New Year, New Happenings at Shedd Aquarium

Celebrate 2017 With Education Programs, Member Appreciation Month, Discount Days, Volunteer Opportunities & Much More!

With 2017 officially underway, Shedd Aquarium is excited to offer guests and members unique ways to get involved this year! This winter, go on a guided tour behind-the-scenes, experience what it is like to be a marine mammal trainer or participate in a shark feeding tour, or better yet volunteer to lead guests on these extraordinary experiences! Visitors can also spend a night at Shedd during Asleep with the Fishes or sign up for education programs, such as spring break camp or Club Shedd.


Take advantage of Illinois Resident Discount Days at Shedd! Illinois residents have free access to the original galleries at Shedd as well as discounted rates on other packages to experience sharks in the Wild Reef, and beluga whales, dolphins, and sea lions in the Abbott Oceanarium. Proof of residency must be provided in person when purchasing tickets for the discounted rate.

  • Jan. 23 -24, 27 – 31
  • Feb. 6 -7, 10 – 14, 21, 27 – 28
  • FREE General Admission or $15 upgrade available to receive a Total Experience Pass


Consider becoming a member of Shedd Aquarium to enjoy a variety of benefits, including 20% off in the Gift Stores and discounts on select Extraordinary Experiences. Check out the special member events in honor of Member Appreciation Month below:

  • Saturday, February 4, 9:00am-10:30am “Love is in the Air…and the Water” Member Morning Coffee: We love our members! Join us in Soundings Café for coffee and light refreshments at this event to kick off Member Appreciation Month! Activities will include crafts, games, and animal encounters!
  • Saturday, February 11, 9:30am “Ellie’s Anniversary” Marine Mammal Chat:  Join us for a special chat focusing on our newest rescued Sea Otter, Ellie, as she celebrates her one year anniversary here at Shedd. Q&A session follows presentation.
  • Saturday, February 18, 9:00am-10:30am “Whale of a Time” Member Morning Coffee:  We welcome our members to join us in Bubblenet Café as we celebrate World Whale Day with light refreshments, crafts and fun games for the whole family!
  • Saturday, February 25, 9:00am-10:00am Connection to the Collection: Rivers: Members are welcome to join us for an exclusive hour learning about the inhabitants of our Rivers exhibit.


Shedd is seeking Guest Engagement volunteers during weekdays for Behind the Scenes Tours and Penguin Encounters. Ideal candidates love to learn and interact with diverse groups of people. When these volunteers are not facilitating these two extraordinary experiences, they will engage with guests in the exhibits. Once selected, volunteers will receive extensive training to be able to share stories about animals and enhance the guest experience. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Apply today!

  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour Volunteers: Lead guests on a tour that provides an insider’s look at the galleries, laboratory and animal hospital.
  • Penguin Encounters Volunteers:Engage with guests who are scheduled for the popular penguin encounter program.


Are you looking for a Shedd experience that’s a little more special, more personal and more in-depth? Whether it’s a guided tour behind the scenes or a special proposal beside the belugas, we’ve got experiences you’ll never forget.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour
  • See Shedd from the perspective of our animal care staff during a 50-minute guided behind-the-scenes tour. You’ll go behind the galleries to view the aquarium from a new angle, see where nutritious meals are prepared for some of our 32,000 animals.
  • Price: $55.95 for adults; $46.95 for children; $20.00 for members
  • Trainer for a Day
  • Pull on a pair of our tall rubber boots and go behind the scenes to experience what it’s like to be a marine mammal trainer. You’ll assist a trainer with daily routines and experience multiple training and feeding sessions.
  • Price: $350 a person ($300 for members) 
  • Shark Feeding Tour: Behind the Scenes in Wild Reef
  • Dive deeper into Wild Reef—and experience mealtime with the sharks—during this new 60-minute guided exploration into how Shedd’s experts care for one of the aquarium’s most diverse and fascinating animal groups.
  • Prices: $89.95 for adults; $80.95 for children; $54.00 for members


Planning ahead for spring break? Students in grades 3rd – 5th can get up close and personal with Shedd's animals, visit behind-the-scenes work areas and travel to local natural areas to learn more about the amazing animals we care for at Shedd. Each day, campers will use scientific tools and get a behind-the-scenes look at how Shedd’s animal care experts work with the animals that reside at the aquarium. Attendees with also head outdoors to learn more about biodiversity and local wildlife.

Register today:

  • Program Dates:
  • Session 1: March 27 - 31, 2017
  • Session 2: April 10 - 14, 2017
  • Each camp session runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $295 ($275 for members)


Spring into a new season with a sleepover at Shedd! At our Asleep with the Fishes overnights, you'll spend the night exploring the aquarium to learn about animals through a scavenger hunt, an aquatic presentation and our Amphibians special exhibit. Stay the night to sleep next to the fishes, or head home after the evening's activities. Whether you're with a group or want to attend an overnight with your family, find your adventure here. Please note: VIP spaces are limited so consider reserving early!

Questions? Check out our Overnight FAQs here!
More than 10 people in your group? Call our group reservations team at 312-692-3333.


Do you have what it takes to be in the club? We invite you to be a member! Club Shedd is a semester long program for passionate and driven teens between grades 9 - 12 with an interest in science and aquarium careers. Each semester, teens work together alongside Shedd professionals, behind the scenes, in Shedd's Teen Learning Lab, and with amazing resources to develop solutions for real aquarium challenges. Club Shedd provides you with skill-building opportunities and workshops to tackle the challenges presented by Shedd partners. In the past year, teens have inspired and developed solutions that have impacted the aquarium in these projects:

  • Enriching animal habitats through sculpting and molding/casting
  • Modernizing gallery exhibits utilizing digital software and 3D modeling
  • Designing ways to engage Shedd guests with our surrounding gardens, local plant species, and even Shedd's bees!

Program Dates: Feb. 4, Feb. 18, March 11, April 1, April 22, May 6
Program Cost: $75
Register today:

VISUALS: High resolution photos of Shedd Aquarium can be found here:
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Contact Us

See contact info for our PR team.

Multimedia Requests

Shedd Aquarium has an extensive library of photos and videos for media use. Learn more and submit a request.

Filming and Access

Find details about media requests and press visits to Shedd.

Calendar of Events

Find out about Shedd Aquarium's upcoming events.

Press Distribution List

Sign up here to receive press releases and other information distributed by Shedd Aquarium’s public relations team.

Follow Us

Stay up-to-date with Shedd news

Sign up for Shedd's email newsletter to be the first to know what's happening at the aquarium, including unique events, behind-the-scenes updates, and exclusive offers.