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Shedd Aquarium Plans to Safely Reopen to Public Jan. 27

Members Will Enjoy Early Access and First Chance to Purchase Tickets at Shedd Opens Doors to Public

January 19, 2021

A Shedd trainer wearing a mask touches faces with a beluga.

With Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s announcement last evening that Chicago has now moved back into Tier 2 mitigation standards, Shedd Aquarium is preparing to safely reopen its doors after 70 days of closure with member-first days next Wednesday, Jan. 27 through Friday, Jan. 29, followed by general public admission beginning on Saturday, Jan. 30.

Shedd’s members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets, which will go live this Thursday, Jan. 21 at noon on the aquarium’s website. Tickets for the general public will be available for purchase starting Saturday, Jan. 23 at noon. Guests hoping to be among the first ones back to the aquarium should consider purchasing a membership for more special visiting times and offers. Memberships also help fuel the aquarium’s mission-driven work in the worlds of animal care, conservation and education. Additional members-only hours will also be offered on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. reservation times.

As Shedd welcomes guests back to its 276,000 square feet of public space, staff will continue to employ the same stringent health and safety measures that allowed guests to come up close to everything from leopard sharks to sea turtles over the summer of 2020. This includes highly limited building capacity, online purchasing of timed tickets to entry, mask requirements, hand sanitizer stations, one-directional pathways and enforcing any active travel advisories for the city and state.

This reopening comes after Shedd voluntarily closed in November of last year to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. During the closure, animal care teams have continued to provide excellent care to the thousands of animals at the aquarium, including updating and developing new habitats for guests to explore during their next visit. Shedd is committed to providing Chicagoans with access to the aquatic animal world during a time when there are few options available to connect with nature.

For those who aren’t ready to make a visit to the building, there are still several ways to connect with the aquatic animals at Shedd. Virtual animal encounters and programs that allow guests to explore the aquatic animal world from the comfort and safety of their homes can be booked via Shedd’s website. Purchasing a ticket to visit or participating in these programs helps support Shedd’s mission and offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Additional ways the public can support Shedd can be found here.

VISUALS: General photos of Shedd Aquarium can be viewed and downloaded here:
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez