Trip Planner:   USA  /  Illinois  /  Chicago  /  Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

#1 of 13 in Zoos & Aquariums in Illinois
Shedd Aquarium contains over 1,500 different species, including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects. Opened in 1930, this venue was the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection. Located within walking distance of the city's natural history museum and planetarium, the aquarium draws over 2 million annual visitors. Highlights include an oceanarium designed to replicate the natural conditions of the waters off the northwestern coast of the U.S., containing beluga whales, white-sided dolphins, sea otters, and seals. You can also visit the shark exhibit, a replica of a Philippines reef ecosystem. Exhibits often sell out early in the morning, so ensure your entry by purchasing your tickets well in advance. Make Shedd Aquarium a part of your Chicago vacation plans using our Chicago trip itinerary planning website .
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
8,426 reviews
  • We have been to a lot of aquariums, the Shedd is among, if not the best of them. Good flow, excellent exhibits. The dolphin show is short (indoors) but good. The Shark 4D film is good. Only 12 mins bu...  more »
  • Very complete aquarium with all kinds of water creatures from every body of water. A few rays like I’ve never seen. The dolphin show was really well done, with huge windows allowing a great view of La...  more »
  • It seemed most folks began their day on the main floor, which worked to our advantage. We entered quickly via CityPass QR code, zipped downstairs to grab aquatic experience tickets, and then stayed do...  more »
  • Really nice aquarium to bring the family. Prices are on the higher end, but it is on the the Chicago lakefront. It is well kept and the staff is very helpful. Parking can be expensive and very limited. Be sure to keep an eye out and visit during the least crowded times for the best experience. I recommend going all in and getting the 4d show and Oceanic Experience (dolphin show). Well worth it to see the amazing creatures in action.
  • We went on one of their free days. We paid $3 extra to reserve tickets online & skip the line. Totally worth it. The parking there was around $20 so we used an app to find cheaper parking nearby & walked. It was $8 and about a 30-minute walk with kids. We got to see one of the shows with the dolphins, whales, etc. & it was great, and free too! Very fun & educational. Everything was fairly easy to find with the map, and the staff members were helpful. They were walking around everywhere so they were easy to find. We really enjoyed the Wild Reef area about the Philippines. There were even areas where the kids could do hands-on stuff like touch some sea stars. It was also fun to see the dolphins, sharks, etc. under the water. It was nice, too, that they let you bring food & drinks in. They don't want you taking any of it out during a show if you're sitting in one of the first 3 rows, though. Anyway, we had a great time & our son loved it!
  • The aquarium is very clean, organized, and climate controlled. They have lockers you can rent for $0.75 to offload handbags camera cases and unneeded layers of clothing .It is a great place to get grounded again with my life by patiently strolling through the many exhibits and beholding how it eventually consumes me and makes me feel good. It took me a while 2 let go of all the tension but as I watched all the fish swimming and let my thoughts dissolve into the Rhythm I realized that I was then feeling very happy and light-hearted. My favorite part was the Tarpon. It is a silverfish in the big tropical tank that look like they have Chrome plated armor on them. If you wait and watch them as they circle around in the large aquarium they will swim through the light and you will discover how beautiful and radiant they really are. I also really like the beluga whales , they move so gracefully, beautiful soft white bodies flowing through the water like cushions. The dolphins are fun to watch, they are very playful and fickle and often swim together with a partner in tandem it's a fantastic thing to see. The parking is a little ways from the museums and the aquarium but it is well worth the walk. Dress very warmly in the winter taking care to cover your ears and face the wind from the lake is usually below zero and it penetrates right through thin layers of clothing. Enjoy the Chicago skyline and Lake view while you're walking from the garage to the aquarium.
  • This is undoubtedly one of the best acquariums I have ever seen in my life. It has a good collection of Amazon forest life which shows how reptiles, frogs, fish, marine weeds live and survive. The aquamarine life in Indian rivers, Latin America, Egyptian Nile has been beautifully showcased. The most amazing part was the whale show, the way they play with each other, smile, interact with people makes the whole place come alive with their innocence and smiles. It's the best place to hang around with your kids for sure
  • Absolutely beautiful aquarium with fantastic exhibit variety. My personal favorite is the Amazon rainforest focused. They also have exhibits for African lakes, Caribbean reefs, amphibians, hammerhead and other sharks, and many more! It would take probably a full day if you really wanted an in depth experience of the entire place. The dolphin show is great and they also have movies and other short events held throughout the say that you can pay for or sometimes even attend at no additional charge with a membership. Must see tourist destination! It is ranked in the top 5 best aquariums in America and is probably close to number one.

Plan your trip to Chicago

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Shedd Aquarium by other users

35 days in United States BY A USER FROM KUWAIT April, kids, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in United States BY A USER FROM KYRGYZSTAN August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, kids, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Midwest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 26 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Illinois BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Chicago BY A USER FROM CAYMAN ISLANDS April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Chicago and Beyond BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans