Why You Need To Visit The Shedd Aquarium This Fall

Thanks to the Shedd Aquarium for sponsoring this post.

I know it’s not officially fall yet but Labor Day has just passed, the kids are back in school, and the weather is getting cooler so I consider this time the unofficial fall season :) If you are looking for something to do indoors and are in the Chicago area you’ll want to visit the Shedd Aquarium before life gets too busy with school events, sports and the holidays.

The Shedd is encouraging families to clear their “Sheddule” and find some time to unwind with family and friends at the aquarium. To make this even easier for cash strapped families they are offering 24 consecutive FREE days for Illinois residents starting tomorrow September 6th and going through September 30th. Illinoisans can enjoy free general admission with full access to the aquarium’s permanent and special exhibits, including Waters of the WorldCaribbean ReefAmazon RisingWild ReefAbbott OceanariumAmphibians special exhibit, the aquatic show and Stingray Touch experience. Admission can be upgraded to include 4-D Experience for $4.95 per guest- which is well worth it in my opinion.

In addition to free days for all Illinois residents, the Shedd will honor all senior guests with free admission Tuesdays and Wednesdays (from 9am to 2pm) in September. (Seniors will receive complementary admission for themselves plus one accompanying adult partner.)

When you visit the Shedd Aquarium this fall make sure these things are on your to-do list:

1) Touch the Stingrays. This outdoor exhibit, open until October, was the highlight of my trip to the Shedd. It was fascinating watching them glide through the water and I loved being able to touch them to see what they felt like.

2) View the whales, dolphins and sea otters underwater. Get a unique view of them in the underwater viewing galleries.

3) Enjoy a 4-D experience. The Shedd’s new experience- Splash and Bubbles is filled with music, fun, and everyone’s favorite citizens of the sea! The 4-D Experience combines the visual drama of a 3-D film with a variety of sensory effects built into the seats and the theater environment. Families with children will love this! (Note to sensory families: If your child is a sensory avoider or easily overwhelmed you may want to skip this experience. Mine are seekers so they loved it! Make sure to check out the Shedd’s Sensory Friendly App, too!)

4) Visit the Polar Play Zone. Let kids play in the polar playscape and explore a child sized submarine.

5) Find Nemo. Have your children look for a percula clownfish. Children will love seeing a real life version of one of their favorite Disney characters.

6) Touch a sea star. They may be called starfish but did you know that sea stars are not fish? In the sea star touch exhibit you can dip your hand into the water and touch their strong skin and examine the hundreds of tiny tube feet that help these extraordinary animals feel, feed and move around their environment.

7) Check out an aquatic presentation. The Shedd Aquarium’s show is unlike others you may find. Not only do you see animals like beluga whales, sea lions and dolphins performing but you’ll learn how they are cared for every day by their trainers and how the Shedd way of training highlights their incredible natural behaviors. It was interesting to watch!

8) Go to a shark animal chat. Learn about sharks during a daily shark animal chat in the Wild Reef exhibit. One question they’ll answer is why sharks don’t eat the fish they swim with.

Also, the Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea exhibit is opening September 23rd. This traveling exhibit will feature massive, colorful sculptures of familiar ocean animals including reef fishes, sharks, octopus, penguins, sea lions and more made entirely of plastic marine debris removed from West Coast beaches. It sounds really interesting and looks like a beautiful exhibit from the photos I’ve seen!

What will you discover when you #ClearYourSheddule and visit the Shedd Aquarium this fall? 



  1. I LOVE the Shedd Aquarium. I went there the last time I was on a business trip to Chicago, and it was so amazing. Just beautiful.

  2. I love aquariums! Basically anything pertaining to aquatic life. I’d like to check the Shedd aquarium out.

  3. I have not been to the Shedd Aquarium in years! It looks like I need to go back there. I have always liked aquariums and this one is one of the best ones I have seen.

  4. My kids love sea animals. Looks like such a fun aquarium!

  5. We LOVE spending the day at the aquarium! This one sounds like a super fun one to visit.

  6. The next time we make it to Chicago I will have to visit the Shedd Aquarium. It sounds like a wonderful place.

  7. Oh they’ve added some fun new stuff since I last went! These are great reasons to visit again.

  8. What an awesome family attraction … can’t wait to take the kids there soon!

  9. Amy Desrosiers says

    What gorgoeus sea creatures you all were able to see. I know my kids love visiting our local aquariums.

  10. That looks like a lot of fun. This is something I know my family would enjoy. We love going to aquariums. It’s nice to see all the animals.

  11. Sounds like a nice family friendly place to dpend tge day! Lots to see and do!

  12. I love the Shedd, makes me want to movie to Illinois so we can get in on all the great deals for admission.

  13. Oh my husband would love to visit here, and we’re only a few hours south in Indy. I know he wanted to go the last time we were up in Chicago but we were just too busy.

  14. Claudia Krusch says

    My Son loves to go to Aquariums. I would love to go to the Shedd Aquarium and check it out in person.

  15. I don’t enjoy zoos but I have always loved aquariums, they are so magical. I think the touch tide pool is my favorite!

  16. My girls love the aquarium! Looks like you all had a fantastic time! Will definitely be adding to our must do list next time we are in Chicago!

  17. Wow, this place looks pretty awesome! If I’m ever in the area, it will be on my list of places to visit for sure.

  18. I would definitely check this out with my children if I was near. Great idea to spend a great educational day at the aquarium. :)

  19. It looks like such a fun place to reconnect as a family. The back to school season is hectic, so ditching the schedule is needed every once in a while.

  20. we have only gone once, but loved it. I would love to go with my family again and see all the new things.

  21. katrina gehman says

    we used to go to the shedd all the time when we lived over there. Man, I miss that place. I hope to get back soon.

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