Shedd Aquarium: Unbelievable Lives Here

Shedd Aquarium: Unbelievable Lives Here

At Shedd Aquarium, every visit brings you face-to-face with unbelievable, unforgettable animals from the waters of the world — 32,000 of them!

The giant Pacific octopus already defies belief, with eight curling arms covered with more than 2,000 suckers that enable it to open jars or take apart puzzles. But inside this incredible invertebrate beat not one, not two, but three hearts — pumping blue blood!

The octopus isn’t the only unbelievable animal at Shedd. When the red lionfish gets hungry, it fans its boldly striped fins, tipped with poisonous spines, to stun its prey. The chambered nautilus traces its ancestry back 500 million years, to when the Chicago area was covered by a shallow tropical sea!

Check out more amazing animals in the Amphibians special exhibit. From the hiding-in-plain-sight Solomon Island leaf frog to the vine-ripened-red tomato frog, you’ll find more than 40 species of frogs, salamanders and caecilians with astonishing appearances and mind-boggling behaviors.

Plan a visit soon to find more unbelievable animals!

Summer at Shedd means two things: Stingray Touch and Jazzin’ at the Shedd. The Stingray Touch experience, open May to October, invites you to reach out and let a school of graceful cownose rays flutter and glide against your palm. Shedd experts are on hand to tell you more about the rays and other fishes in the outdoor tropical pool.

Shedd Aquarium: Stingray Touch
Stingray Touch

On Wednesday evenings from June 21 through Sept. 13, enjoy an after-hours visit to the aquarium for live jazz on a breezy terrace overlooking the lake and city skyline. Get a beverage at one of the free science pubs to hear from the experts about Shedd’s work in animal care, conservation and research. Jazzin’ is also a great time to visit your favorite animals after the daytime crowds have gone home. When the sun sets, return to the terrace for a front-row seat for Navy Pier’s fireworks over the lake.

Shedd Aquarium: Jazzin’ at the Shedd
Jazzin’ at the Shedd

Warm weather is also a great time to join one of Shedd’s Great Lakes Action Days. Get your hands dirty cleaning beaches, removing invasive plants and collecting important data through citizen science projects that support Shedd’s conservation programs. Events are held at natural areas along the Lake Michigan shore and in local forest preserves. Give back to the wild places in your community!

As a Chicago local, you can visit your aquarium free year-round with a Shedd membership. It’s the best way to experience everything that Shedd has to offer. As a member, you’ll receive priority entry, free admission, including to Jazzin’, invitations to learn more about the animals from Shedd’s staff experts, monthly updates and communications, discounts in the restaurants and gift stores and much more.

Shedd Aquarium: Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Behind-the-Scenes Tour

To plan your Shedd Aquarium summer trip now, visit You can buy your tickets online for faster entry, or go directly to the membership page to take advantage of great benefits throughout the year.