This is number 10 in my series of things to do with children while you’re parenting alone. Whether you are divorced, separated or just alone for the day with the kids, I hope these posts can be a guide of things to do with your kids in a city that isn’t set up for kids, Chicago. I’m not just a lawyer, I’m also a dad.
With so much hustle and bustle in and around town, especially for single parents, it’s difficult to find time to enjoy nature. Whether your kids love nature and keep pestering you about the next camping trip or you want them to be interested in more than what they can experience on a screen, this next spot should, well, hit the spot.
The Shedd Aquarium, located near The Field Museum, is packed with 32,000 fish and animals (mostly fish) and dozens of ways to experience them, besides eating or BEING eaten, of course. Jellyfish, ribbon eels, penguins, beluga whales, sea lions, dolphins, and something called a “peacock mantis shrimp” (which sound delicious, btw) are amongst the wide array of creatures on display. And for those kids (or adults) who prefer the hands-on experience, you’ll be able to do just that with their sturgeons, sea stars, and even the stingrays.
The aquarium has been divided into sections. Some of these sections include Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, and Polar Play Zone. Within the sections you’ll have the opportunity to interview feeding divers, view a 90,000-gallon cylindrical fish tank, and view the even larger 3,000,000-gallon oceanarium tank where they house larger creatures like beluga whales and dolphins. If you really want to wow one of your younger kids then picking up a ticket or two for Penguin Encounter or Trainer for a Day will give them the chance to directly interact with some of the more exciting sea animals.
General admission includes all exhibits, animal presentations, and stingray touch, but if you’re keen on getting the full experience then paying extra will grant you access to the Shark Feeding Tour, the 4-D experience (which is a more immersive 3-D movie), and something called “Asleep with the Fishes”. Don’t worry. It’s not “sleeping with the fishes”. In this experience, guest have the opportunity to stay the night at the aquarium and, depending on how much you pay for the ticket, you may even be able to sleep right inside the viewing tunnel, which is a transparent tunnel that goes through the middle of one of the larger fish tanks.
Shedd Aquarium will offer an experience unlike any other that you’re likely to find in the Chicago area. If you’re looking to entertain, excite, and educate then this is the place to go.
-Price for Chicago residents:
-Cheaper prices for members (membership is year-Round admission).
-Numerous discounts and free admission offers available (check the website).
-Fall (Oct 1st-June 2019)
-Summer (June-August 2019)
All days: 9am-6pm
-Special hours (check the website)
Nov. 14th, Nov. 22nd,
Dec. 4th, Dec. 24th, and Dec. 25th
Parking garages are available near Shedd Aquarium. Expect to pay. Payment amount and traffic to and from the aquarium can vary greatly, especially when the Cubs are having a home game, so check the website ahead of time. They have all the supplementary information you’ll need. If you’re using public transportation then take the Green Line.
Shedd Aquarium is only 1.5 miles from my Chicago law office. Directions below: