Illinois Resident Free Day
Our Illinois Resident Free Days include access to all open animal and permanent exhibits, our special exhibit Underwater Beauty and seasonal Stingray Touch. Take a deeper look at our current available exhibits here.
Advance reservations required; no tickets will be available onsite.
Please check back in May for our summer free days.
Free (A $3-per-order transaction fee applies to all Illinois Free Day ticket reservations.)
Before your visit...
Tickets must be secured ahead of a visit online or by phone: 312-939-2438. Free admission will not be granted to guests who walk up without a reservation. All adults must provide proof of residency in-person when redeeming tickets at the discounted rate. A $3 transaction fee will be applied to Illinois Resident Free Day tickets reserved online.
Tips for your Illinois Resident Free Day Visit
- Capacity is limited—all tickets must be reserved ahead of time. No walk-up ticket purchases will be permitted.
- Upon your visit, please present a valid state ID or driver’s license that proves your Illinois residence.
- A $3-per-order transaction fee applies to all Illinois Free Day ticket reservations. This helps ensure access to as many neighbors as possible by validating orders.
- The 4-D Experience admission is a $4.95 upgrade for all guests.
Shedd Aquarium is excited to joyfully welcome guests back on special Illinois resident free days again to look nature in the eye! We have worked hard to put stringent safety measures in place to create a safe and enriching experience with the aquatic world, and we ask that all guests do the same for the safety of our staff and other guests.
Guidelines continue to be updates, please review all safety requirements here. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected]. Thank you!
Discount and Free Days
See the full range of access opportunities, from Illinois Resident Free Days to discounts for teachers, students and seniors!
On Illinois Resident Free Days, Illinois residents get free access to the entire aquarium, including all available exhibits and Stingray Touch (seasonal availability). You can add the 4-D Experience to your visit for $4.95 per person.
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.
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+).
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.
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 all Illinois Resident Free Day ticket reservations.