Open 9 am - 2 pm (Early Close)
Shedd Aquarium will be closing at 2:00 p.m. today for a private event.

Make This Spring Break an Adventure at Shedd Aquarium

March 28, 2022

Young visitors wave at a Shedd diver through the glass of the large Caribbean Reef rotunda. The diver, wearing a diving mask and flippers on his feet, waves back.

Locals don’t have to look far to find their tropical-inspired spring break trip, Shedd Aquarium offers blue waters, exhibits inspired by warm locations and exotic wildlife every day. Plus, no two visits to Shedd are ever the same with more than 32,000 animals displaying incredible behaviors and adaptations differently every day.

For spring, guests might have a chance to see as animals highlight the change in season as penguins begin their annual nesting season, frogs start croaking their mating calls, cichlids could be guarding eggs and much more. Further, there’s even more ways to connect to aquatic life this spring break with events, experiences, and encounter opportunities for families and adults.


General admission tickets include access to all Shedd Aquarium’s galleries and exhibits, including the newest special exhibit, Underwater Beauty. Chicago residents can also enjoy an everyday discount. Here are some other offerings for a great visit:

  • Animal Spotlights: These presentations introduce you to select animals that call Shedd home. Stop by the Abbott Oceanarium and join an animal care expert highlight amazing adaptations of belugas, sea lions, dolphins or penguins.
  • Touch Experiences: Interact with a living fossil at the sturgeon touch in Shedd’s At Home on the Great Lakes exhibit to feel their leathery texture and hard bony plates. Or dip your hand into the cool water of the sea star touch in Polar Play Zone to discover their strong skin and examine their hundreds of tiny tube feet that help these extraordinary animals feel, feed and move around their environment.
  • Immersive Virtual Add-Ons: 4-D experiences provide an entertaining, multi-sensory experience that includes high-definition digital 3-D projection, high-tech audio and “special FX” seats complete with bubbles, wind, strange and wonderful smells, tickles, amazing sounds and all kinds of surprises. Or immerse yourself with 360-degree, 3-D live-action journey into virtual reality “Swimming with Humpbacks.”


Just in time for spring, the Magellanic and rockhopper penguins at Shedd Aquarium have begun building nests as we head into nesting season. Guests can check out the penguins as they continue to update and refresh their nests with rocks, sticks and other materials. The penguin habitat is also located near Polar Play Zone, where kids can burn out their energy pretending to hop around a “rocky” penguin playscape.  


During the 75-minute tour, guests will experience the best of Shedd and encounter the aquatic animals that call the aquarium home like never before. Explore the iconic Caribbean Reef exhibit and learn more about the rescued green sea turtle Nickel. Get a one-of-a-kind feeding experience in a behind-the-scenes area. Sit in the best seats in the house for an Animal Spotlight, and afterward have an exclusive chat with an animal care expert to hear first-hand about what it takes to care for aquatic life at Shedd. Then go behind-the-scenes Wild Reef for an in-depth look at the shark habitat. The Must See Tour is the perfect way to hit all the highlights in just a little over an hour.

  • Dates: Daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with an additional 3 p.m. tour on select days
  • Cost: $75/adult; $65/child; $40/member (includes admission)


There are several ways that guests can customize their visit to Shedd through special animal encounters and behind-the-scenes experiences. Connect even closer to the mission of the aquarium and inspire wonder for the aquatic world and a desire to protect it through Extraordinary Experiences. Shedd offers several onsite animal encounters to come face-to-face with beluga whales or sharks.

  • Dates: Select dates
  • Cost: $50-200/person (includes admission)


Immersion is an annual event meant to connect the public with leading voices in the climate movement. Join for an evening to share stimulating conversation and thought-provoking ideas and leave ready to pursue a more sustainable and equitable future together. Join onsite or through livestream for a conversation about hope and action between renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Shedd President and CEO Dr. Bridget C. Coughlin and Shedd Coral Reef Research Technician Bryce Corbett.

  • Date: Tuesday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m. onsite or 6:30 p.m. virtual
  • Cost: $5 virtual; $100-250 onsite

PHOTOS: High resolution visuals of Shedd Aquarium are available for download:
Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez