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Shedd Aquarium Chicago
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Visiting Shedd Aquarium Chicago

4.5 (100%) 537 votes

Inaugurated in the year 1930 in the month of May, about 32,000 animals are housed in the praises of the museum in about 19,000,000 litres of water. The aquarium is one of the first to have a salt water collection as one of its permanent exhibits, being an inland aquarium. The aquarium is situated on the Michigan Lake. The aquarium has been ranked as one of the top in the United States for the years 2005 as well as 2007. The aquarium has around 1,500 species which include birds, fish, snakes, insects, marine mammals and amphibians.

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A dive at the Shedd Aquarium

A dive at the Shedd Aquarium

1. The Waters of the World

1. The Waters of the World

The Waters of the World is one of the oldest galleries of the aquarium and its major features include islands, oceans, lakes and rivers. They also include the local waters of the city Chicago. Some of the species included on the exhibit are Blue Iguana, Seahorses, Alligator Snapping Turtle, Haraldmeier's Mantella, Gymnarchus, Giant Pacific Octopus and many more. It is one of the major attractions of the aquarium.

2. The Caribbean Reef

2. The Caribbean Reef

The Caribbean Reef gallery came into existence in the year 1971. The first site of the aquarium, the Tropical Pool was replaced by this gallery. One of the major attractions of this gallery is the diver that dives into the reef and interacts with the animals and also takes to the people while doing so. The reef has been housed in a circular tank with almost 340,000 litres of water and allows the people to go around the tank and have the maximum viewing capability. Schooling fish were displayed in this habitat and it counts to be one of the earliest to do so. The rescued animals like the Bonnet head Sharks, the Green Sea Turtle named Nickel, stingrays and others. Just near the centre of the first floor is this tank. It is nearby the Waters of the World and the Amazon Rising.

3. The Wild Reef

3. The Wild Reef

The Wild Reef is one of the permanent exhibits of the Shedd Aquarium and it was inaugurated in the year 2003 and is situated two levels beneath the aquarium's main building. The exhibit has almost 1,999,000 litres of water in its tank and has recreated a coral reef of the Philippines which is decked with a number of species or rays and fish and living coral. There are a number of sharks packed in the tank as well which include the zebra shark, sand bark shark, blacktip reef sharks and the sawfish sharks. The shark tank is the main attraction of this exhibit and contains almost 1,500,000 litres of water. The tank also allows the visitors to have a view of the entire tank from all the sides. The reef also exhibits a display of saltwater tank where coral vegetation is grown and propagated for the purpose of conservation.

4. The Oceanarium

4. The Oceanarium

Known as the Abbott Oceanarium since 2010, the gallery was opened in the year 1991. The main features of this gallery are the sea otters, penguins, California sea lions, marine mammals, Pacific white-sided dolphins and beluga whales. There is also a play area that has been introduced for the children which is known as the Polar Play Zone which mainly features penguins. It is the biggest marine mammal tank indoors. The exhibit had closed for sometime and the animals were shifted to other aquariums and zoos, however, the exhibit was opened again in the year 2009. Most of the sea otters of the tank were the ones that were rescued during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in the year 1989. The main penguins housed in the exhibit are the Rockhopper and the Magellanic Penguins. The lower level of the exhibit allows the visitors to have an underwater view of the dolphins and beluga whales as well.

5. The Underwater Beauty

5. The Underwater Beauty

This is one of the recent inaugurated exhibits that was opened in the year 2018 in the month of May. The exhibit features mainly on the visual beauty of the waters of the sea and the life in the sea. It has a number of sections like Patterns, Rhythms and Colours. There are around 100 fishes' species and invertebrates. Some of the major features include the Purple Tang, Flower Hat Jelly, Powder Blue Tang, Spotted Trunkfish, Lined Seahorse, Maxima Clam, Moorish Idol, Sqaurespot Fairy Basslet, Lagoon Jelly, Ribbon Eel, Scribbled Angel Fish, Blue-Spotted Spinefoot, Pyramid Butterflyfish and Discus.

6. The 4D theatre

6. The 4D theatre

Inaugurated in the year 2009, during the renovation of the exhibit, the Oceanarium, the theatre has a set of 4D as well as 3D films with a setting of interactive seats and audio-visual effects and other elements like bubbles and scents. Some of the films that have been shown include Sea Monsters, Dora the Explorer, Polar Express, SpongeBob Square Pants, Coastal Predators, Planet Earth, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and many more.

Shedd Aquarium Chicago Tips and Tricks

How to Get Tickets?

You can easily book your tickets online through this website and also pay thereafter safely and securely.

How To Get Around?

You can go for tour buses. A rented car will be easy as well. You can rent a bike and make the trip a lot more fun.

What Should I Wear?

Wear something sporty like a pair of shorts and a light weight top. You can layer it up with a shrug. Go for sports shoes or sneakers.

Shedd Aquarium Chicago Facts

Best Time to Visit

The weather is mild and enjoyable in the months starting from March and lasting till May. The city can be enjoyed thoroughly and you can also take part in all sorts of outdoor activities.


US Dollar

Will I Need a Guide?

No guide is needed as all the information about the place is in store in the website to help you for the entire trip.

How To Get There?

A taxi will be available right outside the hotel. Tour buses are also a good option. The local trains and metro also have a reach. You can also rent a bike or a bicycle.

Additional Info


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