Traffic Alerts

Throughout the year, the Museum Campus is the site of a variety of special events that can affect traffic and parking. Please check here before each visit to plan around traffic so you can spend the most time with the animals.

Traffic alerts

In addition to the dates listed below, parking at the Soldier Field north garage can be the special-event rate of $22 (same as the all-day rate), payable on entry with credit card or cash, on any day without notice.

Bears season is here. See important Museum Campus parking information below. 

Lake Shore Drive/Chicago River bridge lift schedule. Sailboats make their fall migration from Lake Michigan to dry dock Wednesdays and Saturdays through Nov. 17, between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. If the bridge is on your route, plan your trip so that you're not late for your aquatic presentation. If you do have to sit out a bridge lift, please turn off your engine.

Saturday, Oct. 1. Expect rolling street closures on the Museum Campus during the morning for the 2016 AIDS Run and Walk. Then, the special event parking fee of $22 will be in effect at the Soldier Field north garage due to the Bacon and Beer Classic at SF. Drive carefully.

Sunday, Oct. 2. Bears game. Parking will be be available only at the Soldier Field north garage for $49, possibly going down an hour or so after the noon start time. Your car will be inspected with a metal detector. See below for more details.

Saturday, Oct. 8, time TBA. An international soccer game at Soldier Field will affect traffic and parking. Details to come.

Sunday, Oct. 9, until 3 p.m. The Chicago Marathon will affect traffic throughout the city, including access to Lake Shore Drive and the Museum Campus. Check street closures and the route map here. If you can, take public transportation. Any way you get here, allow extra time.

Saturday, Nov. 5, time TBA. An international rugby game at Soldier Field will affect traffic and parking. Details to come.

Watch for new lane configurations between Lake Shore Drive and the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) as this reconstruction project drags on until winter 2017. Follow the signs and allow extra travel time so that you don't miss your reserved show or programs. Backed-up traffic could slow your access to the Museum Campus at 18th from southbound LSD.

How is traffic impacted by Bears games and special events?

On the day of Chicago Bears home games and other special events, we strongly recommend taking public transportation.

Upcoming games:
Sunday, Oct. 2, noon
Saturday, Oct. 16, noon
Monday, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27, noon
Sunday, Dec. 4, noon
Sunday, Dec. 18, noon
Saturday, Dec. 24, noon 

If you drive, you'll pay a higher, special-event parking rate as you enter at all available Museum Campus parking facilities. If the game starts at 7:30 p.m., parking will cost $22 until around 1:30, when it goes up to $49. When the game starts at noon, parking will be $49 when Shedd opens. The rate could drop by 1 or 1:30. For exact day-of information on rate changes, call the Soldier Field north garage at 312-235-7701. Parking will be prohibited on Solidarity Drive. Expect traffic congestion throughout the Museum Campus. Rerouting for traffic entering and leaving the campus is a strong possibility.

If you use the Soldier Field north garage, expect delays on game days as cars are inspected with a metal detector before entering. You'll have to pop your trunk or hatch, too. Add 10 or more minutes to your travel time so that you don't miss your scheduled aquatic presentation.

If you have accessibility needs, please contact us at 312-939-2438 for additional information about getting to Shedd.

Are ATMs available to pay for parking?

Yes, ATMs are available in the Soldier Field North Garage.

Can I still park on Solidarity Drive?

When the special-event fee is in effect, it often means parking on Solidarity Drive is prohibited. When no parking signs are posted on the street, they are strictly enforced.

When are parking price changes announced?

All fee changes are announced ahead of time, especially during the summer. However, rates and hours for all lots and garages are subject to change without notice. All Museum Campus parking is owned by the Chicago Park District and managed by Standard Parking. For the most current parking information, visit www.soldierfieldparking.com.

If I decide not to drive, how can I get to Shedd?

Public transportation is the best way to get to Shedd. Whether you start on Metra or take CTA all the way, you'll arrive within steps of our door! Go here to plan your route.