Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Behind the Scenes at Shedd Aquarium: Discovering Marine Life Like Never Before


When you step into the world of Shedd Aquarium, you’re not just visiting another tourist attraction; you’re embarking on an underwater journey that showcases the diversity and splendor of aquatic life from around the globe. Located on the edge of Lake Michigan, in the vibrant city of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is a gateway to an aquatic universe teeming with wonder. It’s a place where you can witness the majesty of a beluga whale, the grace of a sea turtle, and the kaleidoscopic beauty of tropical fish—all under one roof.

From its historic architecture to the modern marine habitats, the Aquarium has been dedicated to public education and conservation since it opened in 1930. Its mission is to connect people to the living world, inspiring them to care for and protect it. As you explore the exhibits, you’ll learn about the challenges facing marine ecosystems and what you can do to help. The Shedd Aquarium is not just an exhibit space; it’s a hub of research, conservation, and education—a place where you can become an advocate for the sea.

Shedd Aquarium

For marine enthusiasts and curious visitors alike, a trip to the Shedd Aquarium is an immersive experience that leaves a long-lasting impression. It’s a journey that takes you from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean, from the Amazon to the reefs of the Pacific, all within the confines of this grand institution. So, prepare yourself to dive into a world of aquatic marvels and discover the wonders of the deep at the Aquarium.

How to get Shedd Aquarium tickets


Securing your entry into the marine haven of the Shedd Aquarium is your first step in this aquatic adventure. To obtain tickets, you have several convenient options at your disposal. You can purchase tickets online through the Shedd Aquarium’s official website, which not only saves you time but also often gives you the opportunity to take advantage of online discounts. Alternatively, you can buy tickets on-site at the ticket counters, though this may mean waiting in line, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Before you make your purchase, consider the type of experience you’re looking for. The Shedd Aquarium offers various ticket packages, including all-access passes, which allow you to explore every exhibit, and general admission tickets, which cover the main galleries. There are also special experiences and behind-the-scenes tours that can make your visit even more memorable. Whichever option you choose, be sure to check for any available discounts or combo tickets that might include other Chicago attractions.

It’s important to note that ticket availability can fluctuate, especially during holidays and weekends. To ensure your spot, it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance. This way, you can plan your visit around the Shedd Aquarium hours and make the most of your time exploring the aquatic world. Remember, purchasing tickets is not just about entry—it’s your passport to an ocean of discovery.  You can get tickets at their website right here.

Making the most of Shedd Aquarium free days

Shedd Aquarium

For those looking to explore the Shedd Aquarium without stretching their budget, taking advantage of the Shedd Aquarium free days is a must. Throughout the year, the aquarium offers several free admission days for Illinois residents, allowing you to immerse yourself in the aquatic exhibits without the cost of admission. These days are perfect for families, students, and anyone interested in marine life to learn and have fun.

To make the most of these complimentary days, planning ahead is essential. Free days at the Shedd Aquarium are incredibly popular and can draw large crowds. To avoid long wait times and ensure a smooth entry, it’s wise to arrive early. Also, check the Shedd Aquarium’s website for the free day schedule and any special events or exhibits that might be happening. This way, you can tailor your visit to see the things you’re most interested in.

While enjoying free admission, don’t forget to explore all that the aquarium has to offer. From the Abbott Oceanarium with its playful dolphins to the Wild Reef with its stunning array of coral and fish, there’s no shortage of sights to behold. Additionally, consider attending educational presentations or interactive animal encounters to enhance your experience. Remember, even on free days, the wonders of the Shedd Aquarium are boundless.

A virtual tour of Shedd Aquarium Chicago

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has embraced technology, providing an online experience that allows you to navigate through the exhibits and learn about the marine animals with just a few clicks.

Through the virtual tour, you’ll gain access to panoramic views of the various aquatic habitats. You can virtually stroll through the Caribbean Reef, linger at the mesmerizing jellyfish exhibit, or marvel at the grandeur of the Oceanarium. Each virtual stop comes with detailed information about the species you’re observing, making it an educational and engaging experience.

In addition to exploring the exhibits, the virtual tour often includes behind-the-scenes content that provides a glimpse into the daily operations of the aquarium. You can see how the experts at the Shedd care for the animals, maintain the habitats, and conduct research and conservation efforts. This digital dive into the Shedd Aquarium enriches your understanding of marine life and the importance of preserving our world’s waters.

Shedd Aquarium parking: Tips and tricks


When planning your visit to the Shedd Aquarium, one practical aspect to consider is parking. The aquarium is situated in the Museum Campus area of Chicago, which is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. As such, finding parking can sometimes be challenging, especially during peak times. However, with some tips and tricks, you can navigate the parking situation with ease.

Firstly, the Shedd Aquarium does not have its own designated parking lot, but there are several nearby options. The Soldier Field North Garage, located just a short walk from the aquarium, is the most convenient place to park. There are also additional parking lots and street parking available in the area. To ensure a spot and possibly save on parking fees, consider using a parking app or website to reserve a spot in advance.

Another parking tip is to look for package deals or discounts that might include parking. Some hotels near Shedd Aquarium offer packages that not only provide accommodations but also include parking benefits. Additionally, if you’re planning to visit other attractions in the Museum Campus area, check if there are combined parking options available.

Lastly, for those looking to avoid the hassle of parking altogether, public transportation is an excellent alternative. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers several bus routes that stop near the Shedd Aquarium. Utilizing these services not only helps you save on parking fees but also contributes to a more eco-friendly visit.

Capturing your visit: Shedd Aquarium photos

Shedd Aquarium

A visit to the Shedd Aquarium is filled with moments you’ll want to remember forever, and capturing these moments through photography is a perfect way to preserve them. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a coral reef or the playful antics of sea otters, there are endless opportunities to take stunning Shedd Aquarium photos. However, taking pictures in an aquarium setting comes with its own set of challenges, so here are some tips to help you capture the beauty of your visit.

Firstly, be mindful of lighting conditions. Aquariums are often dimly lit to replicate the natural habitats of marine life, which can make photography tricky. Use a camera with good low-light performance, and if your device allows, adjust the ISO settings for better results. Also, turn off your flash to avoid reflecting off the glass and to prevent disturbing the animals.

When taking photos, try to find unique angles and compositions. Look for interesting behaviors or interactions between the animals, or focus on the details of individual species. Patience is key, as you may need to wait for the right moment when an animal swims into view or turns to face you. Remember, it’s not just about snapping a quick picture—it’s about capturing a story.

Lastly, while it’s important to document your experience, don’t forget to put the camera down occasionally and simply enjoy the moment. Observing marine life in its simulated natural environment is a serene and educational experience. Balance your time between taking photos and absorbing the wonders around you, ensuring that your memories of the Shedd Aquarium are as vivid as your photographs.

 Shedd Aquarium hours


The aquarium’s hours can vary depending on the season, holidays, and special events, so it’s important to check the latest information before you plan your trip. Knowing the Shedd Aquarium hours helps you optimize your schedule, allowing you to experience as much as possible during your visit.

Typically, the aquarium opens in the morning and closes in the late afternoon or early evening. Arriving early not only helps you beat the crowds but also gives you a chance to see the animals when they’re most active. If you’re interested in special experiences like animal encounters or the aquatic presentation, be sure to check their specific times so you can incorporate them into your visit.

Additionally, consider the timing of your visit in relation to feeding times or other interactive events. These are often scheduled at specific times throughout the day and can be a highlight of your Shedd Aquarium experience. Keep an eye on the clock, but also allow yourself the flexibility to linger at exhibits that capture your interest.

Remember, the Shedd Aquarium is a place of discovery and learning. By understanding and planning around the operating hours, you ensure that your visit is as enriching and enjoyable as possible. Take the time to explore, learn, and connect with the incredible marine life that calls the Shedd Aquarium home.

Navigating with ease: Understanding the Shedd Aquarium map


As you prepare for your aquatic exploration, familiarizing yourself with the Shedd Aquarium map is a smart move. The map is not only a navigational tool but also a treasure map that guides you through a sea of exhibits and attractions. With a clear understanding of the Shedd Aquarium layout, you can chart a course that ensures you see all the wonders the aquarium has to offer.

The Shedd Aquarium map highlights the various zones and exhibits, from the Amazon Rising exhibit that takes you through a flooded forest to the Polar Play Zone where you can get a penguin’s-eye view of their world. By reviewing the map beforehand, you can identify the exhibits you’re most excited about and plan an efficient route. This way, you can avoid backtracking and make the most of your time.

Shedd Aquarium Map


When you arrive, grab a physical copy of the map or access it on your mobile device. As you navigate the aquarium, use the map to locate restrooms, dining areas, and gift shops, ensuring a comfortable and convenient visit. The map also points out accessibility features, making it easier for all guests to enjoy the Shedd Aquarium to its fullest.

By becoming familiar with the layout and offerings of the Aquarium, you empower yourself to have a seamless and fulfilling experience. Let the map be your guide as you dive into the depths of marine exploration, and discover the beauty and mystery of aquatic life in a well-orchestrated adventure.

Where to stay: Hotels near Shedd Aquarium


After a day filled with aquatic wonder, finding a comfortable place to rest is essential. Fortunately, there are numerous hotels near Shedd Aquarium that cater to a range of preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodations or a budget-friendly room, the area around the aquarium has options to suit your needs.

For those seeking a touch of luxury, there are high-end hotels that offer stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. These establishments often provide amenities such as on-site dining, fitness centers, and concierge services to enhance your stay. Some may even offer packages that include Shedd Aquarium tickets or special experiences, adding value to your accommodations.


If you’re traveling on a budget, don’t worry—there are also plenty of mid-range and economy hotels that provide a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. These hotels may offer fewer amenities but still provide the essentials, such as clean rooms, free Wi-Fi, and convenient access to the Aquarium and other attractions.

When choosing your accommodations, consider the proximity to the Shedd Aquarium and other places you plan to visit. Staying nearby not only saves you time commuting but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the Chicago experience. No matter where you choose to stay, a good night’s rest will prepare you for another day of marine discovery.

You’re now equipped to explore the Shedd Aquarium like a seasoned marine adventurer. From obtaining your Aquarium tickets to capturing memorable Aquarium photos, every aspect of your visit has been covered. Remember to take advantage of the Shedd Aquarium free days if you’re an Illinois resident, and always keep the Shedd Aquarium hours in mind to ensure you make the most of your time there.

Navigating the Shedd Aquarium is made easier with the Shedd Aquarium map, and finding parking or choosing from the hotels near Shedd Aquarium only enhances your overall experience. Whether you’re marveling at the aquatic life, learning about conservation efforts, or simply enjoying the beauty of our planet’s waters, the Shedd Aquarium offers an unforgettable journey into the depths of the ocean.

Plan your visit, immerse yourself in the wonders of marine life, and leave with a deeper appreciation for the aquatic world and its inhabitants. The Shedd Aquarium awaits, ready to reveal its treasures to all who seek them. Dive in and discover marine life like never before. Your ultimate guide to the Shedd Aquarium has prepared you for an incredible adventure—embrace it with wonder and joy.

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