With more than 32,000 aquatic animals from all over the globe,
your family can have a great visit just looking through the glass
at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. But your kids' questions probably
linger. How does the aquarium work? Who takes care of all these
creatures? How do they keep the water clean? For a deeper
understanding of the aquarium, book a behind-the-scenes tour during
your next visit.
behind the scenes at Shedd for a view of your favorite animals.
We started in the animal care center and learned about how the
water and animals are kept healthy. We watched staff in the lab
testing water samples and visited with one of the many
professionals doing routine health checks. As we walked through
corridors, our guide pointed out enormous pipes and filtration
systems needed to provide the thousands of gallons of water used at
the aquarium. Did you know the aquarium originally brought salt
water from Florida by train?
The highlights really come when you travel behind the galleries
to see the collections (and the visitors) from the other side.
Several animals live permanently off-exhibit so this is the only
way to see them. My sons loved being able to toss food to the
trout. We were all splashed with water as they fought for pieces of
food. At the end of the tour, we were also able to touch some
The tour lasts a little more than an hour with a good deal of
walking and standing. You also need to be at least 55 inches tall
to peer over the tops of habitats so it's not intended for young
During the summer months (May 31-Sept. 6), Behind-the-Scenes
Tours are offered daily at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. At just $12 per
person, these tours are an excellent value for a completely unique
experience. Reservations are recommended.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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