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“frustrating start”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium
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Chicago CityPASS
Ranked #29 of 635 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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!
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
249 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“frustrating start”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

Our visit began with a very frustrating hour and half wait to purchase tickets. I was not planning on a visit to the aquarium however one in our group of 6 adults wanted to see the jellies display. This museum has a good variety of sea life but does not rival other aquariums that we have visited. There were many summer camp children's groups which is a good thing that they are exposed to the underwater world. There is a very distinctive unpleasant odor throughout the museum. I have been in other museums like this and do not have any memory of such smells. The prices are inflated for what you see. Added fees are available for extra experiences. We did this visit from the hop on hop off bus so no need to fuss with parking. There should be a sign outside telling you how long the wait is from a certain point. We started in line about 40 ft. from the bottom of the steps outside for a 1 1/2 hour wait. Ticket sales people were slow beyond description. Our visit took us 2 hours. Ate a hotdog in a filthy eating area around the viewing windows. I would not recommend this place there are just too many other very wonderful things to see in Chicago.

Visited July 2014
Thank marian m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not enough time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

We unfortunately showed up on a day that they had an event going on. I was glad we bought the Groupon to avoid the lines. The selection of animals/fish was great. The show was really adorable. I'm sure we will be back.

Visited June 2014
Thank Stefanie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Much improved”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

The Pros: We were impressed by the live show .Much improved! Great music, a timely message, a variety of animals all of which look healthy and happy, a large screen projecting closeups of the show. The staff all were helpful and friendly.. Exhibits varied and explained in detail. The addition of one healthy option restaurant. Availability of purchasing tickets on line to avoid the lines a MUST! LOVED OUR DAY THERE!!
The Cons: The website for the Shedd does not adequately explain the ticket options, contains confusing directions to the Shedd and parking, does not alert you to events (like the half marathon on July 20) that shuts down access roads to the Museum Campus and necessitates delayed museum openings ), is overloaded at peak times and logs you off when trying to purchase tickets (late night early morning best times to try), the signage to the parking garage, in the garage and then to the Shedd from the parking garage is unclear. Why not have shuttle buses or someone posted near the garages for questions? (We parked in the underground structure north of Soldiers' Field.)Too many junk food places on the museum campus.

Visited July 2014
Thank ChicagoVagabonds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

I've been to a few aquariums in my time and really got the sense that the people who work here love their job and the animals.
There were so many things to see and do, we didn't have time to see it all.
I've read reviews where others complain about the price and the fact that they "didn't pay to see dogs." Was the fact that these wonderful people rescue animals who would not make it if it weren't for their kind hearts? The show with the rescued dog was maybe 5 minutes long. It was meant to show the similarities between teaching animals (humans included) positive behaviors. I find that too many people don't truly understand the great work aquariums do. They rescue and provide a non-threatening environment for animals who might have otherwise died.
This attraction has a great balance of stores, animals, interactive areas and the most amazing views.
So much to do and see. You'll have a fun time.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank followmearound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shedd_Aquarium, Manager at Shedd Aquarium, responded to this review, July 24, 2014
Hi followmearound - Thanks so much for your review. We really appreciate your support and are glad you had a fun time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
150 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“A full and entertaining day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2014

I'll repeat what you've already heard. Arrive when the aquarium opens to avoid long lines. Once you're in, proceed away from the front of the building and see the whales, penguins, otters and manta rays with hardly any crowds. Then work your way back to the front. We love aquariums and there was enough here to keep us interested for four or five hours. We also enjoyed a civilized and relaxing lunch in the sit-down Surroundings Cafe. The food was better than most museum food and the view of the lake was gorgeous.

Visited July 2014
Thank KatrinaPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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