This encounter is currently unavailable. View the list of available Extraordinary Experiences.
See Shedd from the perspective of the people who care for the animals during this 60-minute guided behind-the-scenes tour.
Experience Shedd's historic galleries from the other side, peeking into habitats and food-prep rooms and witnessing feeding time for a group of eager freshwater turtles. In reserve areas, meet animals you haven't seen on exhibit.
Next, visit the animal healthcare center. Many of the animals have their wellness exams in the state-of-the-art animal hospital.
Just as important is the environmental quality lab, where you'll watch our technicians perform their daily battery of water-quality tests to keep the animals healthy. By the end of this tour, you'll have a better understanding of Shedd at work!
Virtual Encounters are Available
Guests of Hilton Hotels or Hilton-Family Hotels can show their keycard at any ticketing counter at Shedd to receive a discount on a Behind-the-Scenes Tour! This promotion does not include admission.
- See Shedd at work behind the scenes in the Waters of the World galleries
- Get a look into the state-of-the-art animal hospital
- See what it takes to keep aquatic habitats clean and healthy in the environmental quality lab
A general admission ticket is included with the purchase of a Behind the Scenes Tour. Participants have access to express entry to the aquarium, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.
Tours are available all year, Sundays through Saturdays.
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Minimum age is 7. Guests ages 7-17 must be accompanied by a participating adult, age 18 or older.
A waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian for any participant 17 years or younger.
Guests will need to understand information and instructions given in the English language or arrange for a paying translator to participate.
We believe there should be no boundaries to your Shedd Aquarium experience. If you have an accommodation request related to a disability, please email or call us at 312-692-3355.
- Walking/standing for 60 minutes
- Use of stairs; elevators are available
- Very light and very dark spaces
- Loud noises
- Walking on uneven surfaces
Parking is available on the Museum Campus in several lots. See more information about parking at Shedd here. Metered parking may also be available on Solidarity Drive up to 10 hours, but only after 8 a.m. Shedd is not responsible for cars ticketed or towed by the City of Chicago. Parking is not permitted on the aquarium's service entrance. Vehicles parked at the service entrance or the bus turnaround may be subject to towing. To learn more about parking on the Museum Campus, visit soldierfieldparking.com.
Please meet at the Northern Trust Suite, in the main foyer a minimum of 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time. Admission tickets will be available at the Northern Trust Suite for participants. All other guests not participating in the experience should purchase tickets at the ticket counter or in advance online. The Northern Trust Suite is the first door on the right in the main foyer. Please note, late comers may not be able to join the encounter and will forfeit the program. Please be on time for your experience.
Those in your party who are not participating in the experience are not permitted to follow along and are not allowed in the behind-the-scenes areas. Please arrange a time and place to meet with your party after your experience.
Please wear comfortable clothing and something you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Be sure to wear rubber sole shoes- sneakers are recommended. For your safety, please do not wear heels or flip-flops on this tour.
Pictures will be allowed at the appropriate time and will be guided by Shedd team members.
Behind the scenes tours are an extraordinary gift idea! Purchase a gift certificate online, redeemable for Extraordinary Experiences, general admission, or membership. Or call us at 312-692-3355. Certain restrictions apply.
Child (7-11): $49.95
Participating guests should meet at the Northern Trust Suite on the day of their visit.
E-mail us or call 312-692-3355 with questions. We are unable to take reservations by email.
If you have any accessibility needs, please contact us in advance of your reservation.
Photography and video recording are not allowed during this experience.
No refunds. Participants who need to reschedule may do so up to 10 days before their scheduled experience. Otherwise, date and time exchanges cannot be accommodated. For additional details, see our refund and cancellation policy.