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Museums for All (EBT) passes are sold out until June 1st. General Admission tickets may still be available.

Four Illinois Resident Free Days at Shedd Aquarium in August

Extended Hours and Free Admission on Thursdays to Experience the Aquatic Animal World

August 02, 2021

Shedd's facade, featuring banners with penguins and fish on them.

Shedd Aquarium will offer four Illinois Resident Free Days in August on Thursdays throughout the month. In addition to the free admission for Illinois residents, the aquarium will offer extended hours on the select free days for additional access to the aquatic animal world.

With valid ID, Illinois residents receive free general admission, which includes access to all exhibits at Shedd and 32,000 animals that call the aquarium home. Explore the world’s oceans, lakes, rivers and reefs to come face-to-face with beluga whales and bluegills to penguins and paddlefish – all in the heart of Chicago. Guests can also dive deeper daily with special, add-on opportunities like a Stingray Feeding, 4-D Experiences or Virtual Reality Experiences to enhance their visit.

Tickets must be secured either online or by phone ahead of a visit to reduce wait time, ensure it’s not sold-out, and for the best possible guest experience. Free admission will not be granted to guests who walk up without a reservation. To reserve tickets and find the latest COVID-19 guidelines, visit

WHEN: Thursdays, starting Aug. 5 through Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

WHERE: Shedd Aquarium
1200 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

HOW: Tickets must be secured ahead of a visit on Shedd’s website or by phone: 312-939-2438.

All adults must provide proof of residency in person when redeeming tickets at a discounted rate. For the latest information about the aquarium hours and discounts, please visit the “Plan a Visit” page or call 312-939-2438.

Please note: A $3 transaction fee applies to Illinois Resident Free Day tickets reserved online. This helps ensure access to as many neighbors as possible by validating orders.

VISUALS: General photos and b-roll are available.
Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Video Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin