Shedd Aquarium

History of the Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium, which is one of the premier aquariums in the country is located in downtown Chicago and was built in 1930. This major tourist attraction has over 2 million annual visitors each year. The Shedd Aquarium houses some of the most impressive marine life and habitats, while providing millions of visitors with underwater education resources.

About the Shedd Aquarium

Named after millionaire, John G. Shedd, the Shedd Aquarium was a gift bestowed on the city of Chicago, which John loved greatly.  It took 7 years and $3 million for the Shedd Aquarium to open its doors to the public.  Over the years, the Shedd has built several permanent exhibits to the original aquarium which has double the Shedd Aquarium size.

Exhibitions available in the Shedd Aquarium

Exhibition plays an important role in the success of an aquarium park thus it is crucial for this famous aquarium in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, to have a beautiful array of exhibitions that can and will entice the visitors. Being the best aquarium in Chicago, Shedd’s exhibitions does not disappoint. The Shedd Aquarium houses five permanent exhibits which include Caribbean Reef, Waters of the Worlds, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef and Oceanarium.  In addition to these permanent exhibits the Shedd has popular temporary exhibit called Jellies that will run through 2013. These exhibitions varies but complement each other very well to give the visitors a complete perspective of the marine life in the world. There are exhibitions that depicts the marine life in the Amazon River and there are exhibitions that portrays the vast species of fish that can be found in the Caribbean Reef.

Let’s have a closer look at this exhibitions!

Caribbean Reef

One of the unique features of this exhibit is the 90,000 gallons circular tank that is located close to the main entrance of the aquarium. It is one of the attractions that is a must see for all visitors as they can get to observe divers entering the tank to feed the animals such as the sharks, sea turtles and stingray. The plus point for this exhibit is the divers will answer any questions from visitors while underwater.

Waters of the World

Housing the most number of species in the Shedd Aquarium including shrimps, giant octopus and moon jellies, Waters of the World provides an overview of all the different types of water habitats that exist in the world. The exhibit will help visitors to visualize the different water environments such as rivers, oceans and lakes and how the animals live in it. There are a total of 90 different water habitats that visitors can explore in this exhibit.This exhibit explores all the world’s numerous waterways in 90 different habitats.

Amazon Rising

The Amazon Rising exhibit will bring visitors to one of the longest river on earth – Amazon River. This is a tropical exhibit that showcase the natural habitat for some of the more exotic animals on earth such as the piranhas, anaconda and gigantic spiders. Going through the Amazon Rising exhibit will give visitors the rare opportunity to learn about the mysterious Amazon River which is home to 33% of the earth’s living things.


The Pacific Northwest Rainforest is a magnificent place and that is what Shedd Aquarium hopes to emulate when creating the Oceanarium exhibit. Visitors can enjoy the luxurious view of Lake Michigan from the Oceanarium exhibit through the huge windows that have been placed across the exhibit. Some animals that visitors can expect to see are star fish, sea otters, dolphins and beluga whales.

Wild Reef

In this exhibit, visitors of the aquarium will get the chance to stare at the different species of sharks that are housed in a 400,000 gallon tank. Designing the tank to have tall glass windows helps to create an underwater environment for the visitors which definitely adds to the unique feature of this exhibit. Visitors can also admire the beautiful live corals that are placed in this exhibit.


As the name suggest, this exhibit provides visitors to explore the world of Jellyfish. Visitors have the opportunity to observe many different species of jellies in this temporary exhibit. The Jellies exhibit were made available to Shedd aquarium visitors since 2011 and in that span of time, the demand for this exhibition to stay open has been overwhelming that the aquarium has decided to extend the exhibit for a longer period.

Pricing for the Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and 9am to 6pm on Saturday and Sundays.  Those that live in Illinois can take advantage of the discount and free days to visit this magnificent aquarium.  The dates that are discounted or free for Illinois residents are listed here.  General admission price to the Shedd Aquarium is $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and children. Discount prices for Illinois residents start at only $5-$8 depending on what day you visit; however some exhibits require an extra ticket fee price.  Visitors should note that these discount, free days and school field trip days are some of the aquarium’s busiest days so if you want to avoid long lines and crowds, plan to visit on a different day.

Parking/Getting to the Shedd

The Shedd Aquarium is located in Museum Park at 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. It is very easily assessable by cab, bus or driving.  Parking price near the Shedd is around $22.  If taking public transportation, which is $2.25 each way, the #147 bus will drop visitors off in front of the Shedd.  The #3, #4, and #12 buses can drop visitors off at Michigan and Roosevelt, near Grant Park. The Shedd is only a quick 13 minutes walk from these stops and will allow visitors to take in the beautiful sights and landmarks of downtown Chicago.

Shedd Aquarium is a must for fish lovers who visits Chicago and if you can’t get enough of the beautiful exhibits, be sure to visit other Aquarium Parks that are available all over the country.

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