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Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Aquarium · Museum Campus
1200 S Lake Shore Dr (at Solidarity Dr), Chicago, IL 60605, United States
Hours:
Closed until 9:00 AM (Show more)
  • Mon–Fri
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Sat–Sun
    • 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Reservations:
Yes
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. Visa & American Express)

Strap a mask and flippers onto your imagination and chart a course to Shedd Aquarium. Have you ever gotten eye-to-eye with a dolphin? Or met a penguin on a stroll to the South Pole? Or immersed yourself in an Amazon flooded forest? At Shedd, it's all possible.

9.1/10

Based on 2,168 votes

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415 tips and reviews.

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  • penguins
  • beluga whales
  • fish
  • museums
  • dolphin show
  • scenic views
  • cute
  • aquariums
  • jazz music
  • tours
  • free admission
  • jellies
  • outdoor seating
  • discounts
  • octopus
  • architecture
  • crab
  • great value
  • exhibits
  • sushi
  • Jon S.
    A must visit if in Chicago alone or with the family. The Aquarium takes about 3-5 hours to go through the whole thing. Get the VIP pass to see all the shows and definitely get the stingray touch.
    Jon Suminski · July 6, 2015
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  • Sabrina Z.
    Buy tickets ahead of time and pick up here...or just bring a stroller and go through the accessible entrance. If not you will wait in a long line just to get in. Former military members get in free.
    Sabrina Zwego · March 12, 2013
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  • vanessa b.
    A very nice aquarium to go to and many cool exhibits to explore. The dolphin show is very nice to see. They have many free days as well for Illinois residents.Check it out! You won't regret it!
    vanessa buenrostro · March 23
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  • Jeremiah L.
    Buying tickets online is a must! That or get there when it opens. or wait 1-2 hours. This place along w/ the Planetarium have great city skyline photo ops. The dolphin/beluga whale show is a must.
    Jeremiah Louden · August 2, 2013
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  • Lindsey S.
    Hit up the Soundings Cafe for lunch. Great views of the city, reasonable prices, pretty good food, and BEER! Plus, if you go at 12, everyone else is at the dolphin show, you can get a table easily.
    Lindsey Scott · November 9, 2013
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  • Claire E.
    Go and see a lungfish that has been in the Shedd since 1933! They have amazing exhibits from all over the world with fun shows for kids, 4-D movies, and pretty much every fish you could imagine.
    Claire Elizabeth · October 30, 2014
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  • Anna S.
    Although we arrived 30 minutes prior to opening and in the first 50 through the door the aquatic shows were sold out. People pre-purchase w/tix online which is nice for them, not if you have City Pass
    Anna Stumpf · April 11
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  • Rachel S.
    I liked this place more than The Field Museum! If you have a school ID the tickets are only $5 for general admission. Go early though to bypass the crowds.
    Rachel Starks · May 25, 2015
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  • Sandor W.
    Despite what the clerks say, general admission DOES allow you to go downstairs to see the belugas, as well as the basement kids area. It's only $8, or $5 for residents; but it's not on the price menu.
    Sandor Weisz · May 25, 2013
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  • Ruth M.
    Get the CityPass, the line here can get ridiculous. Also, come in early if you want to see the dolphin show, as by the afternoon its usually sold out. Stingray Touch was the coolest experience ever!
    Ruth Madrigal · August 18, 2013
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  • Anna M.
    Any weekend year round and midday any day during the summer will be a long wait. Come at 3:30 during the summer and spend the last two hours with a smaller crowd. Jellies exhibit is not worth the $.
    Anna Morris · August 2, 2012
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  • Paulo H.
    It's always a good place to go with friends or family.. I'm from Brazil and had visited twice in different periods already.. High season like Christmas or News Eve must be patient.. Too crowded!
    Paulo Henrique · February 1, 2015
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  • Lisa Z.
    The organization of the lines today was awful...1 hr wait in the cold outside vs. 1/2 wait if u bought the city pass which I highly recommend: $89 for a book of tickets for several attractions
    Lisa Zielbauer · June 3, 2013
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  • Lisa K.
    Buy your tickets online before arriving, otherwise you may be in line up to 2 hrs! Make sure to buy a ticket for the aquatic show. We thought it was included in the Shedd Pass. It is not.
    Lisa King Morgan · July 1, 2013
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  • Achal V.
    You need to purchase an all-day, all-access pass for $34.95, or pay $20 to enter the special exhibits and then pay extra to watch specific shows/exhibits such as the Belugas. The G.A. ticket costs $8.
    Achal Varma · March 19, 2013
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  • Tabatha G.
    Love the aquatic reef tank! So big & colorful. Make sure to check out the aquatic show, they do talk, a lot, but it is still neat; especially if you have never seen anything like that!
    Tabatha Grover · September 30, 2014
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  • Brian W.
    Incredibly long lines, however if you have children and bring a stroller, you can move to the ramp entrance and directly bypass all the lines. Saved us nearly an hour in line of 90+ degree heat!
    Brian Wente · July 24, 2011
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  • G🐞rkem
    You should see this aquarium 💗 At holiday times you may be to await one's turn if you don't have city pass card. There are too many types of fishes and it's amazing.
    G🐞rkem · November 30, 2014
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  • Michael B.
    Bring quarters for the lockers if you don't want to carry your coat around. On busy days the change machines run out of quarters! 3 quarters for a small locker, four quarters for a large locker.
    Michael B · February 13, 2012
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  • Jennifer H.
    There HAS to be a more efficient way of getting ppl in this bldg. We just waited an HOUR to get a ticket OUTSIDE in the 100-degree heat. If you have small children or health conditions, come in winter
    Jennifer H · August 25, 2012
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  • Brad H.
    If you have a City Pass, don't wait in the long line...go to the short City Pass line on the far left. The main line was out the door & down the steps, but there were only 4 in the City Pass line.
    Brad Hoback · March 21, 2011
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  • Shedd Aquarium
    While the weather's still nice, step outside to snap a photo of the view! Our Lakefront Terrace boasts one of the best views of the Chicago skyline without even leaving the aquarium.
    Shedd Aquarium · September 7, 2011
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  • Phillip R.
    Waiting in line will give you ample opportunity to consider exactly how ineffective the admissions process is. Don't believe the blue shirts, jump in the shortest line and feign confusion if they ask.
    Phillip R · October 5, 2013
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  • Carl J.
    The unadvertised general admission price is $8.00. Don't fall for the deceptive pricing on the sign if you don't care about the special stuff. Ask for the $8 rate. Boo Shedd! Gouging almost everyone.
    Carl Johnson · July 25, 2010
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  • Latasha B.
    Great yearly visit, even without the kids. I love the Beluga whales performance. There are thousands of different species of fish here, stingrays, sharks, you name it. Love this place.
    Latasha Berry · November 18, 2013
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  • Natalie N.
    Skip aquatic show and the 4D experience. Both were a big letdown. Aquatic show involves very little about the marine animals. Also, no companion spots for accessible seating so you can't really see.
    Natalie Noblitt · June 13, 2013
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  • Zaptravel I.
    When it opened in 1930, Shedd Aquarium was the world’s largest aquarium as well as the first inland aquarium to maintain permanent exhibits of both marine and freshwater fishes.
    Zaptravel Inc · August 30, 2013
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  • Krista R.
    The line can take up to 2hrs 2get in. Worth it, of course, but be prepared. The Stingray Touch-definitely the highlight! & if u don't need a huge meal, grab a snack by the dolphins!
    Krista Ried · August 12, 2013
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  • Brandon S.
    The smaller tanks are divided up like trinket stores in a big mall. They are cramped and poorly navigable. That said, the jellyfish, whale/dolphin, and tropical exhibits are exciting and fun.
    Brandon Sullivan · February 16, 2013
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  • Kristin
    Aquatic show was awful! Very surprised that the incredible Shedd couldn't deliver. Confirm what you will see before you buy that add-on.. Plan to wait in line. Stroller line is shorter. City pass FTW
    Kristin · September 3, 2012
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  • Shedd Aquarium
    Make sure to visit Granddad, our Australian lungfish! Full-grown when he arrived for the 1933 Worlds Fair, he is at least 80 and possibly much older. Not only the oldest resident at Shedd, Granddad ha Read more
    Shedd Aquarium · May 20, 2010
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  • Skylar A.
    Definitely get the the city pass. You get to see everything and pretty much skip the line. Also if you go before October do the sting ray touch experience, its so neat!!
    Skylar Alexander · August 7, 2013
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  • Mark H.
    Got here at 9.30am on a beautiful Saturdy morning n there were no lines! Hurray! $3 off tics with ur student ID. This place is nice but I think overhyped. View from restaurant's patio is amazing.
    Mark H · October 10, 2011
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  • Chicagoist
    For $75 bucks and some change, you get to hang out with an adorable penguin in a small group, and you even get to PET THE PENGUIN! Read more
    Chicagoist · April 23, 2015
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  • Paula D.
    I'd suggest getting a Chicago Go Card or City Pass just to skip the lines... they are freakin' insane! Honestly, wasn't that impressed... there are just too many people crowded in there to enjoy it.
    Paula Davies · July 8, 2010
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  • Joanna F.
    If you're just there for a couple hours, the unlisted $8 General Admission gets you into several exhibits, but if you're making a day of it, you'll want the more expensive pass.
    Joanna Flamm · January 2, 2014
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  • Laurassein
    If you have kids, go early and sign on for the show and keep your coats to sit on because it is cement! The Shedd and their shows are full ADA accessible.
    Laurassein · January 22
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  • Dave F.
    Spend the extra money. See the penguins. This should require no additional explanation... but in case you didn't know, it's fun to watch them on land and as they "fly" underwater.
    Dave Floyd · September 17, 2012
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  • Song Z.
    A fun place for all ages. I don't know how often the exhibits change so probably don't want to go on a weekly basis. My daughter loves the place and shows.
    Song Zhao · January 1, 2015
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  • Shedd Aquarium
    Shedd recommends arriving early to beat the rush. You can find discounts at http://www.sheddaquarium.org/discounts.html or by following us on Twitter and Facebook. We welcome feedback. Thanks! Jay Gen Read more
    Shedd Aquarium · December 30, 2009
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  • Daniel.MD
    The waiting line on monday morning was huge! Temp was on the low 30's. Getting the city pass was awesome 'cause we skipped the line and didn't waste at least 1hr !
    Daniel.MD · March 25, 2013
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  • Jonathan F.
    This is one of those places you must visit in Chicago. The diversity of fish they have here is astounding. Even when it's busy and crowded, the other visitors are very courteous.
    Jonathan Ferrera · February 15, 2015
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  • Chloe R.
    When its raining or when its super hot outside, there will generally be a long line. Be warned now. If you have small kids with you. Bring something to entertain them.
    Chloe Rosen · June 27, 2011
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  • Will S.
    That Aquarium is well laid out and staff is friendly. The shark Aquarium is great, will give you goose bumps! I had the CityPass, good value for money!
    Will St Martin · September 27, 2015
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  • Sara A.
    Try to arrive as early as possible to avoid the rush. Penguins, jellyfish, dolphins, & the beluga whales were great but the museum is way smaller than I imagined
    Sara A · April 13, 2014
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  • Social N.
    Great trip for kids and adults alike. Be sure to experience touching the starfish and sting rays, and definitely do not miss the Japanese spider crab.
    Social News Network · August 6, 2013
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  • Nicole C.
    If time is precious to you... get a city pass!!! Waited in line for over and hour only to get to the front door and be told there was a 30 minute wait because they had reached capacity.. oh well.
    Nicole Crowder · July 31, 2011
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  • Alexandra F.
    Visited on Saturday and had a great time. Upgraded from the general admission so that we could see the whales and dolphins. My kids had a great time!
    Alexandra Faught Bivins · September 30, 2013
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  • Crystal H.
    Call before going! They were having a "gala event" when I went, and closed at 2:00pm. My friend said the same thing happened to her when she went a few months before me.
    Crystal H · June 10, 2013
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  • Tracy H.
    Though I miss the old style displays, the redesign is more informative. Always fun to see the fish in the main tank getting fed by the diver
    Tracy Hixon · March 4
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