Tips for an unforgettable visit, Shedd Aquarium

At Shedd Aquarium you can look nature in the eye, grab it, touch it, explore and discover! See Pacific white-striped dolphins jump and listen to beluga whales sing, get tickled by starfish and touch the bony shell of a sea sturgeon, one of the largest and oldest fish species in the Great Lakes. And a knowledgeable staff member looks forward to your questions as you watch a diver feed sea turtles, rays, sharks and other animals in their Caribbean reef habitat.

The best way to start your visit is online, which saves you the hassle of hiring. We offer two simple ways to purchase tickets:

  • Buy your tickets in advance and enjoy priority admission.
  • Or buy a Chicago CityPASS – a great ticket at a great price for the Shedd Aquarium and four other attractions.

General admissionAdults 39.95 USD, children (3-11) 29.95 USD

Experience beluga whales, sea otters, stingrays, live corals, penguins and many other aquatic animals from all over the world! Admission includes all permanent exhibitions, special exhibitions, water shows (subject to availability) and the possibility of touching a stingray (Stingray Touch) during the summer outdoors. Admission to the 4D Experience costs an additional $4.95 ($2.95 for Shedd members).

Adults 108 USD (value 214 USD)

Children (3-11) 89 USD (value 184 USD)

What you save: 50% off the five best sights in Chicago; and when you arrive at the Shedd, you can pass the queue.

What you get to see: The Chicago CityPASS includes priority admission plus access to all exhibitions, a special 4D show and the Stingray Touch (summer only). When you arrive, you can reserve your tickets for the water show. Learn more about the CityPASS and buy tickets.

Exceptional experiences: Meeting with our Beluga whales

Extraordinary experiences: a glimpse behind the scenes

Exceptional experiences: Trainer for one day

Exceptional experiences: Meeting with our penguins

Exceptional experiences: Shark feeding

Exceptional experiences: Meeting with our Otters


When you arrive, check out the Today at Shedd schedule and discover what activities there are, including animal talks and annotated dives. Then get your tickets for the water show.

Water Demonstration: The Shedd Water Demonstration offers guests an exciting introduction to the life of the Pacific white stripe dolphins or beluga whales, as well as changing presentations of penguins, birds of prey and a sea lion. The water show is included in the entrance fee, subject to availability at your arrival time. After your card has been scanned when you enter the aquarium, you can go to a computer terminal, check available times for the water show and print your free ticket.

4D Show: These 15-minute 3D videos include another dimension that will delight your senses. Your seat vibrates, the air moves, something flits past your feet. or was there something? Here you come so close to the action that you want to reach out and touch everything.

Stingray Touch: How does the skin of a stingray feel? Is it smooth and slippery or rough like sandpaper? Put your hand in our tropical outdoor pool and feel these fascinating fish glide by! You’ll also learn how we take care of all the stingrays that live in the shed and how you can help protect them in the wild. *Stingray Touch is only available in summer.

Exceptional experiences: Dive even deeper with one of our Extraordinary Experiences! There are many extraordinary experiences at your disposal: Shark feeding, a look behind the scenes, trainer for a day, meeting with our beluga whales, penguins or otters. Booking in advance is recommended.

Tips for a successful visit

Before you arrive

  • The Shedd is very popular with visitors. So that your aquarium adventure can start right away, we recommend that you buy your tickets online in advance, so that you don’t have to wait at the box office. Show your ticket on your mobile device or print it out to use your preferred entrance to the Shedd.
  • Guests residing in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois must show ID to qualify for regional visitor discounts.
  • Come early in the day. So you have the best view of your favourite animals!
  • You can come to the Shedd with rideshares like Uber or Lyft. Our address is 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive.
  • You can also travel to the Aquarium by public transport. Here you will find information on how to get to the Aquarium, including fares, routes and timetables. Bus 146 “Museum Campus” of the Chicago Transit Authority will take you almost to our door. If you’re in Chicago for several days, save money with the convenient 3- or 7-day ticket.
  • If you come to the Shedd by car, you can park in the Soldier Field North Garage from 23 USD (subject to change). There are also limited parking spaces on the street where you must buy a ticket at the parking machine. On most weekends there is also limited valet parking directly at the Shedd.
  • Also check the traffic information on our Traffic Alerts website for up-to-date information on local events that affect traffic and parking near the Shedd.
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Christina Cherry
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