We had been to Chicago several times before visiting the Shedd Aquarium, but we were glad that we finally made our way to this attraction. The aquarium hosts an amazing variety of species of both saltwater and freshwater fish and other animals. It is certainly a great place for families as there is plenty for children or adults that are children at heart. Not everyone agrees with zoos and aquariums, but it depends on both the treatment of the animals as well as their commitment to rescuing injured animals and conservation of animals in the wild. It truly seems that the Shedd Aquarium is committed to both and we were even told about a giant sea turtle that was rescued after being injured by a boat and now lives in the large Caribbean Reef exhibit.
There are some very interesting exhibits including Amazon Rising, Polar Play Zone, Wild Reef, Caribbean Reef, and more. In addition to the exhibits there are also several interactive activities that you can enjoy such as animal encounters, animal chats, and aquatic presentations. We were able to watch and listen to a diver as he fed fish in the Caribbean Reef exhibit, which has a prominent location in the center of the aquarium. If you are willing to reach out to the aquarium in advance, there are opportunities to do a variety of special activities like sleepovers in the aquarium, behind the scene tours, and even the opportunity to be a trainer for a day.
We really enjoyed watching the Beluga whales play with what appeared to be strips of fabric, almost like scarves. They would grab them with their mouths, drop them, and then grab them with their fins or tail. It seemed that they really enjoyed playing with them and they were not doing it as part of a show or to receive any treats from a trainer. Another favorite thing to see while at the aquarium are the penguins as they are always cute and adorable. On the flip side, watching the sharks as they circle the large tank is equally fascinating, but everyone is certainly glad to be on the other side of the glass.
If you are planning a trip to Chicago, visiting the Shedd Aquarium is certainly well worth the visit. It is a perfect place to go when the weather outside is cold and rainy or snowy. Prices for non-Chicago residents are twice the price of Chicago residents although it is included in the CityPASS ticket, which makes that a preferable option to just buying tickets to the aquarium itself.