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Fun Activities for the Whole Family at Shedd Aquarium This Fall

August 30, 2019

At the Spooky Seas Overnight, families can sleep in the galleries, seeing what the fish get up to at night!

Take a deeper dive into the world of aquatic animals at Shedd Aquarium with a variety of learning opportunities for all ages. These programs, specifically for Youth, Family and Adult audiences, include hands-on activities, animal encounters, peeks behind the scenes and time to explore exhibits.


On the first Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to noon, learn about your favorite animals through hands-on activities, games, crafts and time behind the scenes with Shedd’s animal experts. Whether you’re interested in learning more about the marine mammals with the densest fur in the animal kingdom, - sea otters, or hearing more about the whistles, clicks, chirps and squeals beluga whales produce in their nasal passages and broadcast through their blowholes, there’s a Family First Saturday to satisfy your curiosity about these unbelievable animals that live at Shedd. This program is designed for families with children ages 5-12 and includes admission to the aquarium, so afterward, your family can continue to explore.

  • $49.99 per person ($29.99 for members)
  • Saturday, Sept. 7: Celebrate Sea Otters
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Penguin Adventures
  • Saturday, Nov. 2: Dive into Dolphins
  • Saturday, Dec. 7: Beluga Whale Wonders
  • Photos (Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Heidi Zeiger)


Whether you’re with a group or want to attend an overnight with your family, find your adventure at Shedd. All Asleep with the Fishes overnights include animal and science activities, an aquatic presentation, animal encounters, aquatic crafts, a scavenger hunt and the chance to observe a Caribbean Reef feeding dive. Attendees are also free to explore any of the open exhibit spaces throughout the evening.

  • Evening Only: $40/person ($30/member)
  • Regular: $85/person ($70/member)
  • VIP Caribbean Reef: $100/person ($85/member)
  • VIP Underwater Beauty: $110/person ($95/member)
  • VIP Wild Reef: $120/person ($100/member)
  • VIP Oceanarium: $130/person ($110/member)
  • Photos (Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Heidi Zeiger)

Friday, Oct. 25: Spooky Seas – Grab a costume for the annual Halloween overnight! Meet animals that come out at night, bust myths about animals like snakes and spiders, and learn about the slimy creatures that live below the waves. Show off your costume on the dance floor and enjoy all the tricks and treats that Shedd overnights have to offer!

Friday, Nov. 15: Give Thanks for Animals – Celebrate animals with us as we explore their favorite foods! Who eats what? Who eats WHO? How does Shedd feed 32,000 animals? Find out at this harvest-themed overnight.

Friday, Dec. 20: Winter Wonderland – Grab a cup of cocoa and create fond memories with loved ones at this Winter Wonderland overnight! Explore how animals survive in chilly temperatures and discover how living things illuminate the icy depths with bioluminescence, fluorescence, and more!


When school is out of session during CPS non-attendance days, the learning continues at Shedd with a one-day camp for students enrolled in K to 5th grade. Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; aftercare runs from 3 to 5 p.m. Aftercare is complimentary and included in the program fee.

  • $100 ($90 for members)
  • Monday, Oct. 14
  • Friday, Nov. 8 and Monday, Nov. 11
  • Photos (Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez)


Before Shedd opens for the day, from 8-10 a.m., calm your body and mind with a yoga class, surrounded by the animals in one of the aquarium’s peaceful habitats. After class, look nature in the eye with an up-close animal encounter or behind-the-scenes experience. These yoga sessions are for adults, ages 18 or older.

  • $40/person ($35/member)
  • Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22
  • Sunday, Oct. 13 and Monday, Oct. 28 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 10
  • Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 15
  • Photos (Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Eva Ho)