Open 9 am - 5 pm

Free Days and Annual Closure Days at Shedd Aquarium in 2022

January 07, 2022

A young guest wearing a pink face mask gazes up into a large fish habitat.

Shedd Aquarium is sharing several dates throughout the January and February that Illinois residents can enjoy free admission. Guests can get a respite from the chilly weather and have the opportunity to explore aquatic wonder at no charge.

With a valid ID, Illinois residents receive free general admission with advance ticket reservation, which includes all exhibits at the aquarium to come face-to-face with incredible animals from around the world and right in your backyard. It also includes the chance to attend Animal Spotlights in the Oceanarium to join animal care experts highlight amazing animal adaptations of penguins, belugas, sea lions and dolphins throughout the day.

In addition, Shedd will be closed to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 11 and Wednesday, Jan. 12 for routine maintenance and cleaning, to allow for projects that cannot take place during normal hours of operations with guests in the building. Immediately following the closure days, from Jan. 13 – Jan. 17 Illinois residents can enjoy free admission with all-inclusive access to the aquarium.

WHEN: CLOSED: Tuesday, Jan. 11 and Wednesday, Jan. 12

Illinois Resident Free Days:


  • Thursday, Jan. 13 – Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 (MLK DAY)
    • For MLK Day on Jan. 17, Shedd will be open until 9 p.m.


  • Monday, Feb. 7 – Friday, Feb. 11, 2022
  • Monday, Feb. 14 – Friday, Feb. 18, 2022

HOW: Advance reservations required; no tickets will be available onsite.

Following Chicago’s latest public health guidance, and to ensure the continued health and safety of our guests and community, Shedd Aquarium will require proof of vaccination for all guests ages 5 and older beginning Monday, January 3, 2022. Those ages 16 years and older also must show a photo ID matching their proof of vaccination. Masks for staff and visitors over the age of 2 are still required. For more information, click here.

PRICES: Admission for Illinois Residents: FREE

Advance reservations required; no tickets will be available onsite. Proof of residency must be provided in-person when purchasing tickets at the discounted rate. For the latest information about the aquarium hours and discounts, please visit Shedd’s website 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.

WHERE: Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill.

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

Videos can be found here:
Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin