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Learn More About The Shedd Aquarium
Consistently making the list of the best aquariums in America, the Shedd Aquarium offers a one-of-a-kind experience for its visitors. From shows that feature beluga whales and dolphins to the Polar Play Zone that allows kiddos to dress up like penguins and enter their own submarine, children and adults alike are sure to have a blast learning about over 8,000 different marine animals.
The Shedd Aquarium is open seven days a week. Weekday hours are 9 am - 5 pm, and weekend hours are 9am - 6 pm.
The Shedd Aquarium also offers extended summer hours. During this time period, the aquarium is open from 9 am - 6 pm every day of the week.
Admission and Ticket Prices
When it comes to admission prices, the aquarium offers various discounts and special offers to visitors. For example, Illinois residents enjoy free admission on select days throughout the year, and students ages 12 and over receive a $3 discount on-site. For individuals purchasing one-day tickets that include admission to all exhibits, animal presentations, and Stingray Touch, the prices are listed below:
General admission: Adult $39.95, Child (3-11) $29.95
Chicago residents: Adult $19.95, Child (3-11) $14.95
Same-day tickets can be purchased up to 45 minutes before closing time. For added convenience, tickets to the aquarium can be purchased online.
Quick Facts About The Shedd Aquarium
- The aquarium is home to 32,000 animals and 1,500 species that inhabit freshwater, marine, terrestrial, and aerial environments.
- Shedd is one of the most highly trafficked aquariums in the U.S. with 2 million guests visiting every year.
- The Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection.
- The aquarium makes sustainability a priority—from water-conserving exhibits to “green” gardens that use local cocoa bean shells to keep the soil healthy.
- John G. Shedd, who was president of the department store giant Marshall Field & Company, was the inspiration behind the Shedd Aquarium. However, he never got to see the aquarium come to life because he died in 1926. The aquarium opened on May 30, 1930.
- It takes about 3-4 hours to see everything in the Shedd Aquarium. Plan to spend a whole morning or afternoon getting up close and personal with every marine species under the sea.
Group Visits to The Shedd Aquarium
Whether you’re visiting the Shedd with extended family or on a school field trip, you’ll rest easy knowing that the aquarium is group-friendly. Groups of at least 15 people can receive up to a 33% discounted admission when purchased online in advance. The aquarium asks that big groups book their reservation at least 3 days in advance.
How to Get There
Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, just south of Millennium Park, the Shedd Aquarium is easily accessible from Lake Shore Drive. For large groups, trying to coordinate Ubers or metro tickets for everyone can leave you with a headache. Instead of relying on public transportation to get you to your aquarium adventure, choose private transportation instead!
GOGO Charters can accommodate both small and large groups. You’ll feel so relaxed knowing that all of your transportation in Chicago is taken care of. We carry everything from compact 18-passenger minibuses to full-sized charter buses, and one of our reps would be happy to work with you to help you find the perfect ride. As an added bonus, all of these Chicago charter buses come equipped with A/C, WiFi (so you won’t have to waste any time uploading those Instagrammable moments), reclining seats, outlets, restrooms, and televisions with DVD players.
When it comes to parking at the Shedd Aquarium, there are various options that guests can choose from. In terms of parking garages, these are the three closest to the aquarium.
Soldier Field North Garage
Hours: 6 am - 8 pm
Cost: First 4 hours $20; 4 - 12 hours $25; 12 - 24 hours $45
Field Museum East Parking Lot
Hours: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm (Drivers are allowed to exit after closing hours)
Cost: $25 a day
Adler Planetarium Lot (Admission may be cash-only)
Cost: Day rate $20; Night rate $13; Early bird $11
Individuals visiting the Shedd Aquarium on the weekend also have the option to valet, subject to limited availability. Valet parking is $30 a vehicle, and it’s located at the guest drop-off area on the south side of the aquarium.
Tips for a Great Experience at The Shedd Aquarium
Buy your tickets in advance. The Shedd Aquarium is one of the top places to visit in Chicago, so most likely, there will be a line when you arrive. When you buy your tickets ahead of time, show your tickets on your mobile device to gain entry.
Check the weather forecast before you arrive. Weather in Chicago can be pretty unpredictable, especially in the winter. If you have to wait in line for tickets, you want to be dressed appropriately.
If you’re short on time, focus on several select exhibits and experiences, rather than trying to rush through the whole aquarium.
Check out upcoming events at the Shedd Aquarium to see if your planned visit lines up with any fun experiences you and your group can participate in. Events that stand out: kayaking, yoga, live jazz, and more!
Plan a Private Event
When it comes to hosting the perfect party, what’s better than sipping on cocktails and feasting on delicious food among beluga whales and dolphins? Or, how about entertaining guests on a terrace with views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan? You can get all of that and more at the Shedd Aquarium. Whether you want to say “I do” among your favorite underwater friends, or you’re looking for an exotic location for a corporate event, you’re sure to have an unforgettable night.
When it comes to the transportation aspect of your private party at the Shedd Aquarium, let us take care of all the details. GOGO Charters will handle the travel aspect of your private party for you, whether you decide to book an all-black or all-white charter bus, or you opt for an ongoing minibus shuttle.
Book Your Shedd Aquarium Transportation Today
Ready to book your Chicago charter bus? We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assemble your perfect transportation to the Shedd Aquarium. For more information, call (312) 546-3925 to speak to one of our experts. We can provide you with a custom quote for free!