You can sleep over with the penguins at this aquarium

African penguin

Would you like to waddle around an aquarium with some penguins all night? At Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you can have a sleepover with a bunch of cute penguins. The 13-hour event (7:30 p.m.-8:30 a.m.) is called Pints and Penguins, and it’s for adults 21 and over. For $165 per person, you get appetizers, cocktails, a behind-the-scenes tour, a chance to roam around the aquarium and breakfast the next morning.

Take a look at this adorable video, and then just try to say no.

But will the penguins even be awake at night? The aquarium assures its guests that they will be.

“Don’t worry — African penguins have unusual sleeping patterns and will keep you entertained until your drift off to dreamland,” the aquarium explains. “They take short naps throughout the day and even have the unique ability to sleep while standing up or while floating in the water!”

And if you can’t get enough of these tuxedo-clad cuties, you can watch a 24-hour live feed of them when you get home. African penguins can’t fly, but they have other cool powers. For example, they hold their breath under the water for 2.5 minutes on average. We also love the fact that they have one mate for life, and they share parenting duties. (Both the males and females incubate their eggs to keep them warm and protected.)

The next event is scheduled for the night of June 24, but the aquarium also has Pints and Penguins events on their calendar in August and October.

If camping out all night isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to interact with the penguins at this aquarium. For $99 per person, the aquarium will grant you early admittance (8 a.m.) to meet them for breakfast at the Pancakes and Penguins event. Or you can Make a Penguin Pal with a $50 Penguin Encounter or watch them paint a masterpiece at the $75 Penguin Painting Experience. OK, well, you can watch them stomp around with paint on their paddle-like flippers. But it’s cute. And you get to take the painting home when they’re done!

Love penguins? We have more to explore!

Animals, Curiosity, Wild Animals

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About the Author
Jennifer Graham Kizer
Jennifer Graham Kizer has written features and essays for over a dozen magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Health, Parents, Parenting, Redbook and TV Guide. Visit Scripps News to see more of Jennifer's work.

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