Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
4
09:00 - 17:00
Monday
09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday
09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday
09:00 - 17:00
Thursday
09:00 - 17:00
Friday
09:00 - 17:00
Saturday
09:00 - 18:00
Sunday
09:00 - 18:00
About
Get ready for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons, sea stars and sea otters — and so many more animals from aquatic environments around the world! See penguins fly through chilly waters, spot sleek sharks cruising overhead and count the suckers on an octopus’ legs. At Shedd, you can look nature in the eye, investigate and discover. Get ready for beauty that surprises, mesmerizes, inspires and moves you!
Duration: 2-3 hours
Does not meet animal welfare guidelines
Tripadvisor does not provide bookings for this experience because it does not meet our animal welfare guidelines.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: South Loop
This downtown neighborhood offers a variety of activities ranging from cultural to sporting. If you happen to visit during football season, you may bump into a boisterous few fans on their way to a Bears game on the southernmost tip of South Loop. On the flip side, Museum Campus offers cultural and educational experiences in its planetarium, museum and aquarium, all situated along the lakefront. Grant Park is one of Chicago’s premier locations for green space and recreation with views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Take a stroll down memory lane in the historic Prairie District where you can enjoy views of old historic homes. Restaurants, theaters, and clubs are spread throughout the neighborhood along with a collection of burger joints along Michigan Avenue just across from the park.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Tawnee C
    Rockford, Illinois11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Always fun to watch the animals at Shedd
    Not much to say other than Shedd Aquarium is great, probably one of the best aquariums in the country. My favorites are definitely the sea otters and sea lions. The live animal shows are also a lot of fun. I honestly can't think of any downsides to the aquarium other than it can get quite busy and loud so be prepared for that. There are always lots of families enjoying Shedd.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 May 2023
  • doctor869
    Tucson, Arizona7 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Shedd rip off
    Great penguin habitat. A lot of the fish aquariums don’t have the fish in them that is listed. Minimal educational advancement, they need more information. Good emphasis on conservation. Ridiculous pricing Chicago adult $19.95 whereas myself an out of state senior was charged $47.45.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 June 2023
  • nounouaa
    New York City, New York131 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good but not great
    The Shedd Aquarium is nice to visit. It has a large variety of sea life attractions. The oceanarum is very interesting with the dolphins and whales. However, the visit map is not as clear to follow, and the 4D specials are not up to 4D standards. They could be a simple movie documentary. The animal exhibition is fun - we were lucky to catch a dolphin show; however, the show time is too short, and the dolphins stunts are limited to few minutes.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 July 2023
  • Jen
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of fish but also penguins, whales, dolphins, turtles
    I went to the Shedd on a Tuesday in July. It was very crowded. I download the app, but really did not need it. We avoided the main area and worked our way backwards. That helped avoid the crowds. Exhibits are really great. Amazon, African rivers, Great Lakes, so many different fish. There are a lot of hands-on things for kids. Do not mist the Stingray experience. The only down side is the food selection. They do have a food court with standard American food(hot dogs, ,beef snadwiches, pizza, chicken tenders, burgers.) If you have any dietary restrictions-pack your own food.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 July 2023
  • laurajune63
    Edwardsburg, Michigan24 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good Family Fun
    The Shedd Aquarium is an awesome place to take your kids. They love it. However, the shows they put on have went downhill. We went to show with beluga whales. Was only 10 minutes. Years, previously, shows were 30 minutes or more. You barely get seated, and it was over. They did have some 4D shows this time. My Granddaughter chose to see the sharks. ( must purchase tickets) That was really cool! Loved it. There is also a few hands-on adventures, such as petting Sting Ray's, Star Fish, and Sturgeons. The kids seemed to enjoy that, also. Overall, it was a nice place to visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 13 July 2023
  • christopherbO9687MP
    Acton, Massachusetts718 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent collection of marine life displays + beluga whale show
    The Shedd Aquarium has an excellent collection of marine life displays spread out over several floors. The marine animal tanks range from small (easy to see and spot the fishes) to very large (to see whole schools of some fish species pass by). A fun highlight during my visit was passing through the penguin exhibit at the same time as they were being fed; watching the penguins waddle around chasing the meal of fishes was cute. I also caught the beluga whale show in the main amphitheater in the lower level. This show (included in the admission price) was crowded during the summer weekend I was there, so plan to show up early to get a decent seat. Showing up early may also allow you to watch the dolphins practice their athletic tricks before the main show, a nice benefit. The main beluga whale show was also pretty good. For some reason this Museum still insists on selling tickets online before you arrive; none of the other Chicago museums (including the others on this same campus) require this. I hadn't bothered to buy online as I wasn't sure exactly when I'd arrive. I didn't have any problem just walking in and purchasing tickets at the main entrance's machines.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 15 July 2023
  • travlingmama
    267 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun Excursion to the Aquarium
    We thoroughly enjoyed our morning at the Shedd. The show with the dolphins was great. It has been quite a long time since my last visit and I was very impressed with the displays. The gardens were beautiful and compliment the building nicely.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 18 July 2023
  • jrdavis10
    Athens, Georgia134 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unexpected highlight
    Unexpected highlight for my 8 year old. We used the city pass and this was a ticket that came with the pass. We went close to opening and was able to see so many things in a couple hours. Touch tanks, dolphin show, 4-D movie were great. We paired this visit with a trip to the field Museum. If you are walking from the Roosevelt station you pass a Trader Joe’s. You may want to stop and pick up sandwiches for a picnic. The grounds around there were very nice.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 July 2023
  • Wildflower
    Montgomery, Michigan859 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beluga Whales!
    Shedd is one of the few aquariums with Beluga whales, and you can even do a Beluga whale encounter. The aquarium has sections such as Great Lakes, Amazon River, and so on, so you always know what part of the world the aquatic life you are looking at come from. Aquarium is just the right size for an enjoyable day, and has a food court.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 August 2023
  • Barbara S
    Lemont, Illinois2 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Been to better Aquaariums
    It was just okay. Took visitors from Toronto and we all left feeling a bid less than satisfied. Very crowded, loads of kids -- but it was during July - so no surprise there. The dolphin and shark exhibits were pretty pricey.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 23 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles9,906 reviews
Excellent
4,789
Very good
3,006
Average
1,473
Poor
412
Terrible
227

Vicki M
Cleveland, OH59 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
This is my second visit to the Shedd. I knew we were in trouble when we pulled in and saw a line of school buses. We reserved early morning with our City Pass based on their recommendation of low attendance likely for Monday. It was so loud and crowded it was hard to see the exhibits. Also a large portion of the museum is under construction and closed. The dolphin area is really nice.
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, jvmath. We strive to be seamlessly welcoming to all ages here at Shedd. Weekday mornings are our most popular times for school groups, and weekends, holidays, and school breaks during the morning and early afternoon are popular for families. If you are interested, we offer multiple after-hours events that are 21+. We would love to talk to you more about these events. Please feel free to connect with us. Call us at 312-939-2438 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you! Certain parts of our building are being renovated and restored as we head towards our 100-year anniversary. But we try to make sure there is still plenty to see, do, touch and explore while some exhibits are temporarily closed. The experience evolution of our building will help us meet the needs of our animals, our community and our guests of the future, and we’re so excited to share it with you.
Written 9 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lorrie B
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Not a lot to see and so crowded with screaming kids. Not worth the money. I would never go back. The views are great for the food court
Written 27 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello. With the implementation of our plan-ahead pricing model, guests have more visibility than ever when selecting a date and time to visit. This includes the opportunity to see if a date is expected to be low, medium or high attendance before purchasing a ticket. Spreading out guests will result in a smoother guest experience for everyone by reducing lines, wait times and crowding. We strive to be seamlessly welcoming to all ages here at Shedd. Weekday mornings are our most popular times for school groups, and weekends, holidays, and school breaks during the morning and early afternoon are popular for families. If you are interested, we offer multiple after-hours events that are 21+. We would love to talk to you more about these events. please feel free to connect with us. Call us at 312-939-2438 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
Written 30 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RebeccaBlasdel
Mountain Home, AR117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Oh my gosh there’s so much to see. I havnt been since I was a young girl. The navigating can be a little confusing. So definitely download the app. The staff is very friendly. There is quite a few stairs. But make sure you walk to the lake as well.
Written 17 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Written 18 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cartsalot
Grand Rapids, MI20 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
#1 TIP - Wait until at the very least the Summer of 2024 to visit. They are in the midst of an INTENSE renovation/update that is going to drastically transform your overall experience making it way more immersive, educational, hands-on, etc. If you can hold off until 2030 when it's supposed to be fully completed...even better! By this Summer it sounds like they will have the new entrance complete with outdoor gardens, a bigger, better store, new wonder if water featuring two towering saltwater and freshwater habitats, and finally the Amazon Rising exhibit featuring the animals that call the Amazon River basin their home. Think - electric eels, anacondas and colossal arapaima. Watch the "Shedd's Experience Evolution" video on their website for an in-depth look into all their many upgrades and changes. I have been to Shedd's multiple times previously, but not in the past 15 years or so and let me tell you, I was not impressed this April. Many exhibits/sections are closed due to the renovations making it extra cramped and crowded. Also not much has changed since my last visit meaning it is in desperate need of this ongoing transformation. In order to see the main large oceanarium there was a long 15-20 minute wait. Then we were herded into elevators (I didn't see stairs available as an option) to the lower level. Once down there we found the large oceanarium filled with different kinds of sharks and fish to be one of the highlights. There was also a tide pool that simulated the tide coming in and out. A hands-on starfish exhibit (we skipped this as the line was long) and several other smaller tanks filled with bright colored tropical fish. A highlight were the deep water fish that blinked like lightning bugs! Upstairs we skipped all the smaller tanks of Midwest lake & river fish and other critters as it was just too busy and crowded. They did have an interesting hands-on experience where you could touch a lake sturgeon (the largest fish in the Great Lakes, but my girls said NO THANKS to this). Admission is pricy to begin with and any of the 3 or 4D experiences are extra. We watched the Octopus 4D experience and found it to be very short (10 mins?), but original, as you will have a few surprises right at your seat. The amphitheater was a highlight as it provided a nice spot to take a break from the crowd while watching the beluga whales swim around. We sat there long enough that it started filling up and we realized a dolphin she was about to take place. The show was entertaining enough lasting about 10 - 15 mins as well. I would suggest arriving at least 15 minutes early for this as well as it was packed to the gills! Ha! Finally I'd say the penguins located on lower level 2 were worth visiting and highly entertaining! Consider visiting one of the hot dog stands outside Shedd's for a less expensive, less busy meal option. You can sit in the park or grab a spot right on the Lake Michigan shoreline!
Written 15 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your detailed feedback. We’re sorry to hear that your experience did not meet all your expectations. Certain parts of our building are being renovated and restored as we head towards our 100-year anniversary. But we try to make sure there is still plenty to see, do, touch and explore while some exhibits are temporarily closed. The experience evolution of our building will help us meet the needs of our animals, our community and our guests of the future, and we’re so excited to share it with you. We take your feedback seriously. Please feel free to connect with us. Call us at 312-939-2438 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
Written 15 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

amy h
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
I thought the tickets were expensive but that the experience would be worth it. It wasn’t. It started out with the entry being on the opposite side of the building after walking 30 minutes from the train, but that was a minor inconvenience. Once you enter, it’s SHEER CHAOS. There are literally hundreds of kids running and screaming as soon as you walk in, and no direction on where to go or what to see. We tried to use the online map, which was useless. Started at the lowest level and worked our way up. There was nothing special on display. Tiny fish tanks for the most part and then two larger aquariums with dolphins and belugas. That’s IT! They advertised a special experience with penguins and an octopus on their site (for a fee, of course) that turned out to be a movie. Who wants to watch a movie at a live animal exhibit? And we never found the “wild reef,” despite looking and fighting mass crowds for 45 minutes. Guess it’s a secret? My husband, daughter and I were relieved to get out of there and agreed that much smaller animal exhibits we’ve been to in Indiana were far superior to this. The only consolation is that perhaps our admission $ will go to help the animals in some way.
Written 6 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello. With the implementation of our plan-ahead pricing model, guests have more visibility than ever when selecting a date and time to visit. This includes the opportunity to see if a date is expected to be low, medium or high attendance before purchasing a ticket. Spreading out guests will result in a smoother guest experience for everyone by reducing lines, wait times and crowding. We strive to be seamlessly welcoming to all ages here at Shedd. Weekday mornings are our most popular times for school groups, and weekends, holidays, and school breaks during the morning and early afternoon are popular for families. We are in the process of updating our building as we head towards our 100-year anniversary. This experience evolution will increase physical accessibility through modernized ramping and circulation pathways to make it even easier to see everything Shedd has to offer. We are sorry that you and your family did not see Wild Reef. We take your feedback very seriously and would like to connect with you to help you see Wild Reef. Please call us at 312-939-2438 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
Written 8 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lori Fisher
Green Bay, WI23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Although the aquarium was quite crowded because it was spring break week, we enjoyed our visit and appreciated the timed entry process. I am really glad that I read the comments on Tripadvisor before going. We booked the "Must See Tour" as recommended by many and it definitely was worth the money. Jessica was our tour guide and did a fantastic job.
Written 5 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit, especially your Must See Tour! We are so happy to read that you had such a positive experience with Jessica, we will be sure to pass on your review to them!
Written 8 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eric
Los Angeles, CA14 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Nice aquarium with pretty typical aquarium exhibits. Exhibit space is fairly small per today's aquarium standards but still fun. The highlight is the indoor animal performance space. The 4D shows are fun as well. Don't forget 1 is included with the GoPass.
Written 5 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit! Certain parts of our building are being renovated and restored as we head towards our 100-year anniversary. The experience evolution of our building will help us meet the needs of our animals, our community and our guests of the future, and we’re so excited to share it with you.
Written 8 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tour640871
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
The entrance prices are outrageous, handicap parking is not accessible, The Aquarium was not open due to remodeling thats why we went there, we waited for the dolphin show and we had a 10-minute show with Bubba the walrus. I think the fish aquarium should have been well known not up and open to the public! It was a major let down to us!
Written 3 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations. Certain parts of our building are being renovated and restored as we head towards our 100-year anniversary. But we try to make sure there is still plenty to see, do, touch and explore while some exhibits are temporarily closed. We do our utmost to ensure all visitors are aware of this through multiple channels, including our website, pre-visit emails and signage. The experience evolution of our building will help us meet the needs of our animals, our community and our guests of the future, and we’re so excited to share it with you. We take your feedback seriously and would like to connect with you to learn how we can improve and ensure that all guests have the best experience during their visit. To connect with us, please call us at 312-939-2438 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
Written 5 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ann R
Iowa9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Our family visited the museum on a Sunday morning around spring break. We decided to pay the up charge for the Must See Tour. This tour includes general admission, and I’m so glad we did it! We got to go behind the scenes of multiple exhibits, had priority seating for one of the animal encounter shows, and learned so much about the animals and the aquarium from Alejandro, our top notch guide. The museum got super busy as the day went on. Arrive as early as possible, bring water bottles to refill, and bring some snacks from home for an awesome experience.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you, Ann, for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit and your Must See Tour! We are happy to read that you had such a positive experience with Alejandro, we will be sure to pass on your review to them!
Written 1 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GrandTour03343453930
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Plan on purchasing tickets in advance. My granddaughter and I Ubered there on the last Wed of March- got there around 1. Sign on stand says "QR code to purchase tickets". I did. Oh yeah ... didn't catch that the NEXT group to be admitted would NOT be UNTIL 5 pm (said one unhappy Nana, standing in the misty rain). Did the Sign notify you of that? NO ..... So I went to the portable office, where they at least allowed me to purchase a membership (note - I live in central Indiana), so for an additional 36.00, we could just go on in. I had to stop 4 other people from making my same mistake. Whether they stayed or went, I don't know. Very unethical to not post an additional sign, stating (sic) "You may have to wait longer" What a racket.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry for your wait time. Spring Break is a very busy season for Shedd Aquarium, and we highly recommend guests and members reserve tickets in advance. We want to thank you for becoming a member, your support helps us make waves for our shared blue planet and the aquatic animal world! Our membership team would like to connect and get your feedback directly so we can assist with your next visit to Shedd. Please reach out to our membership hotline at 312-692-3284.
Written 1 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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SHEDD AQUARIUM: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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