We are currently only offering Virtual Encounters at this time to support social distancing. View our Virtual Encounters.
Experience Shedd like few people can… as a marine mammal trainer!
Pull on tall rubber boots and enter the behind-the-scenes world where we care for the belugas, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions and penguins. In the food-prep room, get elbow-deep in buckets of fish as you help prepare the animals' meals.
Walk with the trainers into the habitats to come face to face with some of the animals that call the Abbott Oceanarium home. Marvel at how an aquatic presentation is organized to provide each animal with variety—and you'll have a part too, when you get to interact with a dolphin or beluga whale!
VIRTUAL ENCOUNTERS ARE AVAILABLE
- Walk with our trainers into the various habitats and come face-to-face with penguins, sea lions, dolphins and more
- Interact with a dolphin or beluga whale
- Go elbow-deep in fish buckets to help prepare the animals’ meals
A general admission ticket is included with the purchase of Trainer for a Day. Participants have access to express entry to the aquarium, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.
Fridays and Saturdays, 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Participants must be 12 or older. Children ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a paying adult age 18 or older.
Guests will need to understand information and instructions given in the English language or arrange for a paying translator to participate.
A waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian for any participant 17 years or younger.
We recommend that guests with shellfish and seafood allergies do not participate in this encounter.
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.
- Walking for 4 hours
- Use of stairs
- Walking on uneven surfaces
Add a photographer
Add a professional photographer to capture a surprise interaction at the end of your experience, and receive digital photos for $30 a person. Contact us at 312-692-3355 for more information.
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.
If you are scheduled for the morning session, please meet your Trainer for a Day facilitator at the Shedd Aquarium loading dock on the south side of the aquarium at 8:00 a.m. All afternoon participants should check in at the Northern Trust Suite (right side of Main Foyer) at least 15 minutes before your scheduled encounter. Late arrivals may not be able to join the encounter, in which case the experience is forfeited.
All participants must be at least 12 years old, and children 12-17 must be accompanied by a paying participating guardian.
You will be given slacks, rubber boots, and a "Trainer for a Day" t-shirt to wear as your uniform for the day (the t-shirt is yours to keep). All participants must wear socks. You do NOT need a bathing suit or wetsuit as you will not be swimming in any of the habitats. Participants cannot wear jewelry (including wedding rings) or artificial fingernails. There will be lockers available for all personal belongings.
Pictures will be allowed at the appropriate time and will be guided by Shedd team members.
Trainer for a Day is 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.
$360 a person for 4 hours
($300 for members)
Participating guests should meet at the Northern Trust Suite on the day of their visit.
Email 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.