Shedd in the Community

Shedd works with community organizations in Chicago and throughout Illinois to provide affordable access, support charitable causes and reach out to educate our neighbors. Together we provide opportunities for all in our communities to connect with the living world and make a difference.

In 2013, Shedd provided free admission to 135,508 Illinois schoolchildren, many from underserved schools and visiting Shedd for the first time. The aquarium also provides free access to Illinois educators, active-duty military personnel and Chicago police and firefighters.

During 52 community discount/free days each year, Illinois residents can visit Shedd’s original aquarium galleries free and enjoy additional exhibits at a deep discount. Illinois Resident Discount Days are supported by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company. City of Chicago residents always receive discounted admission. To further encourage family visits, Shedd also works with the Chicago Public Library to place admission passes in every branch.

Because we love giving the gift of a Shedd visit, we also donate tickets to community organizations, not-for-profits and government community-based programs throughout Chicago.

Donation requests

Learn more about our donation request process and requirements.