Open 9 am - 6 pm
Museum Campus parking availability and cost will be impacted by a concert taking place at Soldier Field. Taking public transportation is highly recommended.

Shedd Aquarium Winter 2023 Free Days and Annual Closure Days

January 04, 2023

A family looking through the glass in the underwater viewing gallery of Polar Play Zone is visited by a curious dolphin.

WHAT: Shedd is offering several days this winter for Illinois residents to enjoy free admission. Illinois resident guests can escape the cold outside and look nature in the eye for free on these select dates.

With a valid ID, Illinois residents receive free general admission. Free general admission also includes the option to view an animal spotlight in Abbott Oceanarium, featuring animals like Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, penguins and California sea lions.

In addition, Shedd will be closed to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Wednesday, Jan. 18 for routine maintenance, cleaning and projects that cannot take place outside of normal hours of operation or with guests in the building. Ahead of the closure days, from Jan. 12 – Jan. 16, Illinois residents can enjoy free admission with all-inclusive access to the aquarium.

WHEN: CLOSED: Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023

Illinois Resident Free Days:

January 2023

  • Thursday, Jan. 12 – Monday, Jan. 16 (MLK Day)
  • For Jan. 14 –15, Shedd will be open until 7 p.m.
  • For MLK Day on Jan. 16, Shedd will be open until 9 p.m.

February 2023

  • Tuesday – Thursday every week starting Feb. 7

PRICES: Admission for Illinois Residents: FREE

HOW: Advance reservations are highly recommended ahead of a visit using Shedd’s website.

Please note that there is a $5 convenience fee per order for Free Day reservations made online. However, you can reserve tickets by phone at no extra cost by calling 312-939-2438. This helps ensure access to as many neighbors as possible by validating orders.

All adults must provide proof of residency in person when redeeming tickets at a discounted rate. For the latest information about the aquarium hours and discounts, please visit the “Plan a Visit” page.

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

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

Videos can be found here:
Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin