We are closed to the public through April 30.

Stingray Touch

Stingray Touch is open from late-May to early-Sept.

How do you think a stingray feels? Soft, like a pillow? Squishy, like a marshmallow? How about scratchy, like sandpaper? There's only one way to find out — at Shedd's Stingray Touch experience.

Dip your hand into a shallow tropical pool and discover the unique texture and movement of a school of stingrays as these fascinating fish glide through the water in Shedd's first outdoor environment. You'll also learn how we care for all of the stingrays living at Shedd and how your actions can protect them in the wild.

A guest gently touches the rough, prickly surface of a sea star in sea star touch.

Sea Star Touch

You’ve heard of starfish, but don’t let the name confuse you; sea stars are not fish! Discover for yourself the variety and textures of sea stars at the sea star touch pool in Shedd’s Polar Play Zone.

Dip your hand into the cool water of our sea star touch pool and be transported to the Pacific Northwest, where these five species of sea stars all make their home. Touch their strong skin and examine the hundreds of tiny tube feet that help these extraordinary animals feel, feed and move around their environment.

Freshwater lake sturgeon have long, scaleless bodies with ridges along their spines.

Sturgeon Touch

Interact with a living fossil at the new sturgeon touch pool, now open in Shedd’s At Home on the Great Lakes exhibit. These bottom-dwelling lake fish have survived for more than 200 million years, outliving the dinosaurs!

Get up close with these primitive giants, feeling the leathery texture of the sturgeon’s skin and the hard bony plates that encase their bodies. This hands-on encounter allows you to learn about how we interact with this cartilaginous fish, and how we can protect the sturgeon’s home—The Great Lakes.