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“Do your research ahead of time & play with the penguins!”
Review of Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium
Book In Advance
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$75.00*
and up
Chicago Explorer Pass
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$36.00*
and up
Big Bus Chicago Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
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$149.00*
and up
Chicago by Night Helicopter Tour
Ranked #28 of 681 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium brings you eye-to-eye with more than 32,000 aquatic animals - from whales to snails, tarantulas to turtles, angelfish to zebra sharks!
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Take your time on the website, if you are planning ahead it's worth the cost to play / feed penguins. Whale experience however is a bit steep for my pockets.

Thank MeaganD2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,569 - 6,573 of 7,977 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2012

The Shedd Aquarium was a nice warm retreat from the cold Chicago wind. We particularly enjoyed the reef and the jellies exhibits. The displays were arranged by habitat around a central tank, and it seemed like they had about everything you could imagine.

Thank Leslie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Everything was great. What more can I say? I would recommend getting the Chicago City Pass so you can do the fast pass entry and avoid the long lines.

Thank NancyJamesM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Second visit to the she'd in the last few years. Our first visit was over a busy fourth of July weekend, and we left feeling cheated from the huge crowd! We were unable to see the exhibits well without fighting for a view. You would think that due to the shedd's size they would limit crowds a little more. Our second visit was this past weekend. The crowd control did seem better, we didn't have much of a wait but we also used the handicap/stroller entryway this time. We decided to do an all access pass for the day, at 34 dollars each. I suggest trying to find some deals in groupon or coupons in travel books prior to arriving. Our pass included the aquatic show, jellies, oceanariums, and 4d experience. They handed us tickets in envelopes but no one explained to us what to do with them. The woman checking us in was rude, so basically we paid for our visit and navigated ourselves blindly.The museum itself is beautiful, the architecture is wonderful and very detailed at a large scale. The aquatic show is interesting, but there are a few complaints- first you cannot take strollers into the arena, they expect you to park them outside unattended. I didn't really feel comfortable with this, as theft is huge in Chicago. I made sure to ask an employee if they watch the strollers- she said yes but I doubt they watch them closely or remember who the owners are. Second, the seating is horribly hard, and low to the ground. It is basically cement bleachers. It is probably okay for younger people/teenagers. However, it would be hard for an elderly person to sit that low and get back up without assistance. Also, it could be hard for anyone with joint replacements. I'm 24- and even my bottom was sore after sitting on the hard surface! The show was fun and interesting. Amazing how they train the dolphins and belugas! I'm sure children just love to watch. We avoided the jellies exhibit after the show because there was a line forming and it looked crowded. The penguin exhibit was very small, and dark. We left that section feeling like "is that it?" the 4 d experience was pretty cool to see. We saw the polar express segment, and I enjoyed it. Again, I had to leave my stroller unattended though. The women staff running it were also sort of rude, and shuffled us in and out of the theatre like cattle. We went back to the jellies exhibit after the crowd seemed to die down a little. The jellyfish are beautiful, graceful and fun to watch. The exhibit itself is very small, and considering the hype around the city with advertising- I can see why some were disappointed. If you are expecting a large room with lots of species and interactive elements- you might be disappointed. Also, it ends inside the gift shop, which I didn't like. Overall I liked to see the jellies, and we took some beautiful photos. My last review is about the nursing mothers room. It was very small. And by small I mean one chair! I found this really odd because the entire aquarium is so focused and geared toward families. I had to wait to nurse my child, and the mother ahead of me stated she was shocked that there was only one chair too. I've been to malls that have better nursing rooms. This one is tiny, and located just next to the busy restrooms. It is very noisy with banging doors and hand dryers. All the noise was very distracting for my nursling. I'm glad the Shedd at least made an effort for nursing mothers but it seems very cold and not thought out very well.

1  Thank EandS2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

If you can go the Shedd on a day when it isn't swamped you will love it. Otherwise, a lot of the beauty is lost in the pushing mothers, crying children, school teachers vying for the front of the line.

Thank Leslie_Venetz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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