Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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
  • 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, Massachusetts720 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
    266 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, Michigan869 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
  • Mickayla18
    Mehlville, Missouri78 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Overpriced
    We had a good visit. Our family enjoys just walking around reading, learning, and observing so we were satisfied with what the aquarium had to offer. However, for what it offered it was way overpriced. Kids will have fun even if adults aren’t thrilled.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 September 2023
  • emma8434
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom15 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit!
    The aquarium is worth a visit, there is plenty to see and do especially for kids. The 4D experience is was ok, but the stingray experience and the shows are the best parts. It does feel a little run down in places but there’s some construction going on. Overall we thought it was a bit overpriced for what it was but it was a good way to pass an afternoon, just very crowded!
    We are so glad you enjoyed Stingray Touch and the animal spotlights! 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 13 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 24 September 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles9,913 reviews
Excellent
4,792
Very good
3,008
Average
1,473
Poor
414
Terrible
227

SeekerOfGoodValue
Saint Louis, MO353 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Went here w/wife a two grandkids (age 8 and 13). Aquarium provided wheelchair for my wife. good. We all loved numerous exhibits. Dolphin show was really grand. Sharks (with a shark teacher) was a highlight. Penguins and Belugas were lovely. Petting sting rays captivated my 8-yr old. Many great large and small exhibits. Too many to comment on here. It will be a great full day for everyone. Food there was okay. No time to explore different ecosystems. Not enough time. Really requires 2 days. No time to explore shoreline exhibits. Terraces with city-views were closed for a private event.
Written 19 June 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 and your family enjoyed your visit! We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Written 20 June 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Miguel Gómez
Monterrey, Mexico30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
It was a nice place, you can see to many types of sea animals and fishes, my favorite was the Beluga, I really loved it. In my opinion I didn't like the location of the things, at a moment we got lost, and we didn't know where to go because the map was a little bit confusing, but then we figured it out. However, the aquarium is really nice, with a very large posession of fishes, and with a very interesting story
Written 19 June 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 the beluga whales. 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 take your feedback very 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 20 June 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Caitlin H
Kansas40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
The Shedd is host to some of the most awe-inspiring wildlife. The underwater beluga tank is mesmerizing and one of my favorite aquarium experiences ever. Plan to catch the animal talks. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate, and the info they share will help you get the most out of your visit.

The aquarium has amazing wheelchair accessibility. There are elevators at both sides of the building, which eliminates the need to backtrack. Multiple bathroom configurations are available depending on your personal needs. I was particularly impressed by how the staff handled seating at the dolphin show. Not only was there reserved wheelchair accessible seating, but the staff was trained to reconfigure the crowd control stanchions so I would have an unobstructed view. Those little details are noticed and appreciated.
Written 9 June 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 such a detailed review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit and that our staff continues to be seamlessly and joyfully welcoming to all!
Written 20 June 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Richard B
Chippenham, UK46 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
If had high hopes of a very fascinating visit to the Shedd Aquarium and all began very well. It has a superb coral section, and a very impressive big tank with sharks and other large and small fish. So far so great. We then proceeded to the Ocean section to be confronted with a number of Beluga Whales in a tank that was way too small (they should never have in there in the first place). They also had a performing dolphin show, which I did not want to see.
In 2024, surely there is no place for intelligent animals to be in captivity for human entertainment. Even Sea World is phasing out the Orcas. I do not like to see this and I feel very sorry for the whales and dolphins.
Perhaps I should have done more research and not bought a ticket if I knew.
Written 5 June 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.

Jose O
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Too expensive for what you see inside 👎 look to old and not much great exhibition to see. We see better aquarium . I don’t know why they are on the better aquarium un US
Written 28 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.
Thank you, Jose, for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations. Shedd Aquarium is committed to ensuring that price is never a barrier to connecting with the aquatic animal world. We offer a range of discounts to our valued educators, first responders and active military members. Our Plan Ahead pricing model allows guests who plan ahead to benefit from discounted admission on less busy days. Additionally, we take great pride in participating in City Pass, the Museums for All program and in hosting 52 resident free days annually. Every ticket purchase supports Shedd’s mission, including animal care, conservation, public education and more. For ways to save on your next visit or 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 29 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FOTMM
United States3,770 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Nice place to spend the day. Went with friends and the kids really enjoyed all of the interactive exhibits. There's plenty to see and the cafeteria was a great place to relax and take a break between exhibits.

We went early, and it seemed to be getting much busier as the day went on so keep that in mind when planning a trip.
Written 23 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.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit!
Written 24 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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.

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

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