June 9, 2021
Shedd Aquarium, in accordance with State of Illinois and City of Chicago guidelines, will move into Phase 5 full reopening on Friday, June 11. Now even more people can come face-to-face with aquatic animals, from penguins and paddlefish to sea otters and sharks, as Shedd incrementally increases capacity. Plus, dive deeper daily with the phased return of touch experiences to discover the unique textures of sturgeon and sea stars, add on a unique hands-on experience with a stingray feeding, tease your senses with Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience®, or meet a penguin with an onsite encounter, and much more.
To celebrate the full reopening on June 11, Shedd is offering a special edition of its Late Hours program on Friday, extending hours to 9 p.m. Guests can take in the lakeside views, experience special pop-up animal encounters and enjoy live acoustic music on the outdoor terraces. Explore the aquatic animal world at night during this special event, or during Late Hours on Wednesdays starting June 16 through July.
“It is thrilling to reach this historic moment where together we can Open Chicago,” said Meghan Curran, chief marketing and experience officer at Shedd Aquarium. “We have worked hard throughout the pandemic to serve communities as a resource for extended learning, joy and respite and now look forward to bringing summer back in a big way for more guests. We are committed to doing our part to contribute to the economic and social recovery of our city and state.”
As Shedd welcomes more guests back to the aquarium, guidelines will continue to be updated, so check the website’s plan a visit page for more information. Guests are still required to purchase tickets in advance and select a time to enter to reduce wait time, ensure it’s not sold-out, and for the best possible experience. Also, given updated CDC, State and City guidelines, Shedd no longer requires fully vaccinated guests and team members to wear face coverings. Face coverings or masks continue to be strongly recommended for anyone two and older who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or individuals who are at risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
No two visits to Shedd are ever the same with more than 32,000 animals showcases incredible behaviors and brilliant adaptations differently every day. The best way to make the most of Shedd this summer and beyond is through a membership, which provides free general admission, special members-only benefits and more. A membership to Shedd brings guests closer to aquatic life they love while also fueling the important work Shedd does in the worlds of conservation, animal welfare, and education.
For those who are not ready to make a visit, there are still several ways to connect with the aquatic animals at Shedd. Get outside with Shedd for the seasonal Kayak for Conservation program to paddle along the Chicago River guided by a Shedd nature expert, or join Shedd online to meet animals up-close during virtual animal encounters. Purchasing a ticket to visit or participating in these programs helps support Shedd’s mission and offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.