Shedd Aquarium

Attractions , Zoo and aquariums South Loop
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(7 user reviews)
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Shedd Aquarium

Anchoring the aquatic offerings at this 75-year-old institution are enduring favorites such as piranhas, frogs and snakes of the Amazon; rays, turtles and moray eel of the Caribbean; frightening predator sharks and, the most storied of them all, a 100-plus-year-old Australian lungfish believed to be the longest-living fish in any aquarium in the world. A 2009 rehab of the Oceanarium gave Shedd a lifelike river and tide-pool, a reworked otter habitat, and an attempt to revamp its daily mammal presentations with choreography. 

Venue name: Shedd Aquarium
Address: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9am–5pm; Sat, Sun 9am–6pm.
Transport: Bus:12,130,146.
Price: Admission priced per exhibit: $8–$34.95, kids ages 3–11 $6–$25.95. Discounts for Chicago residents
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  • Until Wednesday September 14 2016
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Jacob Y

Located in Museum Campus and built with the enigmatic architecture of the early 20th century, the Shedd Aquarium is has several permanent and special exhibitions, recreating watery environments from around the world to host over 1500 species of fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, coral, anemones, and insects. What I like about the Shedd is if you love biology, each experience is unlike the other, because your interaction with the animal's exhibits are unpredictable. One of my favorite activities in this city is to go to the Shedd on a quiet day, and take my time going through each space. 

Laura R

How can you not have a good time at the aquarium? There's always something new and interesting to see. Love the dolphins and the sea turtle! 

Michael J

I love everything about this aquarium, from its old school displays set amongst the building's classic architecture to newer immersive areas like the Wild Reef. The real standout, though, is the Oceanarium. The views of the lake are amazing, as is the Pacific Northwest theming. Most importantly, the sea lions, belugas, dolphins and sea otters in that area are adorable and visibly well cared for. Admission isn't cheap—maybe skip the 3-D movie, if you can—but it's definitely worth a visit regardless of whether or not you have kids. Make sure to say hi to Granddad, the over-80-year-old lungfish.

Erin Delahanty
moderatorStaff Writer

I've been obsessed with the beluga whales here since my elementary school took a field trip to the aquarium for my first visit. As an adult the wide variety of fish and amphibians on display still impress and it's amazing to see the wonder in the kids' eyes as they see these creatures up close for the first time. On my last visit I got to take a behind-the-scenes tour, which I would definitely recommend to anyone looking to see another side of the aquarium.

Nick Kotecki

There are monkeys at this aquarium, and to me, that was the best part. The beluga whales are amazing, and so is the enormous 17-foot sawfish (you'll want to Google that fish), as well as the vertical tanks of shimmering seahorses, but overall, I'm just not a fish kind of guy. Shedd shouldn't bear the brunt of my distaste for marine wildlife, but I still feel the exhibits could have been a bit more varied. Like the rest of Chicago, the museum has a lot of everything, including the common staples, as for the exotic though, you may have to go elsewhere.


This is one of the best aquariums I have ever been to. There is such a wide variety of wildlife and plenty of information to learn more about the animals that are at the Shedd. Last time I went the jellyfish exhibit was extra but it was worth it.

Clayton Guse

They have more types of fishes than you ever knew existed. There are dolphins, a beluga whale and the most adorable baby sea otter on this side of the Mississippi River.

Admission is reasonable, but if you want to see the super crazy stuff like a dolphin do a backflip, you'll have to cough up some extra coin.

Swimming with the animals is not allowed, but if you spend a year or two befriending the Shedd's staff, someone might let you slap on a suit and take a dip with the cephalopods. It almost certainly won't happen, but you never know.