For the month of February, Illinois residents can enjoy free admission at Shedd Aquarium every Monday-Friday. With a valid ID, residents can see an aquatic presentation with a significant other, explore the aquarium’s historic galleries with friends and family and even point on some of the cutest animal couples – all free of charge. As always, food and drinks can be purchased onsite during the visit and ticket upgrades are available if guests are interested in seeing a 4-D movie ($4.95/guest) or getting immersed in a VR experience ($9/guest).
Several events and programs at Shedd Aquarium in February also have a special and surprising connection to Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s an adult-only evening event designed for sweethearts or a special tour focused on the incredible ways that aquatic life reproduces and rears their young, the aquarium is focused on creating animal-first moments throughout the year that ensure there’s something for everyone. See below for additional information on these February offerings.
Tour of the Month: The Birds, the Bees and the Belugas
Adult (12+) price: $59.95; Child price: $49.95; Member price: $9.95
Ever wondered how various aquatic animals reproduce? This tour is designed to answer those questions and highlight some of the unbelievable adaptations related to breeding and rearing young. From asexual reproduction, egg laying and live birth to nesting, mouth brooding and more – guests will walk away not only with a better understanding of the diversity of aquatic reproduction, but also an appreciation for the efforts of Shedd Aquarium in better understanding these behaviors and actively working to restore populations of animals in the wild.
Shedd After Hours: Love is in the Aquarium
Thursday, Feb. 13
Regular price: $24.95; Chicago resident price: $19.95; Member price: $14.95
Both friends and couples are welcome to join for a 21+ evening event at the aquarium hosted in partnership with Shedd’s Auxiliary Board. Classical music and love songs will serenade guests as they cast their votes for the cutest animal pairs at Shedd. A newlywed-style game will test what married couples have in common with marine mammals, and aquarium conservationists will be mingling with guests throughout the night, talking through their fieldwork. The event will feature food and beverage for purchase, a specialty drink and a candid chat about mating behaviors in the aquatic world.
- For just $20 more, guests can add a sustainable seafood cooking demonstration to their evening. They can sip on some wine as an expert chef walks them through how to make a romantic dinner of beef tenderloin with marinated shrimp, parsnip puree and asparagus tips. Learn the importance of choosing sustainable seafood for your next meal during this mouth-watering experience.
Guided by a Shedd experts, guests can interact with penguins or beluga whales to learn more about their nutrition, daily care and special relationships with their caretakers. After some up-close and personal time with the animals, there will be an opportunity for a proposal that can only happen at Shedd. Guests can also reserve the entire encounter, allowing for a more private and intimate experience.
This new Extraordinary Experience offering at Shedd gives guests the full VIP aquarium experience. It starts off with a sea otter encounter behind the scenes, followed by front and center seating for an aquatic presentation. After that, there is a personal front-of-scenes guided tour of the guests’ favorite animals and a final surprise animal encounter. After that full morning, guests will have a private lunch overlooking the scenic Abbott Oceanarium.
WHERE: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
TICKETS: Visit www.sheddaquarium.org to purchase tickets to any of the programs listed above or to secure passes for an Illinois resident free day.
Please note: A $3 transaction fee applies to Illinois Resident Free Day ticket reserved online. This helps ensure access to as many neighbors as possible by validating orders. These days are made possible through the generosity of the Ford Motor Company Fund.
VISUALS: High resolution Valentine’s Day-themed photos from Shedd Aquarium can be found here: https://personal.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=8e6a6286605f7675a1ab
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez