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 any 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.

Throughout the summer. Concert season is almost upon us. In addition to heavy pedestrian, car and trolley traffic on the Museum Campus as music fans arrive for music at Soldier Field or Northerly Island, parking at the Soldier Field north garage will cost $30 (cash or credit card) as you enter on these days:

June 23, 24, 25; gates open at 1 p.m. each day, so expect lots of congestion during our visiting hours
July 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, 13, 22, 24, 30
Aug. 9, 12, 17
Sept. 22 

Saturday, June 24, starting at 8 a.m. A 5K run associated with the Bears starts on Waldron Drive, behind Soldier Field, and ends at Soldier Field. Where it goes in between those two points we don't know, but expect road closures, probably including Museum Campus Drive, and watch for signs indicating where you can exit for the campus and Shedd. 

Saturday, July 1, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, July 5, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Thursday, July 6, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anticipate special-event parking rates, heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic, lots of activity and possibly some road closures before and during the specified hours. Soldier Field and the Museum Campus will be the site of several events of the weeklong Warrior Games, a Department of Defense athletic competition for wounded, ill and injured U.S. Armed Forces active-duty personnel and veterans. Take public transportation to Shedd if you can.

Watch for still more new lane configurations between Lake Shore Drive and the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Reconstruction of the connections between these two workhorse highways just might be completed this July. Until then, 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.

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

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.