Tips for your family trip to Shedd Aquarium

One of our favorite places to visit in the winter is Shedd Aquarium. It’s a great escape from the chilly Chicago weather and there’s always a new creature to meet.

Plus, January and February are packed full of free days so the only thing you have to pay for is a locker for your coat. And don’t forget that if you’re a Bank of America customer, the first full weekend of every month is always free at Shedd.

To help your family make the most of a trip to Shedd, we’ve pulled together this list of simple tips.

With plenty of free days to take advantage of this winter, we’ve pulled together our best tips for a trip.

Baby love

There are a lot of new babies to see at Shedd and we lovedwelcoming each of them in 2012. Now they are all old enough to bearound visitors and are super playful. Before you go, read each ofour stories on these cuties:

Don’t ignore the signs

It’s easy to get mesmorized by the jellies or get lost followingthe sharks around their tank, but don’t forget about the vastlearning opportunities at Shedd. Stopping to read every sign wouldmake the kids impatient and would really stretch out a visit, butwhen you see your child really stuck on an animal that’s a greattime to start reading.

A lot of the signs are interactive, especially in Wild Reef, andreading a few of them can really make the most of your visit. Plus,your kids will love bragging about the cool facts they learnedabout their favorite animals.

Photo Credit: Shedd Aquarium


If by some really strange sequence of events, you have yet tovisit theJellies exhibit, you’re in luck. The exhibit has been extended
through 2013 and you don’t want to miss it. The exhibit costs $3,
but if you go on a free day,
it’s an affordable add-on.

The jellyfish are truly amazing creatures to learn about andwatch and each tank is at a nice height for every member of thefamily.

Monkey business

There’s one kind of animal that always catches us off-guard whenwe visit the aquarium. The monkeys. Monkeys at an aquarium. Sure,it may not sound like it makes sense but we love seeing the littletiti monkeys climb around above the AmazonRising exhibit.

If you want to add a game element to your visit, tell the kidsabout an animal that doesn’t seem to belong and see how quicklythey can find the quick climbers.

Helpful reminders

Pack your own snacks

There are a few different dining options but the lines can getlong and the cost can add up. Instead, pack your own snacks and eatat the tables down near the Polar Play Zone. While you eat, you canwatch dolphins and whales swim by and feel like you’reunderwater.

Pick and choose

There are a lot of animals in a lot of different exhibits atShedd. Your visit can be overwhelming, especially if you’rewrangling a couple of kids and a stroller. Take advantage of thefree days and choose what you want to see on each visit. Tryplanning ahead by making a theme for each visit, like a trip to seeall those newbabies.

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