In between voyages into the deep blue sea, ocean explorer Ferdinand Magellan enjoyed a successful career as a rapper who wrote songs about ghost-riding whales and washing gold chains with ocean water. Enjoy a similar hybrid of music and the maritime with today's Groupon: for $18, you get two passes to Jazzin' at the Shedd, hosted by the Shedd Aquarium (a $36 value). The event is held every Wednesday until Sept. 1 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with final entry at 9:15 p.m.
One of the world's leading aquariums, the Shedd Aquarium pairs red-bellied piranhas and sea cucumbers with riffing and shifting time signatures through its Jazzin' at the Shedd events. Every Wednesday night this summer, the aquarium opens up its North Terrace to the living, breathing organism that is live jazz, with a different musical act performing each week. With two Jazzin' passes, you and a friend will get admission and full access to an evening of Jazzin' at the Shedd, with light refreshments, dinner, and drinks available for purchase and consumption between walking bass lines and soaring scats. The North Terrace makes for a breathtaking view of not only the city's skyline, but also the fireworks that fill the nighttime sky with cotton-candy-colored nitrate every Wednesday.
The Jazzin' at the Shedd pass also grants you admission to the Oceanarium, Wild Reef, and all other exhibits. Discuss the upcoming Chicago Bears season with beluga whales and sea otters at the newly reimagined Oceanarium, or share a rueful chuckle at the plight of the dodo with the still-living penguins at the Polar Play Zone. All three exhibits are open until 8 p.m.
Jazzin' at the Shedd was mentioned in the Southtown Star and Time Out Chicago. More than 250 Yelpers give the Shedd Aquarium an average of 3.5 stars, and Citysearchers give it an average of 4.5 stars:
- This is a chicago staple. It is a great aquarium with an awesome view of Lake Michigan. The Oceanarium is very interesteing [sic], along with the mammal show. – aly511, Citysearch
- The Shedd Aquarium is quite interesting. All the tanks show some of the prettiest and most unusual creatures underwater. – nathanstull_citysearch, Citysearch
- Most amazing place ever! It really is jaw droppin [sic]. They have everything you can ever imagine and the dolphin show is pretty cool. Must see!!! – fjohnson782, Citysearch
By the early 1920s, nearly every major metropolis in the United States and abroad had an aquarium. By 1930, Chicago stood tall among their ranks, thanks to civic leader John G. Shedd’s drive to build the first permanent inland saltwater collection in the country. Shedd’s contribution of $3 million paid for nearly a million gallons of seawater, which were transported by rail from Florida’s coast before filling exhibits large enough to accommodate sea mammals as well as fish.
Today, Shedd’s dream continues to thrive with the aquarium’s scores of undersea creatures—from sharks and dolphins to vibrant sea cucumbers—showcased in educational, eye-catching exhibits. The permanent collection spirits visitors from the Great Lakes to the Amazon River to the waters of the Arctic Circle. The resident critters often share their turf with temporary guests such as sea jellies and stingrays, who fill dramatic special exhibits.
The most exciting animal encounters, however, may come via the year-round aquatic show. Trainers show off the talents of sea lions, dolphins, and even beluga whales. They have some four-legged company, too: a trio of rescue dogs often perform alongside their finned adoptive family, demonstrating how learning through positive reinforcement transcends boundaries between species.