OK, I readily acknowledge that Shedd can be busy with a zillion kids. But my husband and I, proudly child- free, can easily say we love visiting Shedd Aquarium. He's from Chicago and we've been there a million times, and we'll keep going back. It is a gorgeous historic building right on the lake, first of all. Secondly, the exhibits are very beautiful and I haven't noticed any poorly-maintained tanks;although if kids are banging on them I'd like to see more staff discouraging it. All the fish and other animals seem to be thriving.
The best part is, of course, seeing the beluga whales and the otters. There isn't much better during a Chicago icy winter for me than being nice and warm inside Shedd Aquarium, watching the unearthly beautiful beulga whales swim in their infinity edge pool when beyond the glass the lake is frozen, heaved into icy waves. Incredibly beautiful and magical. These critical reviews fail to appreciate the beauty of being in the presence of these incredible creatures with whom we share a world but not frequently too much proximity in the same zip code. When I'm there, at least once a year, I like checking in with the whales. I don't know when renovations will be complete, check the web site.
Of course, being in the presence of screaming, banging, ill-behaved children can tax our ability to appreciate the aquarium if you're not in the mood for that. Try to look beyond them; I mean, you can see over their heads,right? : ) I suggest just getting something to drink there if you're thirsty and then instead of visiting the cafe or food area, which truly IS screaming kid central, duck out and visit one of Chicago's hundreds of lovely restaurants for a nice adult beverage and delicious food after you're done viewing all the great sea creatures. I think you can also buy tickets online and bypass lines. Don't be put off visiting Shedd- it's one of my favorite tourist haunts and well worth it. I also never tire of the Art Institute and the Field Museum.
Go with your sense of wonder and you won't be disappointed.
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