Oceanarium Reimagined!
Polar Play Zone

Go to extremes at Polar Play Zone, Shedd's cool new experience for kids! Here, young children and their families will explore the ends of the earth and closer to home, where nature's amazing opposites will show them the wonders of our world.

In addition to featuring animal favorites like penguins, beluga whales, dolphins and sea otters, Polar Play Zone offers a new experience at Shedd: a chance for children to learn through play. Children will move, create and pretend; they'll touch live animals and even splash in water. Young children and their families will make discoveries and have lots of fun as they encounter nature's opposites—big and small, cold and warm, rough and smooth—and learn about wide-ranging habitats and contrasting adaptations. Connecting with animals through play will inspire our youngest guests to care—the first step toward making a difference.

Polar Play Zone features four fun new sections for kids to explore: Shallow Ocean, Deep Ocean, Icy South and Icy North. Families will find new amenities created just for them, including two family restrooms adjacent to the north elevator; family-themed food service and seating; retail space; and a fully staffed information booth.

Icy North

Explore underwater worlds in Icy North. In Icy North, the mysteries of frigid Northern waters offer plenty to discover. Here, search the nooks and crannies of an icy cave. Dive deep in a submarine and explore the icy ocean. Get close to beautiful belugas and investigate undersea opposites.

Deep Ocean

In Deep Ocean, relax and watch dolphins in motion. Filled with cozy spots where families can sit and eat, Deep Ocean provides a calm setting to take a break and get a snack. Chill out as you watch dolphins swim near and far, making the most of the Deep Ocean habitat.

Icy South

Pretend you're a penguin! Travel far from home to the Icy South, a rocky shore in the chilly Southern Ocean. On this frosty coastline, penguins jump, slide and play. Whether they are beautiful, busy birds or imaginative children at play, Icy South's penguin friends never stop moving.

Shallow Ocean

In Shallow Ocean, get close to the coast! This section of Polar Play Zone is all about getting close enough to touch. Reach out and feel the rough textures of scratchy sea stars. Roll up your sleeves to splash in a tide pool and discover its hidden secrets. Frolic alongside sea otters.

Illinois. Mile After Magnificent Mile.