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John G. Shedd Aquarium

1200 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Phone: 312 939 2438 --
TTY: 312 939 4302

Statement of Purpose:

Appreciation, enjoyment and conservation of aquatic life and its habitats through education, research and public display.

The world's largest indoor aquarium is home to almost 8,000 underwater creatures displayed in their natural surroundings.

John G. Shedd Aquarium, a non-profit institution dedicated to public education and conservation, is the world's largest indoor aquarium. The facility houses nearly 8,000 aquatic animals representing some 650 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world. Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium attracts nearly 2 million visitors a year. Since 1930, when it opened, the Aquarium's mission has been to promote public understanding and appreciation of the aquatic world.

Highlights & Collections:

Visit Chicago's "Ocean by the lake" and discover the wonders of the aquatic world.


Winding nature trails lead your family through a scenic re-creation of a rugged Pacific Northwest coastline. Your route includes exciting encounters with whales, dolphins, sea otters and harbor seals. In a separate exhibit area, a colony of penguins inhabits a naturalistic Falkland Islands environment. Throughout the Oceanarium, large underwater viewing windows give you the rare opportunity to see the animals from the vantage point of their environment.

Watch as dolphins leap and whales splash during live educational presentations, see a feeding session from poolside, or take a nature walk through this park-like exhibit.


Discover the intricate beauty and vibrant life found in the 90,000-gallon coral reef exhibit. Observe daily feedings when a diver plunges into the water to hand-feed sea turtles, nurse sharks, green moray eels and hundreds of Caribbean fish.


A tropical rainforest features more than a dozen species of freshwater fish swimming beneath a canopy of ficus trees, bamboo and ivy. The river is fed by two trickling streams and a 12-foot waterfall.


A coastal iguana habitat offers a look at life under water and on land. Burrows and crevices provide spaces for the iguanas to retreat or nest, while heated spots permit basking, an important activity for these cold-blooded reptiles. A white sand beach sweeps down to the water where eels, snappers and other fishes can be seen.


Explore the complex relationship between corals, coral reefs and their inhabitants through an interactive display. Three exhibits interpret the effects of rising ocean temperatures by re-creating stages in the cycle of a coral reef, from healthy, flourishing coral to a reef that is stripped of life.


See nearly 6,000 aquatic animals - including sharks, penguins and exotic fish from remote waters of the globe - at the world's largest indoor aquarium.

Watch dolphins and whales in ourt new Oceanarium, explore the mysteries of the deep at our Coral Reef exhibit and learn through hands-on activities how aquatic animals survive in their watery world.

Special Exhibits

The Special Exhibit Gallery in the Oceanarium offers a variety of changing exhibits that feature intriguing aquatic life.


Visit Shedd Aquarium this year and discover some very cool frogs in this exciting new special exhibit highlighting the world's most diverse collection of frogs and toads. You won't believe your eyes! See beautiful color patterns, unusual defense mechanisms, diverse sizes and the global habitats of these important creatures.

Special Year-Round Programming

You can sleep with the fishes, travel to far off lands or discover the underwater world of animals from seahorses to beluga whales-all at Shedd Aquarium. Join us for a variety of fun and educational public programs year-round for all ages. For more information, call (312) 939-2438.

Coming Soon:

Birthday Parties at Shedd Aquarium.


Admission & Directions:

Aquarium and Oceanarium:

On Thursdays, combined Aquarium and Oceanarium admission is reduced to $6 for adult and $5 for children and seniors; admission to the Aquarium only is free.

Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance from Ticketmaster.

How To Get To Shedd Aquarium


Public Transportation




Key Personnel:

Ted Beattie, Director

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