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. When there's a concert or Bears game, parking goes up to $50 about six hours before the event. See the full list of concert and football dates at the end of this listing.

Sunday, Sept. 8, 5:30 p.m. Soccer at Soldier Field. Expect $50 garage parking by 11:30 a.m. and extra traffic congestion as soccer fans arrive throughout the afternoon. We suggest taking public transportation.

Saturday, Sept. 14, 3:30 p.m. Parking will be $30 at the north garage as college football takes over Soldier Field. As usual, expect a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Northerly Island concerts. The parking fee for the Soldier Field north garage goes up to $50 around noon on each date (unless otherwise stated in specific listings above). Expect increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic from late afternoon on along with possible street closures.
Aug. 30, 31, Sept. 7, 20

Bears games. Soldier Field north garage parking (probably the only kind available) goes from $25 to $50 six hours before game time. Plan your arrival accordingly. See below for details.
Aug 29, 7 p.m. (preseason)
Sept. 5,
7:20 p.m.; Sept. 29, 3:25 p.m.
Oct. 20,
3:25 p.m.; Oct. 27, noon
Nov. 10,
noon; Nov. 24, noon
Dec. 5,
7:20 p.m.; Dec. 22, 7:15 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

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.