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.

Saturday, May 26, until 9:30 a.m. Northbound Lake Shore Drive will be closed to all traffic between 57th and 31st Streets for a run. The course starts and finishes at Soldier Field, which might impact access to Museum Campus Drive at 18th Street. We recommend using McFetridge to get to parking.

Sunday, May 27, 5 to 11 a.m., Bike the Drive. Lake Shore Drive will be closed all morning to car traffic between Bryn Mawr and 57th Street for this annual event. According to the Bike the Drive website, here's how to get to the Museum Campus: From eastbound I-55, get onto northbound Lake Shore Drive; stay within the barricaded lane and exit at 18th Street. From eastbound Roosevelt Road, get onto southbound Lake Shore Drive; the entrance/exit lane will cordoned off for cars, allowing you to exit at 18th Street. The 146 Museun Campus bus will be similarly rerouted. You can walk to Shedd from the Red/Orange/Green Line stop at Roosevelt Road.

Spring bridge lifts over the Chicago River, Saturdays through June 30, 9:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., and Wednesdays through June 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The sailboats are migrating from their wintering grounds back to Lake Michigan. The boat runs start at Wacker and Van Buren and run up the South Branch of the Chicago River to the Main Stem and out to the lake, involving 18 bridges and streets. The Lake Shore Drive bridges are the last to lift, so figure they'll go up around the latest times posted above and allow extra commute time. If you do have to sit out a bridge lift, please turn off your car's engine.

Concert season is upon 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 June:
Thursday, May 31, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, June 1, 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 1, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 6, 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 7, 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 14, 8 p.m.
Friday, June 15, 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 16, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, June 22, 2 p.m.
Saturday, June 23, 2 p.m.
Sunday, June 25, 2 p.m.
Friday, June 29, 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 30, 8 p.m. 

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 www.soldierfieldparking.com.

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.