Shedd Aquarium Plans Temporary Closure

Wellington, Shedd’s famous social media-savvy rockhopper penguin, and his pals, along with the belugas, dolphins and others, will be stay-at-home stars again.

Shedd Aquarium plans immediate temporary closure beginning at 5 p.m. Nov. 17. The aquarium says in a release that it is scheduled to reopen on Jan. 2, 2021. 

“Although we continue to be a safe place to work and visit due to limited capacity attendance, facial covering mandate and rigorous social distancing protocols, we are taking this action proactively for the positive influence it may have for all,” says President and CEO Bridget Coughlin in the release. “While the aquarium’s doors may physically close, Shedd’s mission has never been more alive and open. We remain committed to creating meaningful moments of learning, joy, engagement, and respite and to do our part to continue to support the recovery and healing of our city and state.”

The aquarium has hosted free days and kept attendance numbers low to encourage social distancing since its reopening July 3 after four months of closure at the star of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Shedd is planning virtual and digital enhancements while the aquarium is closed, including two Virtual Slumber Parties in December, more Virtual Aquarium Adventures for kids and families, Virtual Animal Encounters, Virtual Field Trips for students in grades K-8, continuing the digital learning initiative Stay Home with Shedd and access to the Underwater Beauty Live Cam.

For more from Wellington, who gained international fame as the aquarium’s Stay-At-Home mascot in the spring, families are encouraged to follow Shedd’s social media channels. 


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This story originally published June 24, 2020 and has been updated with the most recent information.

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