Sea Otter Encounter

Our Sea Otter Encounters are currently sold out. Sign up for our Shedd Highlights eNews to be notified when more are available!

Meet a sea otter at Shedd Aquarium! In our unique Sea Otter Encounter, you’ll get an up-close and personal look at Shedd’s sea otter program and assist with a playful training session alongside Shedd’s animal trainers, all while safely behind an acrylic partition.  In this participatory experience, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore the world of otters firsthand!


  • Go behind the scenes of the sea otter habitat
  • Prepare a food or enrichment item for a sea otter
  • Get up close and interact with a sea otter

Includes admission:

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


$109.95 for adults; $94.95 for children; $64.95 for members.

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

Group size

Each session is limited to 6 participants.


Guests with special needs and/or special requests, including the use of a 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.

Guests will be required to crouch and kneel throughout the encounter.

Children must be at least 6 years old; children 6 to 11 must be accompanied by a paying adult. A waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian for any participant 17 years or younger.

Please wear comfortable clothing and something you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Be sure to wear rubber sole shoes- sneakers are recommended. For your safety, please do not wear heels or flip-flops on this encounter.

All personal belongings (bags, purses, phones, etc.) must be left in the lockers in the main foyer.

We recommend guests with shellfish and seafood allergies do not participate in this encounter.

Gift Certificates

Sea otter experience gift certificates will be available in late March.

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.

Accessibility Needs

If you have any accessibility needs, please contact us.

Find next available sea otter 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 11 must be accompanied by a paying guardian age 18 or older.