Open 9 am - 6 pm

Five Illinois Resident Free Days at Shedd Aquarium This Month

Following a Successful Reopening, Shedd Gives Back With Free Access to Look Nature in the Eye from Feb. 22-26

February 15, 2021

Shedd's entrance with banners reading "All Are Welcome" in a variety of languages.

Shedd Aquarium will offer five Illinois Resident Free Days (Feb. 22-26, 2021) allowing guests to come face-to-face with aquatic animals. This offering demonstrates the aquarium’s commitment to providing access to connect to nature and wildlife for all, despite the aquarium’s multiple closures and significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic.

Tickets must be secured either online or by phone ahead of a visit, as the aquarium continues to maintain a significantly lower building capacity as part of its stringent health and safety measures. Additional onsite protocols meant to create a fun and safe environment for guests include timed tickets to entry, mask requirements, hand sanitizer stations, one-directional pathways, and more. Free admission will not be granted to guests who walk up without a reservation.

With valid ID, Illinois residents receive free general admission, which includes the chance to see the newest arrivals like the five-month-old Pacific white-sided dolphin calf in the Abbott Oceanarium or even a brand-new cuttlefish habitat in the Oceanarium that highlights the incredibly adaptive and stealthy species of cephalopods who can change the color of their body to match their surroundings. Guests can also explore pulsing jellies and eels ribbon in the special exhibit Underwater Beauty, or get immersed in Wild Reef home to sharks, rays, and corals.

For those who are not ready to visit the aquarium, or looking for a more personalized experience, there are still plenty of ways to connect with Shedd. Experience a live virtual one-on-one chat with the penguins that call Shedd home from the comfort of your home to come face-to-face with some of the first penguin influencers like Wellington, pair Edward and Annie, pair Izzy and Darwin, or other birds on Vidsig. Or explore the aquarium like never before with your family during an evening-and-the-next-morning program at a virtual sleepover focused on tropical animal adaptations this spring. Purchasing a ticket to visit or participating in these programs helps support Shedd’s mission and offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.

While the aquarium is now open to guests, financial support remains critical to Shedd’s continued success. You can plan ahead for spring break, March and April tickets are available now. Beyond visitation, there are several additional ways that the public can contribute to fuel Shedd’s mission.

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 22 through Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Shedd Aquarium

1200 S Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60605

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

All adults must provide proof of residency in-person when redeeming tickets at the 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: High-resolution photos are available for download:
Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez