When are the Illinois Resident Free Days at the Shedd Aquarium in September of 2022

The John G. Shedd Aquarium is free for Illinois residents on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays after Labor Day (Monday, September 5, A.D. 2022), from Tuesday, September 6, A.D. 2022 through Wednesday, September 28, A.D. 2022.  Timed-entry tickets must be purchased online and in advance.  Click here to purchase tickets online.   Please note that a $3 fee applies to all Illinois Resident Free Days tickets purchased online.  Free admission will not be given to visitors who purchase tickets onsite.  All adults must furnish proof of residency when redeeming Illinois Resident Free Days tickets in person.

Illinois Resident Free Days in September of 2022

First Week of SeptemberTuesday, September 6, A.D. 2022

Wednesday, September 7, A.D. 2022  
Second Week of SeptemberMonday, September 12, A.D. 2022

Tuesday, September 13, A.D. 2022

Wednesday, September 14, A.D. 2022  
Third Week of SeptemberMonday, September 19, A.D. 2022

Tuesday, September 20, A.D. 2022

Wednesday, September 21, A.D. 2022  
Fourth Week of SeptemberMonday, September 26, A.D. 2022

Tuesday, September 27, A.D. 2022

Wednesday, September 28, A.D. 2022  

On Illinois Resident Free Days, the Shedd Aquarium extends its hours to expand access for the benefit of workers and students who would be indisposed during the hours when the Shedd Aquarium would be open. For the latest information about Shedd Aquarium hours, check the Plan a Visit Webpage.

Illinois residents receive free general admission.  This includes the exhibit Underwater Beauty, as well as daily animal spotlights.  The latter features Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, or California sea lions.  Visitors can also purchase tickets for Stingray Feeding, 4-D Experiences, or Virtual Reality Experiences.

Figure 1 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is the Stingray Touch Exhibit.

Figure 2 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is the Stingray Touch Experience.

Figure 3 Credit: John G. Shedd Aquarium Caption: This is the Wild Reef Shark Habitat.

Chicago police officers and firefighters enjoy free onsite general admission when they furnish their photo identification cards.  Click here to reserve tickets.  This offer does not apply to special events and the 4-D Experience (subject to availability).

Active-duty American military personnel Click here to reserve tickets.  This offer does not apply to special events and the 4-D Experience (subject to availability).  Please note that this offer does not cover dependents and other family members.

As a Museums for All partner, the Shedd Aquarium offers daily free and discounted admission to people receiving food assistance (known as SNAP benefits) by presenting their RBT cards.  This offer is valid for people receiving SNAP benefits in any state.  Online reservations are required.  One E.B.T. (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card is required to be shown in person for every four Museums for All tickets.  This program is thanks to the munificence of the Ford Motor Company.

All visitors with an active Bank of America®, Merrill® (formerly Merill Lynch®) of Bank of America Private Bank® (formerly U.S. Trust®) branded debit or credit card – physical or electronic/digital card – and an active, valid photo identification card shall receive one free general admission ticket to the Shedd Aquarium on select dates.  Advance reservations are required.  Admission benefits are not transferable and are valid for the cardholder exclusively.  Click here to reserve such tickets and click here to purchase tickets for other guests.  This offer is not valid during special events or for admission to the 4-D Experience (subject to availability).

                Museums in the Park employees and volunteers enjoy free admission with up to two guests.  Click here to reserve tickets.

As an Association of Zoos & Aquariums-accredited organization, the Shedd Aquarium offers tickets at 50% off for partner organizations enrolled in the Reciprocal Membership Program.  Click here to reserve tickets.  

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As with The Field Museum of Natural History, the source of the money to establish the Shedd Aquarium came from Marshall Field & Company, which at the time was a wholesaler as well as a department store.  The founder and eponym of the John G. Shedd Aquarium was John Graves Shedd (1850-1926), one of Marshall Field I’s protégés.  He was President of Marshall Field & Company from 1906 to 1923 and served as the first Chairman of the Board of Marshall Field & Company from 1923 to 1926.[1]

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The 90,000-gallon Caribbean Reef is home to 500 tropical Caribbean reef sea creatures.  These include sharks, a moray eel, and a green sea turtle.  The 750,000-gallon Wild Reef is housed in a $45,000,000 subterranean structure.  It simulates a Philippine coral reef and is home to 540 species of sea creatures.  The 3,000,000-gallon Abbott Oceanarium simulates the environment of the Pacific Northwest.  It is home to beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea otters from California and Alaska, and sea lions from California.  Before the COVID-19 pandemic closures, every year, approximately 2,000,000 people visited the Shedd Aquarium.


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            The Shedd Aquarium is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is located on the Museum Campus in the Chicago Park District’s Burnham Park, across from Grant Park in downtownChicago. 

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


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[1] Shedd was also Chairman of the Board of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, Director of the Illinois Central Railroad, and one of the forty-nine Governing Members and Trustee of the Chicago Zoological Society.

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