Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day


It's hard not to love a penguin-it must have something to do with that tuxedoed look. Jan. 20 is Penguin Awareness Day, and it's a great time to learn about penguins and the threats they face, such as oil spills, warming ocean temperatures and depleted food sources. We've got the perfect place to spend the day: Shedd Aquarium, where general admission is free on Jan. 20 to Illinois residents. We talked to those experts for some ideas to celebrate our penguin pals.


Dress the part

There's no easier way to celebrate penguins than to dress like one. In lieu of a tuxedo, DIY a costume for your kiddos in basic black and white. Or head to Shedd's Polar Play Zone (there's reduced admission that day) to try on a costume kids can wear while climbing rocks and sliding down slides.


Try some seafood

A penguin feast is in order! Penguins eat a variety of seafood, including squid. But not all seafood at the grocery store is penguin friendly. Check out Shedd's website for the Right Bite wallet card, an easy guide to buying fish caught or farmed using environmentally friendly practices.


Tweet your questions

Penguins don't exactly tweet, but you can! Hit up @shedd_aquarium with your penguin queries and an expert will tweet the answer. Visit Shedd's website to learn which day will be penguin-focused.


Watch and learn

Shedd has a 4-D theater, which means you don't just watch a movie, you experience it through all your senses. Planet Earth: From Pole to Pole explores the life of polar creatures, including emperor penguins, with gusts of wind, rain and a few other surprises. And it's only 15 minutes long, perfect for a quick breather at the large aquarium.


Get up-close-and-personal

At Shedd, you can come face-to-face with rockhopper and Magellanic penguins in the habitats. And if you're feeling especially adventurous, check out the 30-minute Penguin Encounters, an opportunity to meet a penguin, touch its feathers and learn about the birds from one of Shedd's trainers. Penguin Encounters fill up quickly, so register early!


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