Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 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
  • mike h
    Fort Worth, Texas517 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Facility 5 stars - Entry process, crowds and broken elevators - 1 star
    Beautiful location and building on the lake. Abbott Ocean area was outstanding. Variety of exhibits was extensive. Whoever designed the entry process (3 steps) has never managed crowds before. Very crowded and numerous broken elevators made getting around a pain. Maybe go during the week in the morning?
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 28, 2023
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, California8,310 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fishes and More!
    I haven't been here since I was a kid, on long ago summer trips to visit family. So I made a point to go with grown up eyes this time. Having worked in an aquarium, I was quite impressed with the variety of critters on display. Even the California state saltwater fish, the Garibaldi, was featured in the kelp forest tank. Aquariums are especially fun for kids, and the various exhibits engaged them as well as the adults The Amazon display was especially interesting to me, as it showed all aspects of the region and how it functions, as well as reminding visitors about preservation. Highly recommend this, even if you've been to other aquatic venues.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written March 1, 2023
  • Beachcomb_33
    Eaton, Ohio723 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice Aquarium
    Nice aquarium, but expensive entrance fee. Timed entry, so book ahead on line. First time visiting and my honest opinion is, it's nice and big. Spacious and clean. Well thought out, all enclosures seem clean and well kept. Be sure to check out all levels of the aquarium. Nice gift shop.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written March 21, 2023
  • travelersalongway
    McLeansboro, Illinois151 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spring break 2023
    There wasn't a huge line. It's best to get tickets early. It's a wonderful aquarium and lots of tanks and a variety of fish. The beluga whales are active and beautiful. The shark and dolphins are playful. It's definitely a must do if you have the time.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written April 3, 2023
  • Carrie H
    Clare, Michigan280 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love the variety!
    Love the electronic screens at almost every exhibit to explore about each occupant of the tank or exhibit. Our 5- and 7-year-old grandkids loved them. They know how to navigate them and encouraged them to explore. A nice addition since my last visit. I always love seeing the whales. I was a bit disappointed that the shows were not planned ahead. We ended up seeing two shows and they were both dolphins. I really wanted to see the beluga whales. I loved it all. I will definitely be back.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 3, 2023
  • Gail E
    34 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chaos
    We expected a completely different experience. This is mostly for children of which there were a lot! In addition, it was chaotic, unorganized and no one to ask for help. Maybe we were there on a day that kids were home for Easter break but it was crazy and not enjoyable for adults.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written April 7, 2023
  • Linda B
    74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful experiene
    We had a great time. Yes it was crowded and lots of children, but we loved the excitement of the children seeing the fish and reptiles. We did not purchase our tickets ahead of time, but no worries there are machines to purchase a ticket by credit card with someone to assist you or you can go stand in line and see a person and pay cash. They give discounts to Active military and residents of Illinois. I love how the Shedd Aquarium was broken down into segments for example Great Lakes fish or fish from the Amazon. There are some fish with glowing eyes, jellyfish, stingrays and even a place if you want to touch fish. Recommend this place and take your time enjoy it.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 11, 2023
  • Eva
    Bothell, Washington171 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We saw Nemo and some dolphins.
    Good size aquarium with a decent amount of different sea creatures to see. the dolphin show is cute but to wait 30 mins for a 6 min show is disappointing. I've heard they will be renovating and adding additional buildings and features so will be ice to see that complete in future. Try and snag some discount codes cause it's a little pricey for non-residents.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 15, 2023
  • akat411
    San Francisco, California142 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of Interesting Animals to See!
    The Shedd Aquarium is a really nice place to visit. We went with only an hour to spare before closing and we were able to see a lot. They have a nice exhibit on the fish of the great lakes, an exhibit on sharks and coral, and of course the Caribbean reef, just to name a few. The staff was friendly and helpful. I was interested in seeing a puffer fish and one of the staff members pulled out their phone to reference an app in order to tell me where one might be. I was bummed that the touch tank with stingrays was not open - apparently it is seasonal from May to October. We used a City Pass to get in, and even though we didn't have a prescheduled time reservation - they helped us out at the ticket booths to get in. Glad we went, though one last thing, we had a really hard time getting a Lyft to pick us up from the area. Perhaps there is a preferred spot we did not know about, but we were waiting in the cold for some time, so plan ahead.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 2, 2023
  • dtw1969
    Fairview Heights, Illinois177 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Average but $$$$
    I grew up coming here in the 1970's - 1980's. Loved it as a kid. Now as an adult, well I am not sure. Love the remodels over the years - it looks beautiful. The exhibits are educational and well done for the most part. Staff is helpful. I say average for the following reasons: Nothing really "blows me away" from an experience standpoint. No dolphin or whale shows while we were there. The price feels a bit steep for what you get. Tickets and lunch ran us close to $165 for 3 us. We passed on having photo taken other treats as it was just too much. Coming to Chicago for a mini vacation was expensive overall, but we have done better on pricing at other aquariums in the past.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 15, 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 bubbles9,892 reviews
Excellent
4,784
Very good
3,005
Average
1,470
Poor
410
Terrible
224

RJVFM
Hervey Bay, Australia129 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Decent couple of hours. Not as big as some of the reviews suggest but there is plenty to entertain the family. Good location and easy to get to. I must say the prices for the cafeteria food are astronomical.
Written February 29, 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 glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit!
Written February 29, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Heidi H
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
My family had a blast and loved all the tricks the belugas, dolphins, and seal could do. The shows they provide are an amazing experience
Written February 26, 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 February 26, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mrudula
128 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
It is like a underwater adventure without going wet. There are many cool fishes, playful dolphins and majestic beluga whales(white whales). They are so cute. you will start with beluga whales then penguins then visit seal then go to dolphins. The dolphin show is so wonderful. It is just a 8-10 min show but they let us know lot of facts about dolphins. The best part is the giant tank with sharks and sea turtles. I could touch the starfish and know some are hard and rough while some are soft. Overall it's an amazing experience with kids.
Written February 19, 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!
Written February 26, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

sanju_222323
New Jersey14,146 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
It is one of the world's largest indoor aquariums, housing around 32,000 creatures. While you're here, you can feel stingrays float beneath your fingers, listen to sea lions bark, and learn all about a variety of turtles.

A stop at Shedd Aquarium is a must, especially if traveling with kids. Keep at least three hours to make the most of your visit.

Buy online tickets- the earlier you purchase tickets, the cheaper they will be. Travelers with a Chicago City PASS or a Go City Chicago Card receive a complimentary Shedd Pass

Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium -are all on the Museum campus and at a walkable distance

between the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan view from here - it’s amazing...!
Written February 18, 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!
Written February 19, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CaledoniaFam
Caledonia, MI11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
It had been more than 30 years since I visited the Shedd Aquarium, and we had such a nice time. I imagined spending 2-3 hours there, but it was actually more like 4+. The Shedd was clean, well-staffed, and despite the construction activity, was still a very worthwhile visit. The dolphin show was a definite highlight (no extra charge).

The only negatives were the cost of admission/parking ($30 for parking plus nearly $40/person x 2 adults and 7 teens) and the absence of paper maps. However, on the whole, it was a great visit!
Written February 15, 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!
Written February 16, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

EPL711
United States118 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
Lots to see and do here. Recommended for any age. I need to make another trip when my kiddo is a bit bigger so he remembers everything he has seen.
Written February 13, 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 you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you back!
Written February 14, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ruth bricknell
West Bloomfield, MI11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Great experience even considering Saturday in Feb packed with families with strollers. Loved the dolphin show and the beluga whales. Did the 3d virtual reality shark experience and manta ray and whales
Written February 4, 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 you enjoyed your visit, especially the dolphin Spotlight and the beluga whales!
Written February 5, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

A8884YP
23 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Glad to get in slightly before our booked time, however, was extremely crowded. Kids had fun, but seemed a bit bored. Expected much more from all the hype of people that I’ve told us about the place. Good to see once.
Written December 30, 2023
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. 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 take your feedback very seriously. Please feel free to connect with us. Call us at 312-939-2438 or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
Written January 1, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jeremy C
Atlanta, GA883 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Solid aquarium with interesting exhibits. Live animal shows are particularly fun but make sure you get there a few minutes early to get a seat.
Written December 28, 2023
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, Jeremy, for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit, especially the Animal Spotlights!
Written December 29, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jillian M
Tampa, FL11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
My husband and I enjoyed our Saturday evening at the Shedd Aquarium. The staff was eager to answer our questions and share fun facts about the resident animals with us. We entered at 3:30 PM and stayed until closing. We enjoyed the light crowds and perfect vantage points to view the animals. I could have stayed and watched the Belugas all day! There is plenty to do for all ages and definitely recommend a stop on your next visit to Chicago. We purchased a City Pass and it was 100% worth it! In two days we visited Shedd, Aquarium, Field Museum, Skydeck Chicago Experience and Art Institute of Chicago. They were all amazing but the Shedd was #1 for me.
Written December 3, 2023
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, Jillian, for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your date night, especially our helpful staff and the belugas. Thank you for choosing to visit us! We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Written December 3, 2023
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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