Open 9 am - 5 pm

Shedd Announces Illinois Resident Free Days/Evenings

January 07, 2019

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

Chicago residents will have plenty of chances to swap the cold this January and February to explore the toasty Amazon Rising habitat where red-bellied piranhas live or spend time in the Caribbean Reef with Nickel the sea turtle. That’s because Shedd Aquarium is offering 25 Illinois Resident Free Days during the first two months of the year.

With a valid ID, Illinois residents receive free general admission, which includes the chance to discover the speed of Pacific white-sided dolphins in an aquatic presentation (subject to availability), get lost in the intricate patterns of the angelfish in the special exhibit Underwater Beauty, get on a first-name basis with belugas, sharks or penguins during daily animal chats, and more. Admission can be upgraded to include 4-D Experience for $4.95 per guest. Illinois Resident Free Days are sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company.

In addition, Shedd will be closed to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 15 and Wednesday, Jan. 16 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. 17 – Jan. 21 Illinois residents can enjoy free admission with all-inclusive access to the aquarium.

If residents are not able to take advantage of these first free days, they are encouraged to stay tuned for more free day offerings from Shedd later in the year.

WHEN: Illinois Resident Free Days:


  • Thursday, Jan. 17
  • Friday, Jan. 18
  • Saturday, Jan. 19
  • Sunday, Jan. 20
  • Monday, Jan. 21 (open until 9 p.m.)


  • Monday – Friday all month

PRICES: Admission for Illinois Residents:FREE

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 our 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.

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

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