Trainer for a Day

Pull on a pair of our tall rubber boots and go behind the scenes to experience what it’s like to be a marine mammal trainer. You’ll assist a trainer with daily routines and experience multiple training and feeding sessions. From the Abbott Oceanarium kitchen, where meals for five dozen animals are prepared every day, to reserve areas, to poolside in a habitat, you’ll see what it takes to care for the belugas, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions and penguins. This behind-the-scenes opportunity is a whale of an experience!

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



$360 a person ($300 for members) for 4 hours.

Add a professional photographer to capture your experience and receive digital photos to commemorate your special encounter for $30 a person. Contact us at 312-692-3224 for more information.

Includes Trainer for a Day Experience, express entry, and admission to all exhibits.


Fridays and Saturdays, 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 to 5:30 p.m.


Each session is limited to 3 people.


Guests with special needs and/or special requests must contact our office at 312-692-3224 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. All participants must be able to walk for three to four hours without assistance and follow any directions given by our trainers.

Participants must be 12 or older. Children ages 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a paying adult age 18 or older.

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. 

Gift Certificates

An extraordinary gift idea! To purchase a gift certificate, please call us at 312-692-3224. Certain restrictions apply.


Email us or call 312-692-3224 with questions.We are unable to take reservations by email.

Refund Policy

Rescheduling must occur as of close of business 10 days prior to the date of the experience. Refunds will not be issued for any changes made less than 10 days prior. For additional details, see our refund and cancellation policy.

Accessibility Needs

If you have any accessibility needs, please contact us in advance of your reservation.

Phone: 312-692-3224

Find next available trainer for a day

How many people are coming?

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

Ages 12 and older. Guests ages 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a paying adult age 18 or older.