The Shedd Aquarium is home to more than 22,000 fish and over 32,000 creatures in total, from about 1,500 species, including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects. With about 2 million visitors annually, Shedd has been the most visited aquarium in the country multiple years, and is a major attraction in Chicago. Shedd became the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection after shipping millions of gallons of saltwater from the Atlantic waters of Florida.
The history of the aquarium is connected with the vision of its founder John G. Shedd, who wanted to build a stand-alone aquarium, not a part of the zoo to attract visitors.
Major exhibits at the Shedd Aquarium include a miniature version of the Amazon River and its jungles. Animals that are part of this exhibit include anacondas, rays, and crocodiles, which are found in the wilderness of the Amazon. The Zebra Shark at the Wild Reef is an interesting exhibit. This shark resembling a zebra is quite lazy as they wander about at a very slow speed. Another interesting exhibit at the aquarium is of the Australian lungfish, Granddad. At an age of over 80 years, this fish is the oldest in the aquarium. Also, it is the only fish to have survived for long in all the aquariums around the world.
The Caribbean Reef is represented in its own exhibit, which houses a green sea turtle (Nickel), a moray eel, rays, and sharks. The Oceanarium features an aquatic show, starring Pacific White-sided dolphins and Beluga whales, with sea otters, and sea lions. Have an extraordinary experience of meeting with Belugas. The idea of meeting a whale is really thrilling! Other animals at the aquarium are otters and octopus.
Book Shed Aquarium vacation packages to enjoy various activities:
- The visitors may choose to participate in a 30-minutes penguin encounter at the Aquarium (available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays).
- Kids may splash, or play dressed up as the penguins at the Polar Play Zone.
- The Amazon Rising Exhibit takes the visitors on a memorable journey to watch the dangerous anacondas and piranhas, terrifying spiders, and camouflaged caiman, and beautiful rays.
- Watch “The Polar Express 4-D Experience” – a 15-minute movie at the aquarium. “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure 4-D” takes you on a timeless journey with one of the sea monsters. You may also choose to watch the “Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”
- The trainer for a day program lets you experience a day in the life of the trainer at Shedd. You will be taken to the Abbott Oceanarium kitchen, to see how meals are prepared for the animals at the aquarium. You will assist the trainer in his daily tasks, including feeding the animals.
- The aquarium also organizes some of the seasonal programs such as Summer Worlds Tours, Asleep with the Fishes Group Overnights, Girl’s Scout Overnight, Shedd Spring Break Camp, etc.
Volunteer Programs at the Aquarium
If you wish to be a part of the Shedd Aquarium’s workforce, you may volunteer for certain positions. The aquarium employs volunteers in the water quality laboratory to ensure the quality of water. It offers summer internships and marine mammal internships as well.
Parking at the Aquarium
There are two parking areas, while one is at the Soldier Field north garage entrance, the other is a small parking lot east of the Field Museum.
Other events at the aquarium
You may also book spaces for private events such as non-religious wedding, awards, meetings, etc.
On Wednesday evenings during the summers, Jazzin’ takes place at the aquarium. The Jellies Special exhibit visiting hours are extended during Jazzin’.
Shedd Aquarium Location Map
Shedd Aquarium Facts
- The Shedd Aquarium is named after its owner John G. Shedd.
- The aquarium was officially opened on May 30, 1990 in Chicago, Illinois.
- Backpacks, bags, and strollers of the visitors are subjected to entry inspection.
- Jonah Anderson was swallowed by a whale at the Shedd Aquarium, but he was lucky to survive the mishap.
- The aquarium works dedicatedly to preserve the Great Lakes.
- The Great Indian Circus from the Bollywood movie “Dhoom 3” was filmed at the Shedd Aquarium.
Where is Shedd Aquarium?
The Shedd Aquarium is located in Chicago, Illinois – south of Navy Pier. The aquarium sits along the shores of Lake Michigan, next to the famous Field Museum. You may choose to travel in the museum’s CTA’s #146 bus, which offers its services throughout the year.
- Distance of the Shedd Aquarium from the Navy Pier: Around 3.2 miles (via N Lake Shore Dr)
- Distance of the Shedd Aquarium from the Union Station: Around 2.4 miles (via W Jackson Blvd and S Columbus Dr)
Address:1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
Phone: +1 312-939-2438
Best time to visit Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium is open year-round, with shorter hours in the fall and winter months.
Shedd Aquarium Tickets
Admission tickets to the zoo are available for several experiences :
- Chicago CityPASS costs $98 per adult. Feeding Tour: Behind the Scenes in Wild Reef costs $89.95 per person while Behind-the-Scenes Tour costs $55.95 . The Penguin Encounter costs $75.95 per adult and $66.95 per child . These packages cover some of the services. A Total Experience Pass is also available for those who wish to enjoy everything that is available with the Shedd.
- Admission to the aquarium is free on some days. Check the official website before planning.
Shedd Aquarium Entrance Fee
Adult : $30.95
Child(3-12) : $21.95
Shedd Aquarium Hours
Each Day Of Week : 9 am – 5 pm
More about Shedd Aquarium
Who is the architect of the Shedd Aquarium?
How big is the Shedd Aquarium?
It covers an area of 422,000 square feet.
What is Shedd Aquarium Mini-Pass?
The employees at the aquarium are permitted to enter free with a Mini-Pass.
What is reciprocal membership?
The reciprocal membership allows you free admission in the Shedd Aquarium and entitles you to get discounts on admission at other exciting museums and aquariums.