“How is the Shedd Aquarium Marking Halloween in 2019?” by S.M. O’Connor

      This month, the John G. Shedd Aquarium has Halloween-themed private tours, a Halloween-themed sleepover event for families and groups, and an adults-only event on Halloween.  “Spooky Animals” is the theme of the Tour of the Month, which is offered daily at 10:00 a.m. “Asleep with the Fishes: Spooky Seas” will be on Friday, October 25, 2019. Shedd After Hours: Halloween, as I wrote about Wednesday, will actually be on Halloween (Thursday, October 31, 2019).

Tour of the Month: Spooky Animals

      According to a press release, “Tour of the Month: Spooky Animals” will address how “Alligators, sharks, snakes, piranhas, ants, cockroaches and even whales… were once cast as villains.” The forty-five-minute-long private tour is available for up to twelve people on a daily basis at 10:00 a.m. [Meet in the Northern Trust Suite fifteen minutes before the tour begins.] General admission is covered with these Tour of the Month tickets, so tour members gain access to express entry to the Shedd Aquarium, admission to all exhibits therein, and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.

      Tickets are $59.95 for adults and teenagers twelve-and-over, $49.95 for children (under twelve), and $18.95 for Members. Click here to purchase tickets.

      Guests seventeen-and-under must be accompanied by an adult who is eighteen-or-over. A guest is three-or-over must have a tour ticket. Please note that being on this tour involves walking or standing for forty-five minutes and one must be able to follow instructions from a guide who is leading the tour. If you have a request related to accommodating a disability, call (312) 692-3355.

      There is a different theme every month. “Animal Babies” will be the theme of the Tour of the Month in November.

Asleep with the Fishes: Spooky Seas

      “Asleep with the Fishes: Spooky Seas” will be on Friday, October 25, 2019. At Asleep with the Fishes overnight events, families or groups will see the Shedd Aquarium at night, which is a different experience from seeing it during the day. For the Halloween-themed overnight event, kids can wear costumes. Guests will see nocturnal animals; learn facts about snakes, spiders, and “slimy creatures that live below the waves;” and engage in “science activities, animal encounters, aquatic crafts, and so much more.”

      A ticket that covers Evening Only is $40 per person ($30 for Members). This is for people who want to participate in activities, but not sleep at the Shedd Aquarium overnight. Click here to purchase tickets.

      A Regular ticket is $85 per person ($70 for Members). Click here to purchase tickets. Note that one cannot bring an air mattress with a Regular ticket, because that is one of the perks of a V.I.P. (very important person) ticket.

      V.I.P. guests sleep in what the Shedd Aquarium considers “premium locations.” They can bring one twin-sized air mattress for one or two people and one queen-sized air mattress for two or more people. V.I.P. tickets cost in the range from $100 to $130. A V.I.P. (Caribbean Reef) ticket is $100 per person ($85 for Members), a V.I.P. (Underwater Beauty) ticket is $110 per person ($95 for Members), a V.I.P. (Wild Reef) ticket is $120 per person ($100 for Members), and a V.I.P. (Oceanarium) ticket is $130 per person ($110 for Members). Purchase one or more V.I.P. (Caribbean Reef) tickets at $100 per person ($85 for Members) to sleep around the Caribbean Reef. This exhibit is home to the green sea turtle Nickel and bonnethead sharks. Purchase one or more V.I.P. (Underwater Beauty) tickets at $110 per person ($95 for Members) to sleep inside Underwater Beauty. This special exhibit is home to creatures including mantis shrimp, ribbon eels, and weedy seadragons. Purchase one or more V.I.P. (Wild Reef) tickets at $120 per person ($100 for Members) to sleep Wild Reef. This exhibit features corals, rays, and sharks of the Philippines. Purchase one or more V.I.P. (Oceanarium) tickets at $130 per person ($110 for Members) to sleep in the underwater viewing area of the Abbott Oceanarium. This annex is home to penguins, whales, and dolphins.

      Regular and V.I.P. tickets include admission to the Shedd Aquarium, all exhibits therein, a late-night snack, and a continental breakfast. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. Guests may depart the next morning any time before 8:30 a.m.

      Activities are designed for children ages five-to-twelve. Participants must be at least five years old to stay overnight. Younger participants are invited to attend with an evening-only ticket.

      If you have a group of ten or more people, call Group reservations at (312) 692-3333. If you have any questions, call (312) 939-2438.

      There are two more overnight events this year. The one in November has a Thanksgiving theme and the one in December has a (secular) Christmas theme. “Asleep with the Fishes: Give Thanks for Animals” will be on Friday, November 15, 2019. “Asleep with the Fishes: Winter Wonderland” will be on Friday, December 20, 2019.

Shedd After Hours: Halloween

      Shedd After Hours: Halloween will be on Thursday, October 31, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tickets covers exhibits, touch experiences, and entertainment. In addition, 4-D theater tickets, food, and beverages are available for purchase. The Shedd Aquarium’s culinary staff will prepare “festive bites.” This event is for adults (twenty-one-years-of-age-and-over) exclusively. Guests should be prepared to show a photo identification card.

      The Shedd Aquarium is promising “surprising animal encounters and a hair-raising shark chat that proves facts are stranger than fiction.” At the Science Pub, one can drink “a spooky spirit” while learning from a Shedd specialist “just how unearthly the deep ocean really is.” There will be a costume contest with prizes. Tickets are $24.95 ($19.95 for Chicago residents) or $14.95 for Members of the Shedd Aquarium. To order tickets, click here or call (312) 939-2438. The call center is open until 6:00 p.m.

BRH_3511Figure 1 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is an anatomical human skull displayed in a fish tank at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 21, 2018.

BRH_3520Figure 2 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is an anatomical human skull displayed in a fish tank at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 21, 2018.

BRH_3587.jpgFigure 3 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is an anatomical human skeleton displayed at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 21, 2018.

BRH_3632Figure 4 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a spider crawling on a jack-o-lantern at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 22, 2018.

BRH_3715Figure 5 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a snake slithering around a jack-o-lantern at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 22, 2018.

BRH_3737Figure 6 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a snake slithering around a jack-o-lantern at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 22, 2018.

BRH_3799Figure 7 Credit: Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a snake slithering through a jack-o-lantern at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 22, 2018.

Halloween Falcon 1Figure 8 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a falcon with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Falcon 2.jpgFigure 9 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a falcon with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Falcon 3.jpgFigure 10 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a falcon with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Falcon 4.jpgFigure 11 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a falcon with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Falcon 5Figure 12 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a falcon with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Owl 1.jpgFigure 13 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is an owl with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Owl 2Figure 14 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is an owl with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Halloween Owl 3.jpgFigure 15 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is an owl with a pumpkin and some gourds at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 15, 2018.

Sea Lion_.jpgFigure 16 Credit: Andrea Oake, John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is a sea lion with a pumpkin at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, as seen on October 23, 2018.

      The Shedd Aquarium is a Smithsonian Affiliate. It is located on the Museum Campus in the Chicago Park District’s Burnham Park. Normally, the Shedd Aquarium is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the workweek (Mondays through Fridays) and from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Click here for updates on hours. The last ticket sale is forty-five minutes before closing.

      The address is 1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605. The Website is https://www.sheddaquarium.org.  The phone number is (312) 939-2438.

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