Chicago Museum Week After Hours

Water, Earth and Sky

Thank you to everyone who joined us at After Hours! Check back soon for more "fin-tastic" events!

Ever wonder what it’s like to work at Chicago’s museums? Caring for amazing animals, maintaining ancient artifacts and exploring the skies means every day is anything but normal.

Experts from Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum will share their one-of-a-kind work in this Chicago Museum Week celebration. Hear the inside scoop, see Shedd’s animals after hours and warm up with paid selections from our decadent hot chocolate bar, cocktails and comfort food.

Reserve Your Tickets Today
Select Jan. 24 and fill in your party details to R.S.V.P. for Museum Week After Hours.

Event speakers:

Dr. Matt O’Connor, Staff Veterinarian at Shedd Aquarium
Dr. Matt is one of three full-time veterinarians at Shedd Aquarium.  Following graduation from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, he worked for 4 years at Animal House of Chicago seeing mostly exotic animals.  He went back to school and earned a Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine from University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.  From there, he completed a 3 year zoological medicine residency program at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  Afterwards, he was fortunate to land his dream job at Shedd, the place where his love of aquatic animals first started in the High School Marine Biology program.

Mary Hennen, Director, Chicago Peregrine Program/Bird Asst Collection Manager, Science and Education at The Field Museum
Mary is the assistant collections manager for the Bird Collection at the Field Museum. She has worked in the Bird Division in some capacity (at times student, volunteer, or staff), since 1989. Much of her time is spent with skeletal prep including managing the Bird's dermestid beetle colonies (i.e. the flesh eating beetles.)  Mary’s primary work outside of the bird collection is with Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) which is the focus of her recent book ‘The Peregrine Returns”. You can also follow both her bug room and falcon adventures on Facebook.

Mike Small, Theatres Manager at Adler Planetarium
For the last five and a half years, Mike Smail has managed a small team of staff responsible for all operational aspects of the Adler Planetarium’s three theaters. Any given day consists of presenting shows, creating content, technical maintenance, computer programming, and everything in between. Prior to joining Adler, Mike handled planetarium and floor programming, web and social media, video conferencing, and volunteer management for planetaria and science museums in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Columbus, Ohio.


 Admission is free for Illinois residents with valid ID. A $3 transaction fee applies to Illinois Free Day tickets reserved online. This helps ensure access to as many neighbors as possible by validating orders. Tickets are otherwise $25.