Spaces

We offer spectacular spaces for events of up to 1,200 people. Each event is unique and priced individually. The facility fee varies by size and duration of the event. Additional fees reflect the number of guests on the day of the event.

Abbott Oceanarium

Begin the evening with a cocktail reception on the mezzanine level overlooking a stunning re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastline. Guests can stroll down to the water’s edge to visit with dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters, sea lions and fascinating fishes and sea stars.
Dinner capacity: N/A   Reception capacity: 800

Wild Reef

This magical Indo-Pacific coral reef exhibit, filled with delicate corals, majestic sharks and rays, and rainbow-hued schooling fishes, is available for viewing. (No food or beverages are allowed in this area.)

Caribbean Reef (rotunda) and aquarium galleries

Classical Greek architecture and our signature 90,000-gallon Caribbean Reef exhibit create a setting fit for King Neptune. Whether seated around the aquamarine reef habitat or in the aquarium’s elegantly vaulted galleries, your guests will dine in the company of a dazzling array of fishes and other aquatic life.
Rotunda dinner capacity: 230     Reception capacity: 600
Galleries dinner capacity: 600    Reception capactiy: 1,000

Main foyer/Kovler Hall

This majestic soaring space will dazzle your guests. The classical Greek architecture is enlivened with superlative sea life ornamentation in marble, bronze and terra cotta. It’s a grand space for dining and dancing.
Dinner capacity: 200     Reception capacity: 300

North terrace

Take your event outdoors! This seasonal space combines a sweeping vista of the lakefront and skyline with gentle breezes and amenities like a full canopy (May through October) and bar — perfect for a cocktail reception.

Lakeside terrace

This space, also open May through October, combines stunning views of the lakefront and skyline with a gentle waterfall and wildflower garden for a more casual gathering. Or showcase Chicago if you’re entertaining out-of-town colleagues.

Soundings

Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline are the backdrop in this beautiful window-lined room. The unique and flexible space can accommodate a variety of events, from dinner parties to large receptions.

Stingray Touch Experience

Treat your guests to a firsthand Shedd experience in this seasonal (May through October) outdoor exhibit area. They’ll be delighted by the sensation of sleek stingrays gently gliding under their outstretched hands. Our expert animal care staff members will share fun facts about the rays. 

Phelps Auditorium

Our 244-seat auditorium features state-of-the-art audiovisual technology that can be tailored to your specified needs — meeting, lecture, awards program, or multimedia presentation. It’s available at an additional cost.
Dinner capacity: N/A     Seating capacity: 244

Contact Us

Request more information about planning an event.

Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL60605

Phone 312-692-3275
Fax 312-939-3793
Email us

Engagement and wedding photos

Please note that we do not allow engagement or weddings photos onsite at the aquarium, unless Shedd is your wedding venue. To plan your wedding here, please contact our Events team.