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.
Sandbar sharks have a classic shark profile with a triangular dorsal fin and a streamlined body shape designed for constant movement.
A turtle sits on a log with its long neck stretched upwards to look around.

“I appreciated the insight to the details of the architecture of the building, and my [kids] loved seeing behind the scenes, especially getting to see the sharks from a different vantage point.  We all appreciated seeing the extent of the mechanics and hard work that goes into keeping up the exhibits! We had a great experience from beginning to end.”


  • Oceanarium Amphitheater: Front row reserved seats for an Animal Spotlight, and afterwards chat with an animal care expert
  • Wild Reef: A behind-the-scenes look at Shedd's 400,000 gallon shark habitat
  • Dip your fingers in cool water for a chance to touch a slimy, soft sea jelly
  • And much more on every tour!


11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m., with an additional 3 p.m. tour on select days. Guests should plan to arrive 15 minutes early.


Guests ages 6–17 must be accompanied by a participating adult, age 18 or older.

Please wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Be sure to wear rubber-soled shoes; sneakers are recommended. For your safety, please do not wear heels or flip-flops on this tour.

Guests will need to understand information and instructions given in English or arrange for a paying translator to participate.

A waiver must be signed by all participants, including a parent or guardian for any participant 17 years or younger.

We recommend guests with shellfish and seafood allergies do not participate in this tour.


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.

Program includes

  • Use of stairs; elevators are available
  • Walking/standing for 65 minutes
  • Sitting for 10 minutes
  • Wet and potentially slippery floors
  • Very light and very dark spaces
  • Loud noises

Must See Tour FAQs

This closeup photo features the point where a grapeshot anemone's fleshy lower body opens up into a bowl-shaped opening filled with short, fleshy fronds similar in appearance to shag carpeting.

Gift certificates

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.


Adults (12 and older): $80.00
Children (6 - 11): $70.00
Members (6 and older): $65.00

Admission to the aquarium is included with the purchase of a tour.


Participating guests should meet at the Extraordinary Experiences kiosk on the day of their visit.


E-mail us or call 312-692-3355 with questions. We are unable to take reservations by email.

Accessibility Needs

If you have any accessibility needs, please contact us in advance of your reservation.


Photography and video recording are not allowed during this experience. 

Refund Policy

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.