Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
4
9:00 AM - 9:00 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.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Shedd Aquarium
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.
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Wildflower
    Montgomery, Michigan860 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
  • Vanessa F
    Macomb, Illinois101 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take your kids over!
    We got this attraction as part of a city pass which is a great way to get it at a better cost. We when early morning so there was not lines to get in. Staff was great and respectful. Is a great experience for people of all ages. Can't wait to see the addition that will extend to the lake. I will take you a good 4-5 hrs. if not more to look all around at a slow pace in order to enjoy all the tanks.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit!
    Written 13 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 September 2023
  • Melissa N
    15 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not our favorite aquarium
    This was okay. It was very crowded and the crowds were quite pushy and rude. I’m a little concerned with the size of the tanks for the larger mammals (whales, dolphins, sea lions). My son, who loves aquariums complained of the smell. I’m not sure if that could be helped or not though.
    Hello, Melissa. Thank you for visiting us and for taking the time to send your concerns. We would like to assure you that the needs, comfort and safety of our animals, like the whales, dolphins and sea lions are always taken into account as top priority. Our animal experts monitor all of the animals’ health and wellbeing each day, as well as maintain their diets, environment and medical needs. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions or concerns. Call us at 312-939-2438 or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
    Written 13 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 October 2023
  • AverageJoe55
    Atlanta, Georgia630 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wednesday night perhaps not the best time
    We visited on one of their night time openings and came away less than impressed. There were areas which were quite dark and not easy to walk through. That being said, it was much less crowded so that made it easier to get closer to the animals and also to chat with the friendly staff. They’re going through some renovations so we won’t make much of some of the damaged trim and exhibits. Great animals though!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 October 2023
  • Susan M
    Ayr, United Kingdom170 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Short visit!
    Spent a couple of hours here. It was interesting, but a couple of hours was more than enough. There is a dolphin display, which, if I'm being honest, I am not keen on. These beautiful mammals shouldn't need to perform for an audience, they should be free.
    Thank you for visiting us and for taking the time to send your concerns. We would like to assure you that the needs, comfort and safety of our animals, like the dolphins are always taken into account as top priority. Our animal experts monitor all of the animals’ health and wellbeing each day, as well as maintain their diets, environment and medical needs. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions or concerns. Call us at 312-939-2438 or email us at contactus@sheddaquarium.org. Thank you!
    Written 13 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 12 October 2023
  • rebelee
    St. Petersburg, Florida251 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Too Crowded
    It was really too crowded to enjoy. You couldn’t get close to many of the smaller tanks. It just felt like there were people everywhere. We never did get to see the Wild Reef, because I couldn’t justify standing in another line for an hour. Aside from the crowds, the exhibits we did see were just ok.
    Thank you, rebelee, for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations and that you were unable to see everything that you wanted. 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, media 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 16 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 October 2023
  • FascinatedTraveller
    Montreal, Canada202 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A fun place to visit and learn
    Neat aquarium, with lots of interaction. The staff was knowledgable and friendly, the place was nice and clean. We enjoyed the visit despite a fire drill evacuation out in the cold in the midst of our weekday afternoon - not too nice when your time is counted visiting and you spend lots of money to enjoy precious family vacation time. We made the best of it but would have appreciated a little more information from the museum staff, a symbolic compensation for our trouble (like a rebate for a future visit or a hot drink?).
    Thank you, FascinatedTraveller, for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit! Thank you for choosing to visit us for your family vacation! We apologize for the inconvenience the fire drill may have caused, to keep up with our best safety practices we need to have these drills a few times a year. 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 6 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 November 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 bubbles9,921 reviews
Excellent
4,794
Very good
3,010
Average
1,475
Poor
416
Terrible
227

Allison Helene
Brownsburg, IN155 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
After living in Chicago for most of my life I had never been here.

I expected this place to be much bigger. There are some nice exhibits upstairs with many varieties of fish and reptiles. Downstairs had a few beluga whales, penguins and a couple sea otters. There are also sharks there as well.

For $39.95 a ticket per adult, unless you’re a Chicago resident or using city pass, for the exhibits you get, I don’t see the ticket price equal for what you get considering you have to pay extra for the movies and such if you want to see that. Chicago has plenty of other museums that are larger and cheaper. Save your money. While it was a nice experience I will not be back.
Written 1 February 2020
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. As we are a non-profit, ticket sales help support our mission and everything we do, so we appreciate every contribution.
Written 2 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charles B
Montreal, Canada33 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The Shedd is a really great aquarium with extensive exhibits covering aquatic habitats of the whole world, from local species of the Great Lakes to the Amazon, Africa and SE Asia. Large tanks populated by otters, dolphins and belugas are a highlight. The only downside is the cost, which is very high. Probably justified to some extent, as it must be an expensive operation to run, but for my group it was almost double the cost of the adjacent Field Museum of Natural History, even though there is far less to see (you'll be through with the Shedd in a couple of hours, whereas you could go to the Field every day for a week and not see it all). Some sort of a combo ticket for the 2 museums at a reduced price would be appreciated.
Written 8 March 2020
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.

RainbowsNTulips
Wisconsin29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Family
I took two elementary aged kids on a Saturday. It was a great experience from start to finish. We started with a 4D movie. It was excellent in quality and kept the kids intrigued. We enjoyed every exhibit from the seahorses to dolphins. Social distancing was enforced and masks. The staff that’s placed strategically throughout Shedd aren’t afraid to give gentle remainders. Hand hygiene stations throughout. Although, it was a typical busy day in Chicago I felt safe and protected. It’s worth packing a lunch with a beverage due to limited options at the cafe. I also was impressed with staff members throughout aquarium to help with way finding. Worth the money. We forked out $30 for Valet because parking is difficult for a novice in Chicagoland. 2 thumbs up to the StingRay exhibit. Definitely a place for the young and old.
Written 18 October 2020
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.

hungryhokie
Virginia262 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Buy your tickets online, even day of. The line to buy tickets is out the door. Instead of waiting we bought tickets online and went right in.

I’d recommend getting there in the morning so you have more time slots available to choose from for the dolphin show.

The beluga whales were beautiful creatures and fun to watch.
Written 23 February 2020
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.

Sarah C
Grand Rapids, MI15 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Family
Times are strange right now with reduced occupancy but I feel like the safety measures in place at the Shedd Aquarium created more bottle necks and bigger lines. Zero social distancing possible in these lines at the exhibits that are not moving at all. They have the lines weaving back and forth and people standing shoulder to shoulder in these poorly planned lines. You couldn’t even be 3 feet from the people next to you if wanted.

We left after 1/2 hour. It simply did not feel safe. For my family of 3, it cost us a little over $100 to enter and decide to leave.

I had high hopes having a timed ticket but that meant nothing. It was jam packed and the ropes and directions they were trying to use to maintain the flow through the exhibits were actually making things worse.

Save your money. Do something else
Written 19 March 2021
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.

jpete02
Lansing, MI922 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
You kind of have to be in the right frame of mind when you visit here. There is more to see and do here than at other large aquariums (National Aquarium in Baltimore or the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta). However, there are also several drawbacks.

This is Chicago’s most visited attraction and the crowds range from crowded (on weekdays) to call the Fire Marshall (on winter holiday weekends). The building echoes and it will be loud with screaming kids.

Most of the aquarium dates from the 1930’s, which means the building is beautiful inside but also means you have a lot of small tanks in the galleries and lines can form to see the fish in the tanks.

The entrance was chaotic even with the city pass. There are two lines but no signs indicating which line was the city pass line. City pass line saved no time because you still have to be in the ticket line to exchange your city pass reservation for tickets and the 4d show selection and time (included with city pass).

Arrived at 10:05 for a 10:00 reservation city pass time and didn’t get into the aquarium until 10:45 due to the slow moving line. That is unacceptable. Why can’t you get your ticket and pick out the 4d movie time online with your city pass?

The newer part of the aquarium is a lot easier to maneuver around and has beluga whales, sea otters, and dolphins. It also has a small stadium area where you can see an animal show (whales, otter, or dolphin) every hour on the 1/2 hour; however, they don’t tell you which animal they will be presenting, which is weird.

Everything here is also expensive. Non resident adult is $40 for admission (if you don’t have the city pass) on top of $30 parking. Public transportation is difficult because the subway/el lines don’t run by the museums. There is a bus you can transfer from at the nearest El stop. There is a food court, which serves ok but expensive food. Had a hot dog and chips for $10 (does not include drinks.)

Overall, if you have the city pass, and like aquariums, it is worth the hassle to come here. Otherwise, you may want to skip.
Written 1 July 2022
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.

John M
Raleigh, NC1,743 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
I admit my review may be a bit biased. I spent many a lovely visit here as a young person when it was less touristy and free. I remember when they first opened the reef exhibit and later reveled at the Pacific Northwest exhibit with it's spectacular view of Lake Michigan and the inside fast food restaurant with the best views of the Chicago skyline. It was an easy place to visit with lots of street parking and quick walks to the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum.

But on our visit, it was impossible to find street parking. Our choices were the $30 covered parking lot or the $25 open parking at the former airport nearby. Add to that the $82 we spent for 2 adults tickets (there's no senior discount and admission is double what Chicago resident pay). We felt the aquarium experience did not justify the cost.

Most of what I knew is still there. However, one corridor has a very good Amazon River exhibit. The Beluga Whales are there, but when we went to the amphitheater, they were highlighting the penguins. We asked a volunteer what kind of dolphins they had, and although we were right next to them, she did not know. When we went to the center reef, we tried to find out when they feed the fish. No one seemed to know. The Aquarium is in a great need to educate their staff and volunteers!
Written 15 November 2021
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.

ziggypiggypie
Chicago, IL97 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Something many people may not know about is the trainer of the day experience at the Shedd. It is expensive but absolute magic. For an entire morning you are escorted around and get to go backstage and learn about the different animals, touch them in some cases, give commands and treats. The highlight was tickling a Beluga whale's tongue which they apparently love. This was such an amazing adventure I gave it to my husband, his son, and our grand daughter as a Christmas present. They LOVED it. Children need to be at least 12 years old and you need to schedule in advance.
Written 23 March 2020
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.

Aisling F
Calne, UK321 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
The exhibits are great but the organisation is poor. You have to book a time slot to go in but at 10:45 they are still letting people in with tickets for 09:00. You arrive and there's a massive queue with no signs to say why the queue - for people particular time slots, no tickets etc. And there's no limit on how much time you can spend inside so what's the point on limiting how many people can arrive at a certain time.

No doubt covid will be used as the excuse but we're so far passed lockdowns it's a weak excuse.
Written 22 March 2022
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.

Elizabeth J
Aiken, SC50 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
We go to Aquariums wherever we travel, and honestly this was at the bottom. The price was high if you're not a resident, we were given a specific time to come, but it was jammed packed with busloads of people. You can barely get close enough to see anything. What was more disturbing is the size of the tanks that the aquatic life has to more around. Very disappointing.
Written 6 June 2022
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.

Showing results 1-10 of 8,640
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Shedd Aquarium - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Chicago HotelsChicago Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Chicago
All things to do in ChicagoZoos & Aquariums in Chicago
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire