Open 9 am - 2 pm (Early Close)
Shedd Aquarium will be closing at 2:00 p.m. today for a private event.
Bold type on a white background reads, "for people, for communities, for aquatic life".

Shedd Aquarium transports guests to the extraordinary, aquatic world that lives beneath the water, filled with the bizarre, the beautiful, and the biologically wonderful. As they see the iridescent scales of fishes found around the globe – including some thought to be extinct in nature – feel the thick coat of a sea otter that allows them to survive the cold and hear the chirps and whistles beluga whales use to communicate and navigate through dark waters, guests of all ages and backgrounds come face to face with beauty and science only nature can produce. 

Shoulder to shoulder with more than 200 million people over the last nine decades, communities across Chicago, and partners around the world, Shedd Aquarium has served as a portal to life beneath the surface. Generating millions of moments that evoke inspiration, create compassion, and catalyze action, nearly 2 million guests each year look nature in the eye through one-of-a-kind experiences and millions more join together in neighborhoods, on rivers, across classrooms and virtually on screens to create meaningful change for our shared blue planet. 

As we look toward our 100th anniversary in 2030, Shedd Aquarium is embarking on an audacious, energizing and urgent undertaking — a transformational Centennial Commitment that accelerates access and connection to nature for all and amplifies ways to care, conserve and act to ensure an equitable, sustainable, and thriving future for people and aquatic life. 

The plan is a bold surge forward that leverages nearly a century of success to accelerate the work that must be done to foster a society that values and cares for aquatic life and ecosystems for a flourishing tomorrow. The wide-ranging vision includes: 

  • Deeper community investments and partnerships that not only bring the aquarium further into Chicago neighborhoods, but also bring neighborhood-level environmental discussions and solutions into new, expansive, dedicated community spaces within Shedd’s walls. 
  • A modernized aquarium experience through the transformation and restoration of the historic galleries and dynamic new exhibits that provide greater and more accessible entry points to see and connect with aquatic life as a springboard to inquiry and nature exploration. 
  • New educational and experiential programs created with equity and inclusion at the center that deepen science learning, increase environmental literacy and empower futures for youth. 
  • Compelling digital engagements that bring animals and conservation action programs from the aquarium into more hands and homes everywhere. 
  • Advancements in exemplary animal care and welfare for the thousands of animals in our care and to increase Shedd’s capacity to respond to more wildlife in crisis; and 
  • Accelerated aquatic research and science to address the largest threats to biodiversity and species extinction.  

Dive Deeper: A Message from Dr. Bridget C. Coughlin, President & CEO

Today, we are diving deeper than ever before to ensure the next 100 years include a world where resilient ecosystems and resilient communities thrive together, and aquatic life is sustained by people who love, understand and protect it.
A rendering of an underwater glass tunnel with sea life visible swimming around and above the people in the tunnel.

Photo by: © Shedd Aquarium in collaboration with Thinc/Valerio Dewalt Train

Transforming the Aquarium Experience

As part of our Centennial Commitment, we will reimagine the onsite aquarium experience, transforming Shedd Aquarium’s historic galleries and exhibits and expanding onsite capacity to engage more guests with greater accessibility to the wonder and diversity of aquatic life.

Learn more about our transformation

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