Everything you need to know about visiting Shedd Aquarium (1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago IL 60605)
Anchoring the aquatic offerings at this Chicago institution are enduring favorites such as piranhas, frogs and snakes of the Amazon; rays, turtles and moray eel of the Caribbean; frightening predator sharks, mesmerizing jellies, adorable penguins and marine mammals like sea lions and otters.
Know before you go
General admission includes all permanent exhibits, animal presentations, the Amphibians special exhibit and Stingray Touch (late May to October). For an additional fee, those looking to get up close and personal with the aquarium's inhabitants should consider an Extraordinary Experiences package, with options like shark feeding and a beluga or penguin encounter. Families looking to maximize their time at the Shedd should book their tickets in advance, as the wait time for tickets can add up over the weekends.
Prepare to explore
The aquarium boasts seven permanent exhibits including Amazon Rising with colorful fish, stingrays and an anaconda; the Abbott Oceanarium with beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions and sea otters; and the Wild Reef with sharks, stingrays and live coral. It's easy to spend an entire day wandering through the Shedd, but we recommend identifying a handful of must-see exhibits before you go to prioritize your time.
Come back for more
You might want to schedule a repeat visit to check out live jazz music and cocktails at Jazzin' at the Shedd or plan an Extraordinary Experience with an animal. The penguin encounter, for instance, allows guests to meet a real penguin and learn more about the animal's population.
Our Chicago editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Chicago at your fingertips. Chicago was most recently updated with new tips on June 22, 2017.