Choose Between Two Options
- $48 for two Total Experience passes ($79.90 value)
- $88 for four Total Experience passes ($159.80 value)
In addition to admission to all regular exhibits, Total Experience passholders gain access to the following
Children aged 2 and under get in free. For every 1,000 units sold, the Shedd Aquarium will receive $1,000 toward the care of the over 32,000 animals in its care.
John G. Shedd
By the early 1920s, nearly every major metropolis in the United States and abroad had an aquarium. But while Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo housed an impressive collection of freshwater fish, civic leader John G. Shedd and his colleagues wanted to build a standalone aquarium swimming with saltwater species. 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 tanks large enough to accommodate sea mammals as well as fish. Even though Shedd died before the aquarium’s construction, he will forever be remembered for creating the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater collection. His dream continues to thrive with the Shedd’s scores of undersea creatures, from sharks and dolphins to vibrant sea cucumbers, all showcased in educational, eye-catching exhibits.
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 with temporary guests such as 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.