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Onsite Animal Encounters Return at Shedd Aquarium

Come face-to-face with penguins, beluga whales and sharks as extraordinary experiences return onsite

September 13, 2021

A Shedd trainer kneels on the astroturf floor of Shedd's Penguin Encounter room with a Magellanic penguin perched on her lap. A young participant sitting on a bench reaches out to touch the penguin's back.

Shedd Aquarium is returning some of its onsite Extraordinary Experiences to continue to connect guests with the aquatic animal world. Participants will have a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with penguins, beluga whales, or sharks during these animal encounters. Discover unbelievable animal adaptations, learn what it takes to care for these animals, ask questions to experts, make lasting memories, and more during Shedd’s Extraordinary Experiences. Admission to the aquarium is included with these experiences.

Beluga Encounter

Participants will pull on waders to enter the private Grainger Beluga Encounter Habitat. Standing side-by-side with a trainer on an underwater ledge, guests will be face to face with a whale, try a few training techniques and enjoy some surprises.

  • Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9:45 a.m. (select dates also have a 1:45 p.m. session) starting Oct. 2021
  • Cost: Per person $200 a person/Members $170

Shark Feeding Tour

Participants will come face-to-face with the ocean’s most dynamic and misunderstood predators – sharks. Dive deeper into Wild Reef by venturing behind-the-scenes of the 400,000-gallon shark habitat, and experience mealtime with the sharks to discover what it takes to feed and care for these animals. During the Shark Feeding Tour, guests venture while delving into sharks’ role in their ecosystem. Learn first-hand how aquarists prepare meals of restaurant-quality seafood and how various shark and ray species in Wild Reef has been trained to respond to a signal for mealtime.

  • Dates: Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. starting Oct. 2021
  • Cost: Adults (12+) $94.95/Children $84.95/Members $50

Penguin Encounter

Meet one of Shedd’s penguins! During this Extraordinary Experience, guests will see the penguin explore, preen, play with toys, perch and gulp fish. Learn first-hand from the animal care team about the penguin’s history, what it takes to care for them, and how the aquarium protects them in the wild with conservation work. Get close enough to touch their sleek, slick feathers and get a photo with the penguin to share.

  • Dates: Select dates at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. available now
  • Cost: Adults (12+) $94.95/Children $84.95/ Members $50

VISUALS: High-resolution images and b-roll are available to download:
Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium