Illinois Resident Free Days
On select days throughout the year, Illinois residents with a valid ID receive free admission! Our Illinois Resident Free Days include access to all animals and permanent exhibits, the aquatic presentation (subject to availability) and seasonal Stingray Touch.
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Free (A $3-per-order transaction fee applies to Illinois Free Day tickets reserved online.)
Tips for Your Illinois Resident Free Day Visit
- Shedd can get crowded on weekends. If possible, try to visit on a weekday. You’ll have the best views of your favorite animals!
- Capacity is limited. We recommend reserving tickets in advance online to avoid sell-outs and enjoy priority entry into the aquarium!
- The 4-D Experience admission is a $4.95 upgrade for all guests. Also, a $3-per-order transaction fee applies to Illinois Free Day tickets reserved online. This helps ensure access to as many neighbors as possible by validating orders.
Discount and Free Days
See the full range of access opportunities, from Illinois Resident Free Days to discounts for teachers, students and seniors!Read More , on the Discount and Free Days page
Shedd is constantly assessing the best ways for people to take advantage of Illinois resident free days, including offering dates throughout the year – specifically in off-peak times – to ensure guests can enjoy the aquarium to their fullest potential. Because most of our free days each year occur during the weekdays, some residents have obligations that keep them from taking full advantage, like school or work responsibilities. This year, Shedd is focused on creating more opportunities for residents to enjoy those days beyond our standard hours, allowing guests to visit later in the day with friends and family to connect with nature in an exciting and different way.
No, children who live in Illinois do not need to show any ID to visit on a Free Day, as long as they are accompanied by an adult (age 18+) who is a resident of Illinois and has the appropriate proof of residency.
Our Illinois Resident Free Days are only available to residents of the state of Illinois and does not apply to any guests from other states, even when they are visiting with an Illinois resident. Proof of residency, such as a state ID/driver’s license, will be required at the time of arrival for all adults in your party (age 18+).
If you are an Illinois resident trying to book a free-day visit online, you must select the “Illinois resident” check box when you enter the number of guests in your party to receive free general admission. Once you check the box indicating you are a resident, a separate set of drop-down menus will appear where you can enter the number of Illinois residents who will attend. If you enter your tickets in the “regular tickets” drop-down menu, the free-day offer will not be applied. Please note that a $3 transaction fee is charged to Illinois Resident Free Day tickets reserved online.
On Illinois Resident Free Days, Illinois residents get free access to the entire aquarium, including all exhibits, chats, presentations and Stingray Touch (summer only). You can add the 4-D Experience to your visit for $4.95 per person ($2.95 per member).
All adults in your party (age 18+) are required to show a photo ID with an Illinois address to receive free admission on Illinois Resident Free Days or a Chicago address to receive the daily Chicago resident price; children do not require proof of residency if they are accompanied by a resident adult with the appropriate ID. Current college and university IDs are valid proof of residency for students living in Illinois or Chicago while attending school.
If a resident’s photo ID does not list their current address in Illinois or Chicago, secondary documentation confirming residency will be accepted, including a utility bill, a bank statement, a lease agreement, a recent pay stub, or other official documentation that lists the resident’s full name and address in Illinois or Chicago. In this case, a photo ID is still required as well.