Open 9 am - 5 pm
A magellanic penguin chic, Nia, stands alone on a rocks with her arms slightly out at her sides.
Two adult Shedd guests participate in a Penguin Encounter, gently touching the waterproof feathers that make penguins so at home in the water.

Penguin Encounter highlights

  • When doing the 8:30 a.m. encounter, you can start your adventure early and beat the crowds!
  • Meet a Magellanic or rockhopper penguin
  • Gently touch a penguin
  • Watch this curious bird explore their surroundings
  • Chat with an animal care specialist and ask all your penguin questions
  • Learn about the penguin’s history and what makes them so amazing
  • Take a selfie with your penguin pal and share with friends #IMetASheddPenguin
  • Receive a virtual penguin ID card so you can identify your new avian friend on your next visit
  • Admission to the aquarium is included! Continue to look nature in the eye after your encounter

Requirements

  • The minimum age to attend is 6 years old. Attendees ages 6-17 must be accompanied by an adult also participating in the Penguin Encounter, age 18 or older.
  • Please bring a pair of socks; we will provide you with rubber boots for the encounter.
  • A waiver must be signed by all participants. A parent or guardian must sign for any participant 17 years or younger.
  • Observers may not be in the penguin encounter space. Please note, encounters are conducted behind the scenes and not in the penguin exhibit.
  • Guests will need to understand information and instructions given in English or arrange for a paying translator to participate.

Accessibility

We believe there should be no boundaries to your Shedd Aquarium experience. If you have an accommodation request related to a disability, please contact us at [email protected] or 312-692-3355.

Program includes sitting for 30 minutes.

Penguin Encounter FAQs

Questions?

Email us at [email protected] or call 312-692-3355 with questions. We are unable to take reservations by email.

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.

Magellanic penguins have short, squat legs and waddle awkwardly around on land, but their torpedo-shaped bodies and thin, crescent-shaped wings propel them easily through water!

Pricing

Adults (12+): $94.95
Children:
$84.95
Members:
$50

Admission to the aquarium is included with the purchase of a Penguin Encounter.

Entry

Please meet your Penguin Encounter facilitator at Shedd Aquarium’s loading dock on the south side of the aquarium. Penguin Encounters begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled encounter time.

Questions?

Email 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.

Photography

Photography will be allowed at the direction of the penguin’s caretaker and the Shedd team member facilitating. Video recording is not allowed during this experience.

Refund Policy

No refunds will be issued unless Shedd Aquarium cancels the program. Participants who need to reschedule may do so up to 10 days before their scheduled experience. Otherwise, date and time exchanges cannot be accommodated, see our refund and cancellation policy.