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What is Plan-ahead Pricing?

Similar to booking a flight or purchasing concert tickets, the plan-ahead pricing model rewards non-Chicago resident guests who plan their visit in advance.

Don't wait! Guests who wait until just before a visit to buy tickets may see slightly higher prices if the time or date falls within a peak period for the aquarium.

An Amazon milk frog sits on a leaf at Shedd Aquarium.
A shark swims in the Wild Reef exhibit at Shedd Aquarium.

How does it work?

The Plan-ahead pricing tool will consistently update, allowing guests to pick a time and date to visit that works best for their schedule and their wallet.

Popular days of the week and popular times of day will see a slight increase in price for out of town guests, while less popular times and days will remain at standard price or may even start below traditional general admission costs.

Chicago residents will continue to enjoy $19.95 tickets, which will not be impacted by this new plan-ahead pricing tool.  

How to get the best price?

The best way to take advantage of plan-ahead pricing is to book your visit to the aquarium in advance. A guest who waits until the last minute to book a visit may lose out on the opportunity to save and could even end up paying a slightly higher price for general admission.

  • A dark blue line icon showing a coin dropping into a piggy bank, representing saving money with plan-ahead pricing.

    A New Way To Save

    Non-Chicago residents will have an opportunity to save money when they plan their visit in advance and come during off-peak times.

  • A dark blue icon showing a calendar with a clock inset, representing the ability to choose an optimal day and time for visiting the Shedd Aquarium.

    Reduced wait times

    All Shedd guests will benefit from fewer crowds and a faster journey into the aquatic world, as this tool will help spread out attendance throughout the week.

  • A dark blue icon of a dolphin jumping out of water, representing a seamless Shedd experience with Plan-Ahead pricing.

    A more seamless shedd

    For the first time, all Shedd guests will get to see how busy a day at the aquarium might be and decide what visit is right for them based on their needs and comfort levels.

Why Plan-ahead Pricing?

The new plan-ahead pricing tool will help spread out attendance by encouraging guests to visit on non-peak dates and times whenever possible. Spreading out guests will result in a smoother guest experience for everyone by reducing lines, wait times and crowding.

Chicago resident and member benefits

Plan-ahead pricing will not impact the cost of general admission for Chicago residents, who will continue to enjoy $19.95 admission. This planning tool will only impact guests visiting from outside of Chicago.

Shedd Members will use the same pathway as non-members when selecting dates and times to visit, but the price of a membership and the associated benefits will not be impacted by this new plan-ahead pricing tool.

With the plan-ahead pricing tool, guests will be able to see which dates and times the aquarium will be the most crowded. With more insight than ever before, guests can choose the dates that work best for them. 

Plan-ahead Pricing FAQs