Open 9 am - 5 pm
Beluga whales crowd around a camera just beneath the water's surface.
A group of elementary school children sit on a bus, waving and smiling at the camera.

Group Payment Options and Terms

We require advance payment at least 14 days before your scheduled visit. Admission nor program participation are not guaranteed until your reservation has been fully paid. If you need to make special arrangements, or you will no longer be attending, please email our team with your group information and request details. Late payments and no-shows may be subject to a $250 reservation fee.

Credit Card
To pay by credit card, call 312-692-3333. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

To pay by check, mail to:
Shedd Aquarium Society
29017 Network Place
Chicago, IL 60673-1290

Please include your confirmation number on the check.

Purchase Orders (Chicago Public Schools ONLY)
Chicago Public Schools are able to submit a purchase order for payment. Payments for outstanding order(s) must be settled 14 days before the date of visit or program. It is the responsibility of the teacher or school to submit purchase order requests to CPS Accounts Payable in advance for payment to be mailed, and applied to their outstanding reservation by the required deadline. Shedd Aquarium is not responsible for sending purchase order requests on behalf of the attending school.

Please note that reservations are not officially confirmed and paid for until Shedd Aquarium receives an official check payment from CPS to apply to the reservation. The confirmation number associated with the attending school's visit is required on the check for payment to be applied correctly. For Shedd Aquarium's vendor number or questions, please contact our team at 312-692-3355 or email [email protected]

Group Cancelation

Cancellation notices must be made online no later than 14 days before your visit date or your school will be charged a $250 reservation fee. You will also be sent an email prior to the 14 day required notice window asking you to confirm that you are still planning to attend. Inclement weather and unexpected school cancellations are not subject to this fee. Please contact our staff  by email or by calling 312-692-3333 if there are special circumstances that may prevent your group’s arrival.

Refunds and Changes

No refunds will be issued unless Shedd Aquarium cancels the program. Shedd Aquarium reserves the right to cancel the event for any reason. If your event is cancelled, you will be informed via phone as soon as possible. In the event of a cancellation, you will be fully refunded within 30 days. Your refund method will be based on your original method of payment.

Please notify us of any upgrades or changes in the number of adults or children in your group at least 14 days before your visit by emailing or calling 312-692-3333 with your order number. On the day of your visit, you will be responsible for the number of tickets you have reserved, even if your group size has decreased. If you arrive with additional guests, we’ll make every attempt to accommodate them, based on availability of extra tickets.


Email [email protected] or call 312-692-3333.

An Unforgettable Field Trip Destination 

Some of the richest learning experiences start by looking nature in the eye. At Shedd, you and your group will explore the world, making discoveries where science, technology, critical thinking and peer learning meet.

See Our Educator Resources

Bus Funding for Field Trips to Shedd

Shedd is committed to ensuring access to the aquatic animal world for Chicago Public Schools. One way we create access is through our Bus Fund Program.

Bus funds are available on a limited basis to eligible CPS schools that are visiting for a field trip. During the online registration of your field trip, if your trip and school are both eligible, you will be presented with the option to apply for reimbursable bus funds if they are available. If awarded funding, detailed instructions for reimbursement will be provided. The basic process is as follows: 


After applying in the registration process, schools will be notified via email if they have been awarded bus funding for their trip. Eligible schools are then responsible for contracting/booking all buses related to their field trip to Shedd through whichever transportation provider is preferred and authorized by their school.

The school will be the only contact with the transportation company and will be invoiced for the transportation costs. After the field trip, the school will invoice Shedd, and Shedd will reimburse the school for the actual transportation costs, up to the maximum reimbursable amount approved.

For any questions about the Bus Fund Program, reimbursement process or eligibility, please contact  [email protected]

Free Visits for Chicago Public Schools and Certified Illinois School Groups

All school groups are required to have a minimum 1:10 adult to student ratio to visit Shedd Aquarium. At least 1 adult must be present to supervise every 10 students.

Please note: a complimentary visit for qualified groups is based on a 1:5 adult to student ratio. Students are considered free on your reservation (as long as they are within the appropriate grade range, Pre-K-12). For every 5 students requested, 1 adult on the reservation will be added for free.

Any additional adults (e.g. teachers, chaperones, or parents), that exceed the ratio will be charged at the stated group price below. Additional fees will be listed in the reservation for add-ons such as the 4-D Experience or lunch vouchers.

  • Adults (ages 20+): $35.50 per adult
  • Chicago Resident Adult* (Ages 12+): $19.95 per adult
  • Students (ages 3-19): Free
  • Infants (ages 0-2): Free

*Please note that all Chicago adults age 18 and above must provide proof of residency at time of check in for verification (State ID/Driver's License, or current photo ID alongside a piece of official mail or document that has matching name to ID with Chicago address.)


At Shedd Aquarium, we believe there should be no boundaries to your experience. If you have an accommodation request related to a disability, please contact us at [email protected]or call 312-939-2438. We look forward to assisting you.