Open 9 am - 5 pm

During this 30-minute experience, you will meet one of the four rescued sea lions at Shedd up close and observe virtually in a session with our animal care team. Our animal care team will take you "behind the scenes" with the sea lions to learn more about the unique way they swim, their reverberating barks and much more!

Whether you call Chicago home or live across the world, we welcome you to join us and virtually meet the sea lions. From family hangouts, to stay-at-home dates, to surprise gifts, experience the aquatic animal world from your home.

Each up-close visit will be unique, and we are not able to guarantee any specific sea lion during an experience. This 30-minute virtual encounter will take place on Zoom so you can enjoy the experience from your own home. All questions can be asked live through the chat function and will be responded to by our program host.

Sea lion Biff looks up at a camera in the rocks, his thick, coarse whiskers on full display.
A trainer and a sea lion pose for a virtual encounter.


  • Meet one of Shedd’s rescued sea lions, virtually!
  • Go “behind the scenes” with animal care team members at Shedd Aquarium
  • Participate in a session and learn all about sea lion anatomy, diet, and unique behaviors.
  • Learn about the importance of rescue and rehabilitation and why these animals need our help!
  • Ask our animal care team all your sea lion questions in a live chat function.

Make it private

Reserve the entire encounter for a more intimate experience! With this option, you can make it a private encounter for you alone, you and a significant other, your family, or even your office! Please contact [email protected].


  • Access to high speed wifi (>2 Mbps) 
  • Download Zoom app and create a Zoom account.
    • Make sure your computer or device is compatible and ready for Zoom here.


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.

Virtual Sea Lion Encounters FAQs


  • The email address used to purchase the encounter will receive an email with a link to the Zoom Meeting no later than 30-minutes before your experience is scheduled to start. 
  • If you purchased the encounter as a gift for someone and the participant has a different email address than the one used to purchase the encounter, please email us at [email protected] or call 312-692-3355 at least 1 day prior to the day of your encounter.
  • If you do not receive an email 30-minutes before your experience, please email us at [email protected] or call us at 312-692-3355. 
Cruz sits on the rocks with his nose held high in the Sea Lion habitat in the Oceanarium

Sea lion Cruz

Laguna perches on the edge of a habitat behind the scenes at Shedd Aquarium.

Sea lion Laguna

Sea lion Tanner looks over his shoulder.

Sea lion Tanner

Sea lion Biff sticks out his tongue.

Sea lion Biff


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

Refund policy

You may reschedule up to 5 days before your original reservation date. Please call 312-692-3355 (daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or email [email protected].

Attempting to reschedule in less than 5 days will result in forfeiture of the experience and no refund will be made, no exceptions.

If a participant needs to cancel the encounter and is unable to reschedule, no refund will be made.

In the event that Shedd Aquarium needs to reschedule the encounter, the participant will be notified by email 24 hours before the encounter. Every effort will be made to reschedule the experience. If an alternate date and time is not possible, a full refund will be made to the purchaser.

Due to the nature of animals, Shedd Aquarium holds the right to reschedule the program to protect the safety and health of the animals.


$49.95 ($44.95 Members) - the encounter is priced per screen. 

Special Offer: Purchase two links for the price of $69.95 ($64.95 members), to share this experience with a friend or family member from anywhere in the world. If a second link is purchased, it must be used during the same date and time as the first link.

Become a member and enjoy special pricing and other exclusive perks.

group size

Each session is limited to 20-Zoom users total. Your unique link and password will give you access for just one device to login to the experience. We recommend a group size of 4 or less viewing from the same device.


Virtual Sea Lion Encounters are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. Central Time (CT) through mid-March. We have one evening offering on Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. Central Time (CT).


  • Access to high speed wifi (>2 Mbps)
  • Download Zoom app and create a Zoom account.
    • Make sure your computer or device is compatible and ready for Zoom here.


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