Open 9 am - 5 pm

Choose Your Own Adventure During Spring Break at Shedd Aquarium

March 25, 2019

A guest gently touches the rough, prickly surface of a sea star in sea star touch.

As families get ready to decide how to spend their Spring Break, Shedd Aquarium is sharing a list of exciting happenings at the aquarium. New ways to connect with the animals at the aquarium, adorable nesting behavior and unbelievable touch encounter opportunities promise a truly customizable experience that is fun, engaging and educational for anyone visiting Shedd while school is out.

General admission tickets include access to all of Shedd Aquarium's galleries and exhibits, including the newest special exhibit, and a ticket to an incredible aquatic presentation. Chicago residents can also enjoy an everyday discount. Find out more on Shedd's website.

Private Personalized Tours Happening Daily

While a traditional visit to the aquarium is fun, a Private Personalized Tour takes your experience to the next level. Guests can experience Shedd like an insider by choosing from a variety of animals/exhibits they'd like to dive deeper into, with the help of a special tour guide. Previously only offered a few days a week, these 45-minute walking tours will happen daily during Spring Break to ensure guests have plenty of opportunities to design their ideal experience.

Egg Watch! Penguins are Nesting

Just in time for Spring, the Magellanic and rockhopper penguins at Shedd Aquarium have begun building their nests as we head into nesting and egg-laying season. Guests can check out the penguins as they continue to update and refresh their nests with rocks, sticks and other materials. Lucky guests may even spot an egg or two being carefully watched by expecting penguin parents. The penguin habitat is also located near the Polar Play Zone, where kids can burn out their energy pretending to hop around a "rocky" penguin playscape.

A man holds up a young boy so that he can peer into the top of a large well-lit habitat in Underwater Beauty, Shedd's new special exhibit.

Underwater Beauty Special Exhibit Keeps Getting Better

Already Shedd Aquarium's most diverse special exhibit to date, Underwater Beauty continues to shift and change before our eyes. From animals like ribbon eels and anthias that have changed shape and even sex since the exhibit opened, to the recent introduction of new, fascinating and never-before-seen-at-Shedd species, this exhibit, sponsored by Citadel, blends the worlds of art and nature, highlighting the beautiful and mysterious world of aquatic adaptions.

Spend the Night at Shedd

Asleep with the Fishes is an overnight at Shedd Aquarium designed for families and groups of children ages 5-12. These exciting aquatic experiences include an aquatic presentation, animal and science activities, aquatic crafts, a scavenger hunt, and a Caribbean Reef feeding dive - all before laying down for bed in some of Shedd's incredible animal galleries. Guests can also explore any of the open exhibit spaces in a different time of day, in a completely different way than a daytime visit.

Let Animals Inspire Art

Families can work together and let aquatic life in Shedd Aquarium's Underwater Beauty exhibit inspire arts and crafts that they can take home. Family workshops are two-hour programs that engage families in hands-on science activities, animal encounters and guided art lessons. The first session, on Sunday, April 7, focuses on the concept of color in the natural world.

Engage All your senses

Throughout the year, but especially during Spring Break, there are plenty of ways to make the most of a hands-on experience at Shedd.

  • Touch: From the boney spines of cold-water lake sturgeon to the bumpy exterior of sea stars - sometimes the best way to learn is to feel something for yourself. Tactile models in Underwater Beauty and throughout the aquarium provides additional touch/texture explorations.
  • Hear: Chats about sharks, belugas, penguins and more happen daily at the aquarium, with incredible science facts and fun games to engage guests of all ages. Shedd even encourages questions for our Caribbean Reef divers, who can talk back to guests while submerged in the habitat.
  • See/Smell: For a small upgrade, guests can enjoy a thrilling 4-D movie experience that immerses the public in the world of aquatic life - complete with wind, water, rumbling seats and more!

PHOTOS/VIDEO: High resolution visuals:
Photo Credit: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez