Traffic Alerts

Throughout the year, the Museum Campus is the site of a variety of special events that can affect traffic and parking. Please check here before each visit to plan around traffic so you can spend the most time with the animals.

Traffic alerts
In addition to any dates listed below, parking at the Soldier Field north garage can be the special-event rate of $25, payable on entry with credit card or cash, on any day without notice.

Friday, July 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special Olympics celebration at Soldier Field. Expect additional pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the area.

Friday, July 20, 8 p.m. Soccer match at Soldier Field. Expect parking to be $50 by 2 p.m. and tons of people to be arriving by Shedd's closing time, with heavy traffic congestion and possibly rerouted exit from the Museum Campus. A good day for public transit!

Sunday, July 22, until 11 a.m. Museum Campus street closures for a marathon. Here's how to get to Shedd: From northbound Lake Shore Drive, exit right at Waldron Drive and proceed to parking. From southbound LSD, drive past the Museum Campus and exit at Oakwood Boulevard. Turn left, then left again to merge onto northbound LSD. Exit right at Waldron Drive and proceed to parking. To exit the Museum Campus, use McFetridge to get onto northbound LSD, even if you want to go south. For southbound drivers, make a legal U-turn at Balbo. 

It's concert season at the Museum Campus. The special-event parking rate of $25 is in effect at the garage and all lots on days when there is a concert at Soldier Field or Northerly Island; it usually goes up to $50 six hours before the event. Concerts draw thousands of additional people to the Museum Campus, so expect extra traffic congestion (usually in the evening) and lots of pedestrians. Here's the schedule through August:
Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 24, 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 28, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 29, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 31, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug.11, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 12, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 25, noon. Bears preseason game. See below for traffic and parking specifics.

Thursday, Aug. 30, 7 p.m. Bears preseason game. See below for specifics.

How is traffic impacted by Bears games and special events?

On the day of Chicago Bears home games and other major special events, we strongly recommend taking public transportation.

If you drive, you'll pay a higher, special-event parking rate as you enter at all available Museum Campus parking facilities. If the game starts at 7:30 p.m., parking will cost $25 until around 1:30, when it goes up to $50. When the game starts at noon, parking will be $50 when Shedd opens. The rate could drop to $25 by 1 or 1:30. For exact day-of information on rate changes, call the Soldier Field north garage at 312-235-7701. Parking will be prohibited on Solidarity Drive. Expect traffic congestion throughout the Museum Campus. Rerouting for traffic entering and leaving the campus is a strong possibility.

If you use the Soldier Field north garage, expect delays on game days as cars are inspected with a metal detector before entering. You'll have to pop your trunk or hatch, too. Add 10 or more minutes to your travel time so that you don't miss your scheduled aquatic presentation.

If you have accessibility needs, please contact us at 312-939-2438 for additional information about getting to Shedd.

Are ATMs available to pay for parking?

Yes, ATMs are available in the Soldier Field North Garage.

Can I still park on Solidarity Drive?

When the special-event fee is in effect, it often means parking on Solidarity Drive is prohibited. When no parking signs are posted on the street, they are strictly enforced.

When are parking price changes announced?

All fee changes are announced ahead of time, especially during the summer. However, rates and hours for all lots and garages are subject to change without notice. All Museum Campus parking is owned by the Chicago Park District and managed by Standard Parking. For the most current parking information, visit

If I decide not to drive, how can I get to Shedd?

Public transportation is the best way to get to Shedd. Whether you start on Metra or take CTA all the way, you'll arrive within steps of our door! Go here to plan your route.