“Illinois Resident Free Days at Shedd Aquarium” by S.M. O’Connor

Beginning on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, Illinois residents can enter the John G. Shedd Aquarium for free the rest of the month, thanks to the Ford Motor Company Fund.  Illinois residents must furnish proof of state residence to enjoy Illinois Resident Free Days.  The Shedd Aquarium’s Illinois Resident Free Days entails general admission to all aquarium exhibits and experiences, including the multi-species aquatic presentation, the Shedd’s new exhibit Underwater Beauty, daily dive presentations, and animal chats.

General admission does not cover the 4-D movie, but tickets are just $4.95 per person.  Wednesday, October 3, 2018 and Wednesday, October 10, 2018 will also be Illinois Resident Free Days.  Please note that there is a $3 transaction fee for reserving free Illinois Resident Free Day tickets online. Also, Stingray Touch animal encounter will be open until Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

“As students head back to school and focuses turn to learning, these September free days make it easier than ever for families to support academic or in school learning by visiting Shedd, where we encourage curiosity around science,” stated Jo-Elle Mogerman, Vice President of Learning and Communities at the Shedd Aquarium.  “We encourage people across the state – adults, friends and families – to take advantage of this new, expanded access and come eye-to-eye with nature here at the aquarium.”

Further, the Shedd Aquarium has introduced extended hours (from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) for adults with new themed programming and music three days a week.  There is After Hours programming featuring themed music and custom food and drink menus.  [Please note that After Hours is sold out for Thursday, September 6, 2018.]


Mondays September 10th, 17th, and 24th Shedd After Hours: Caribbean Flavors and Flair

·         Menu features Caribbean-inspired cuisine

·         Guests explore the Shedd Aquarium, including the exhibit Caribbean Reef

Wednesdays September 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th

October 3rd and 10th

Jazzin’ at the Shedd: Live Latin Rhythms

·         Menu features Latin food and cocktails

·         Live Latin jazz performers – click here for the 2018 Jazzin’ Band Lineup

·         Food is served both inside the Shedd Aquarium and on the lakeside terrace

Thursdays September 6th, 20th, and 27th Shedd After Hours: House Party

·         Disc Jockeys (D.J.s) bring a style of music invented in Chicago, house music, to the Shedd Aquarium

·         Local D.J.s including Jesse Saunders, DJ Terry Hunter, and Farley Jackmaster Funk perform

·         Guests sample “tasty bites and beverages” while taking in the Chicago skyline


Please note Shedd After Hours: House Party will not take place on Thursday, September 13, 2018 dur to a private event.  The Shedd Aquarium will make up this date by staying open late with special programming on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.

Due to the popularity of Illinois Resident Free Days, the Shedd Aquarium reminds guests that attendance is limited to building capacity.  Tickets may be reserved either online in advance ($3 transaction fee) or purchased at the door.

Additional access programs are offered year-round through a variety of offerings, including free admission to eligible poor families every day presenting an EBT card via the Museums for All program, to Chicago Park District youth groups and staff members, Illinois school teachers and K-12 school groups, Chicago police officers and firefighters, and families with children using Kids Museum Passports available at Chicago Public Library branches.  Active-duty American armed served personnel receive free general admission when they furnish their identification, but this does not cover family.  American military veterans and retired military personnel receive a $3 discount on-site, but this does not cover family.  To learn more about these programs, click here.

oceanarium exterior with chicago skylineFigure 1 Credit: John G. Shedd aquarium Caption: Lohan Associates designed the Oceanarium Addition (1991). Built on 1.8 acres of lakefill, it covers 170,000 square feet and was the first building expansion in Shedd’s history and the largest indoor marine mammal facility in the world.

The John G. Shedd Aquarium is located on the Museum Campus in the Chicago Park District’s lakeside Burnham Park.  The address is 1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605.  The phone number is (312) 939-2438.  The Website U.R.L. is https://www.sheddaquarium.org/.



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