Check out our handpicked list of things to do at the Shedd Aquarium this summer. More events will be added soon so be sure and check back often. (Be sure to also read our Guide to the Shedd Aquarium to plan the perfect visit.)
Jellies: In the Shedd’s special exhibit, Jellies, guests “dive” into the deep and mysterious world of sea jellies, learning how their simple bodies have allowed them to survive for millions of years — and what they may be able to tell us about ocean conservation issues. Among the educational experiences, guests see how a jelly can devour enough food to double its weight each day, and learn how sea nettles hunt by trailing their long tentacles and frilly feeding arms covered with stinging cells that paralyze prey on contact. The exhibit also helps guests understand the jelly lifecycle, combining video and actual jellies in various stages of their lifecycle. Guests will even learn about the anatomy of jellies through illuminated features, focusing on the most vital organs of their simple bodies. Jellies is open daily. Admission is included with Total Experience Pass.
Illinois Resident Discount/Free General Admission and Extended Hours: Check with the aquarium as on special dates throughout the year local guests receive free admission to the original galleries as part of various Illinois Resident Discount/Free General Admission Weeks. In addition to free general admission to the original galleries, discounts are offered on admission packages to exhibits, including the Abbott Oceanarium, Wild Reef and the recently-extended special exhibit, Jellies. (Also worth reading: Fourth of July in Chicago l Fourth of July Fireworks and Parades in Chicago Taste of Chicago 2012)
Jazzin' at the Shedd: Every Wednesday this summer beginning June 27, guests can enjoy an annual summer concert series featuring some of the best musicians in Chicago from jazz to funk. Jazzin’ at the Shedd provides a scenic spot to visit aquarium creatures in the evening and see fireworks from Navy Pier over Lake Michigan. New this year to Jazzin’, music lovers can enhance their music experience by reserving a seat in the new Jazz Lounge, located in the Soundings Café. In the comfort of an air-conditioned space, guests enjoy an indoor view of the fireworks in the evening, live music, a buffet of savory small plates, and one complimentary cocktail. During the events, the Abbott Oceanarium, Wild Reef and Polar Play Zone are open until 8 p.m. and the original galleries are open until 10 p.m. Jazz Lounge is available from 6 – 10 p.m. every Wednesday. General admission tickets available onsite at the Shedd are $12 for adults; $10 for children (ages 3 to 11). All-Access Jazzin’ at the Shedd is $18 for adults; $16 for children and includes general admission plus Abbott Oceanarium, Jellies, and Wild Reef. Jazz Lounge with admission to Jazzin’ at the Shedd is $52.95 per guest.
Polar Play Zone: Play in the "snow" and "ice" inside at the North and South Poles of the Shedd’s first-ever, permanent, kid-friendly exhibit. The Polar Play Zone is designed for children between the ages of 2 to 7 years old. Kids dress up and waddle like a penguin, touch a sea star, dive in a submarine, and more. The Polar Play Zone is open daily. Admission is included with Shedd Pass.