMITH
Good Morning Tennessee Anchor/Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WATE) - Chattanooga is quickly becoming a tourist destination of choice because of all the city has to offer, especially in the heart of downtown.

Tennessee's fourth largest city boasts a downtown with Southern charm and big city entertainment.

"Chattanooga is sort of perfectly located an hour and a half from Knoxville, an hour and a half from Atlanta. So people that don't want to take a big trip, there is just so much to do in the Chattanooga area between the museum, the aquarium and the attractions on Lookout Mountain," says Henry Schulson, executive director of the Creative Discovery Museum.

One of the biggest draws is the fact that most of the activities in the center of town can be reached on foot.

Chattanooga is an easy go-to stop for those not able to spend hundreds, if not thousands on a family vacation.

Some of the attractions visitors frequent are the Chattanooga Choo Choo, Hunter Museum of American Art, IMAX 3D Theater, Lookout Mountain Attractions and Ruby Falls, just to name a few.

It's a hard job trying to keep a child entertained on vacation so you have to find something that will keep them happy and interested.

The Creative Discovery Museum can do just that.

Jessica Stoeger enjoyed spending time at the children's museum with her toddler. "Oh just because there is so much for them to do. There is just a lot of toys and a lot of little things that they can get into. There is just everything available," she said.

Schulson says the Discovery Museum is the perfect getaway for East Tennesseans on a budget. "I like it for a number of reasons. One, because it paints smiles on kids faces all the time, but really one of the best ways that kids learn is through the power of play. I think we have such a rich environment and so many different types of learning environments."

Playtime is centered around the sciences, music, art and more.

The museum is great for kids up to around age 12, but don't count out your toddler having fun.

"We also have a special area just for children who are under four years old, the Little Yellow House which I think is a very popular area. It has both a kitchen play area and also an area for the little yellow garage," Schulson said.

For many of the preschoolers exploring the building, it's a world of discovery.

"Amazing, absolutely amazing. He is, my son, is very, very mechanically inclined. He likes to see how things work so this is going to be a lot of fun for him," Stoeger said.

The museum has an exciting new exhibit for little ones, Bob the Builder: Project Build. It's a 2,000 square-foot multimedia traveling exhibit.

The popular children's character will be at the museum through September.

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