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Shedd Aquarium's Free Days`

Enjoy Discounts and Free Admission to One of Chicago's Most Popular Attractions


Since opening in 1930, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has attracted millions of visitors who come to the aquarium and marvel at its collection of marine and animal life. Especially popular are the Shedd Aquarium's Oceanarium and Wild Reef exhibit.

As the aquarium's website says: "We engage and inspire, entertain and inform. We are a vital teaching and learning resource, conservation leader, neighborhood partner and global collaborator. We are passionate about our animals, their habitats and the planet we share." In 1987 the Shedd Aquarium was named a National Historic Landmark.

This year the Shedd is offering several free and discounted admission days. See below for our round-up of the Shedd Aquarium's Free Days, offering Chicago residents and visitors a chance to visit marine life for deep discounts. (Learn more about the Shedd Aquarium, including hours and location.)

On the Shedd's Illinois Resident Discount Days, Illinois residents enjoy free general admission. This includes the Waters of the World, Amazon Rising and the Caribbean Reef. Packages including Wild Reef, Polar Play Zone and Abbott Oceanarium are available to Illinois residents at a discounted rate. Shedd's 52 discount days a year take advantage of civic and school holidays to make family visits more convenient. 

Remaining 2013 Illinois Resident Discount Days include:

  • September: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
  • October: 7, 14, 21, 28
  • November: 4, 11, 18, 25
  • December: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

Through the Bank of America's Museums on Us Program, Shedd visitors who present a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit or debit card, along with photo identification, will receive one free mini-pass admission on the first full weekend of each month. Admission benefits are not transferable and are valid for the cardholder only. (Note: This offer is not valid during special events or for admission to the 4-D theater.) You can upgrade your ticket to include the Abbott Oceanarium for an additional $6.95. (Also read: Taking Public Transit in Chicago and Guide to the Chicago Air & Water Show)

Remaining 2013 Bank of America's Museums on Us weekends are: September 7-8, October 5-6, November 2-3, December 7-8.

Other discounts at the Shedd Aquarium include:

Resident Discount - Residents of the city of Chicago receive a $3 discount on admission every day, except Illinois Resident Discount Days. Must present vaild ID.

Educator Discount -
Educators from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin can visit Shedd for free by registering for a pass online

If you’re outside of the four-state area but would still like to learn more about connecting your curriculum to the living world, you can receive $3 off admission to Shedd by showing a valid school I.D. or current paystub at a cashier station when you buy your ticket.

Police and Military Discount - The Shedd offers a discount to active-duty military personnel and Chicago police officers and firefighters. With proper ID, you will receive discounted admission to the aquarium, Abbott Oceanarium and Wild Reef (equivalent to a Shedd Pass). 

Students and Seniors Discounts - Students and senior citizens receive a $3 discount on admission every day, except Illinois Resident Discount Days.


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