Open 9 am - 5 pm
Guests dressed in formal attire gather around the railing in Whale Harbor in the Abbott Oceanarium. They are peering over the railing, looking at trainers with two beluga whales.

Abbott Oceanarium 

Begin the evening with a cocktail reception on the mezzanine level overlooking a stunning re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastline. Guests can stroll down to the water’s edge to visit with Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters and more!

Tables are set up around the Caribbean Reef with white tablecloths and candles for a private event.

Caribbean Reef and aquarium galleries 

Classical Greek architecture and our signature Caribbean Reef exhibit create a dining setting fit for King Neptune, with seating either around the aquamarine reef habitat or in the aquarium’s elegantly vaulted galleries.

Colorful tables with large palm plants are set up in the main foyer for a private event.

Kovler Hall 

This large, soaring space, enlivened with handcrafted sea life ornamentation in marble, bronze and terra cotta, is perfect for dining and dancing. 

Guests gather on the lakeside terrace at dusk for a private event. The terrace overlooks Lake Michigan with the city skyline in the background.

North terrace and lakeside terrace 

These seasonal spaces combine sweeping vistas of the lakefront and skyline with gentle breezes. Add amenities like a full canopy and bars.

Tables with white tablecloths are set up in Soundings Restaurant for an event.

Soundings 

Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline are the backdrop in this beautiful window-lined room, perfect for dinner parties or large receptions.

Tables set with flowers sit before windows overlooking the Chicago skyline at night

Bubble Net

We are now accepting short-term bookings for our newly renovated Bubble Net event space!

Overlooking Lake Michigan’s shore, this indoor venue is available for evening events, giving guests a dazzling view of Chicago’s lit-up skyline. Guests begin their evening viewing the playful sea otters at Shedd’s Otter Trail habitat, then move to Bubble Net for a lively cocktail reception or an elegant plated dinner. Bubble Net is the perfect size for groups of fewer than 100 guests.

Stingrays swim in the Stingray Touch habitat.

Stingray Touch 

In this seasonal (May through September) outdoor exhibit area, your guests will delight in the sensation of sleek stingrays gently gliding under their outstretched hands.

Rows of empty seats are waiting to be filled for the next 4D show in Phelps Auditorium.

Phelps Auditorium 

Our auditorium features state-of-the-art audiovisual technology that can be tailored to your presentation’s specs. It’s available at an additional cost

The Rice Auditorium in the Abbott Oceanarium overlooks Whale Harbor.

Rice Foundation Amphitheater

Part of the Abbott Oceanarium, it features seating for up to 1,000 guests and a state-of-the-art sound system. It’s perfect for a special welcome or presentation for your group.