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 from June 22 until September 7 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., except for July 20th. The September 7 event is for Groupon users only and will feature the music of Rio Bamba and the Tim Fitzgerald Quartet, but will not have fireworks.
One of the world's leading aquariums, Shedd Aquarium pairs red-bellied piranhas and sea cucumbers with riffing and shifting time signatures through its Jazzin' at the Shedd events. On Wednesday nights this summer, the aquarium opens up the Bill and Stephanie Sick Family Lakefront 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 cocktails available for purchase and consumption between walking bass lines and soaring scats. The 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 the new Jellies exhibit. Discuss the upcoming Chicago Bears season with beluga whales and sea otters at the Oceanarium, or share a rueful chuckle at the plight of the dodo with the penguins at the Polar Play Zone.
Chicago might be far from any ocean, but that obstacle didn't stop it from pioneering the first permanent inland saltwater aquarium in the country. Thanks to civic leader John G. Shedd’s drive and contribution of $3 million paid for nearly a million gallons of seawater transported by rail from Florida’s coast, by 1930 the city hosted exhibits large enough to accommodate a wide variety of marine species–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 Pacific Northwest. The resident animals often share their turf seasonal exhibits like stingrays, who fill dramatic special exhibits.
The most exciting animal encounters, however, may come via the year-round Aquatic Presentation. Trainers may demonstrate the natural behaviors of sea lions, dolphins, and even beluga whales. They have some four-legged company, too: a trio of rescue dogs often appear alongside their finned adoptive family, demonstrating how learning through positive reinforcement transcends boundaries between species. Also included is quarterly updates on the symbolically adopted animal via email. These emails provide unique updates from the aquarists and marine mammal staff that care for these animals daily.
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