Penguin Encounter

Meet one of Shedd’s Magellanic penguins! As the penguin sits on the trainer’s lap, walks around, plays with a toy, or gulps fish, you’ll learn about its personal history, penguin anatomy, nesting season and our penguin conservation work in South Africa.


  • Meet a Magellanic penguin
  • Gently touch a penguin
  • Ask a trainer all your penguin questions
  • Receive a “decoder” card so you can identify your new avian friend on your next visit to Polar Play Zone

Includes admission:
The Penguin Encounter ticket also includes express entry to the aquarium, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.


$94.95 for adults, $79.95 for children; $49.95 for members

Includes Penguin Encounter, express entry, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.


Penguin Encounters are offered all year long on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. From June through August, they are offered daily.

Group Size

Each session is limited to 10 people.


Guests with special needs and/or special requests (wheelchair) must contact our office at 312-692-3355 before making a reservation. For the health and safety of the animals at Shedd, each situation will be reviewed by the Marine Mammals team for approval.

Children must be at least 6 years old, and children 6 to 17 must be accompanied by a paying guardian.

Please bring a pair of socks; we will provide you with rubber boots for the encounter.

Encounters are conducted behind the scenes but not in the penguin habitat. Observers may not be in the penguin encounter space.

Photography and video recording are not allowed during this experience. Participating guests should meet at the Northern Trust Suite on the day of their visit.

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


Program includes:

  • Sitting for 45 minutes
  • Use of stairs; elevators are available

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 or 312-692-3355.

We look forward to assisting you. Please visit Shedd Aquarium’s Accessibility Guide to learn more.

Gift Certificates

An extraordinary gift idea! To purchase a gift certificate, please call us at 312-692-3355. Certain restrictions apply.


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

Refund Policy

Participants who need to reschedule may do so up to 10 days before their scheduled experience. Attempting to reschedule after 10 days will result in forfeiture of the experience with no exceptions. If a participant needs to cancel the experience and is unable to reschedule, no refund will be made. Please note that all Shedd experiences are nonrefundable. For additional details, see our refund and cancellation policy.

Find next available penguin encounter

How many people are coming?

Members - please log in when prompted during checout to unlock your member-exclusive price! Discounted tickets are limited by member level.

Ages 6 and older. Children 6 to 17 must be accompanied by a paying guardian age 18 or older.