free days at shedd aquarium

Free Days in 2018 at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

Shedd Aquarium announced Wednesday its free days during 2018 for Illinois residents, and its plan to also extend hours on some of those days.  So, make plans this month to get inside, enjoy a FREE day at the Shedd Aquarium and check out some of the awesome exhibits and animals at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  Didja know that Illinois Residents enjoy FREE admission to Shedd Aquarium 52 days a year! Experience unbelievable animals from around the world!  Admission NOW includes all permanent exhibits, Amphibians special exhibit, aquatic presentation (subject to availability) and seasonal Stingray Touch (open late May to October). 4-D Experience admission is a $4.95 upgrade for all guests.


free days at shedd aquarium


Check back soon to reserve your Illinois Resident Free Day tickets!

Online Free Day tickets much be reserved at least one day in advance of your visit.


– Jan. 15, 18, 19, 22-26
– Feb. 2, 14
– June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
– Sept. 4-30
– Oct. 3, 10

EXTENDED HOURS (Open until 9 p.m.) 
– Jan. 24
– Aug. 7
– Sept. 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27
– Oct. 3, 10

Illinois residents with a valid ID receive free access to Shedd. This includes general admission, the chance to experience an aquatic presentation (subject to availability), “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” (through Sept. 2018), seasonal Stingray Touch (open late May to October), daily animal chats, and more. Admission can be upgraded to include 4-D Experience for $4.95 per guest.   A $3 transaction fee applies to Illinois Resident Free Day tickets reserved online.


free days shedd aquarium chicago


On Illinois resident free days you now have access to all of the permanent exhibits in the whole Aquarium. This includes:

  • the Wild Reef where you can splash into a coral reef in the Philippines and get a diver’s-eye view of a diverse marine metropolis, while viewing sharks, stingrays and living coral all below surface
  • Sting Ray Touch where stingrays swim around in a shallow tank and you can feel them as the swim up or swim by (Spoiler alert: they’re firm but squishy).
  • The Aquatic show in the Oceanarium which is the big show with the dolphins and whales
  • The Abbott Oceanarium immerses you in the vibrant coastal ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. As you stroll along the coast, encounter beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and sea otters. You’ll also find a host of fishes and invertebrates that make their homes where freshwater flows into the ocean or where tides turn seascapes to landscapes and back again each day.
  • Learn about polar opposites while you play and see whales, dolphins and sea otters in the underwater viewing space in Shedd’s Polar Play Zone.



Expanded access is also included for those who received free admission everyday including teachers, active-duty military personnel, first responders, and eligible low-income families with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card as a Museums for All partner, powered by ComEd.

In addition, Shedd will be closed Jan. 16 and 17 for routine maintenance and cleaning.

For more information, visit: or call 312-939-2438.

Comments are closed.