4 reasons why Shedd Aquarium is the place to be this summer

If Shedd Aquarium is not on your summer to-do list already, you need to change that. Not only is it a perfect place to spend a hot day, Shedd is working hard to create new meaningful interactions with nature that kids won’t forget.

Underwater Beauty

This new exhibit is as stunning as Shedd promised it would be. With thousands of animals that make our oceans and lakes so beautiful, there is something for everyone. Some of our favorites were the Pattern Room where a fun digital interactive showed us the fish matching our outfits and of course, the jellies and seahorses in the Rhythm Room are always amazing.

This is Shedd’s most diverse special exhibit in 88 years so it’s a must-see.

Things to touch

There’s nothing like actually touching something to make it more real, something Shedd has known for years. It has brought its outside Stringray Touch tank back this summer and inside, don’t miss the sturgeon touch pool and the sea star touch pools. Fun fact, sturgeons have been around since the dinosaurs and will probably outlive us all (at least that’s what the Shedd specialist told us.)

Aquatic experiences

Shedd has upped its game when it comes to getting people closer to nature and wildlife. It has created several new experiences this summer sure to please your family. This month, Shedd’s Traveling Aquarium will be out and about showing families species in Lake Michigan along with offering fun activities for all ages.

Also this month, Shedd is hosting two different 90-minute boating experiences – one on the Chicago River and one on Lake Michigan – where families can roll up their sleeves and take part in water experiments.

Shedd is building a floating island on the North Branch Canal of the Chicago River, Shedd’s River Island. It will host up to 15 different plant species. Shedd is enlisting kayakers to paddle down the river to visit the island and become citizen scientists. Programs are planned 2-4 p.m. Thursdays and 9-11 a.m. Saturdays July 12-Oct. 27. An evening paddle is planned the third Thursday of each month.

Jazzin’ at the Shedd

Perfect for a date night, Shedd’s themed Wednesday nights are a great way to experience the aquarium, including Stingray Touch and Underwater Beauty, in a whole new way without the crowds for $25. This year the events extend through October. Upcoming theme nights to note are Fourth of July Jazzin’ July 4, which has a patriotic twist and a great spot to watch Navy Pier’s fireworks; Shark Week Jazzin’ July 25 and Youth Night Jazzin’ Aug. 29 where young jazz performers will play throughout the evening.

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