Tips for a Great Visit

Before You Arrive

  • Shedd is a popular place to visit, and the wait in the ticket line can be two or more hours. If you haven’t already, we recommend you buy your tickets in advance online. Be sure to show tickets on your mobile device or print and bring to Shedd for priority entry.
  • Arrive early. You will have the best views of your favorite animals!
  • Dress for comfort. Weather in Chicago is unpredictable, so be sure to check weather updates before your arrival.
  • Plan your visit before you arrive with one of our self-guided Ten Fun Finds tours.
  • Concentrate on several select exhibits rather than rushing to “do” the whole aquarium.

Getting Here

  • Between public transportation and parking nearby, you’ll be on your way to Shedd in no time. Let us help you choose the best way to get here.
  • Make sure to check our Traffic Alerts for up-to-date information about local events that may impact traffic and parking near Shedd Aquarium.

Need To Knows

  • Last tickets sales are 45 minutes before close. Click here to see our hours.
  • Pack light. If you do want to store items during your visit, we have coin-operated lockers available. If you’re traveling with a toddler, we recommend using an umbrella stroller that will be easier than larger models for navigating exhibits and elevators. See our complete admission policies here.
  • Take public transportation to the aquarium. It's cheaper than driving and parking, and the CTA #146 Museum Campus bus delivers you almost to our door.
  • Outside food is allowed in the aquarium, but can only be eaten in designated areas.
  • Check our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information regarding your upcoming visit to Shedd Aquarium!

Must "Seas"!

Shedd Calendar

Planning a visit to Shedd? Check out the Shedd calendar for the latest info or campus events on the day of your visit!

Daily Dive

Caribbean Reef dive

Daily: 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m.

Animal Chats

Sharks: 9:45 a.m. | 11:15 a.m. | 3:45 p.m. | Wild Reef

Belugas and sea lions: 11 a.m. | 1:30 p.m. | 3 p.m. | Abbott Oceanarium

Penguins:  9:45 a.m. | 12:45 p.m. | 4 p.m. | Polar Play Zone

Fun Finds Maps

From must-see kid sights to hidden animals, explore Shedd with our unique fun finds maps!

Extraordinary Experiences

Meet a penguin, touch a beluga whale, become a trainer for a day, or take a tour behind the scenes of Shedd. Prices vary by experience. Learn more!

Become a Shedd member

Membership is  a great option if you’d like to support Shedd and get special perks for return visits! Learn more here

Visitors Guide

Looking for tips for your next visit to Shedd? Check out our awesome guide here

Participate in Research Study, Visit Shedd for free

Want to take part in a research study with Shedd and visit for free? Get the details!