Shedd Aquarium’s Penguin Encounter great for a Chicago date

It is nearly impossible to read Mr. Popper’s Penguins as a child and not spend the rest of your life dreaming of keeping a penguin as a pet.

I’m pretty sure the geniuses behind the Penguin Encounter at Shedd Aquarium had this in mind when they added it to the list of Extraordinary Experiences available.

Think you can’t leave the kids at home for this one? Our group was all couples, and each agreed the experience made for a great date.

After a mini-lesson about the penguins at Shedd, a trainer and penguin joined the group. The trainer brought the penguin around to each couple so they could pet the penguin and see him up-close. I was skeptical we would spend the full 30 minutes with a penguin, but we actually ended up having more time than that with our new friend. The full experience lasted about an hour.

The encounter is limited to 10 and offered year round on weekends. During the summer, encounters are offered daily but it is recommended to make a reservation ahead of time.

While the ticket price, $68.95 each for adults, may seem steep, it’s worth it for a special date night. The ticket includes the penguin encounter, a 4×6 photo of you with the penguin, all-access admission with express entry to the aquarium, tickets to the aquatic show, admission to Jellies and admission to Stingray Touch.


Video and photos by Alaina Buzas
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