Shedd Aquarium Offers Free Days, Extended Hours In September

Shannon Blum
August 22, 2019 - 11:38 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Back to school does not have to mean an end to all the fun!

The Shedd Aquarium announced they will offer Illinois Resident Free Days on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month of September.

But that is not all...the Shedd Aquarium also announced it is extending its hours on several of those free days until 9 p.m. for Free Community Nights to give more people the chance to experience the Shedd.

"While school or work might traditionally be a barrier to taking advantage of these free days, that won’t be the case in September, as the aquarium plans to extend its hours on several of those free days until 9 p.m. for Free Community Nights to provide more chances for guests and groups to take in, observe and learn about animals from the new beluga whale calf at Shedd to old favorites like three 31-year-old Magellanic penguins," the Shedd said in a statement.

The Shedd Aquarium announced Thursday that Mauyak, a 38-year-old beluga whale gave birth to a healthy calf on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:23 p.m.
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The aquarium also welcomes groups like scouting troops, book clubs and more to host their meetings at the Shedd and take advantage of the free admission. 

“We are a gateway to nature and an ocean experience for nearly two million guests each year, many of whom actively benefit from opportunities to connect with Shedd Aquarium during these Illinois Resident Free Days,” said Meghan Curran, senior vice president of marketing, sales and guest relations at Shedd Aquarium. “We look forward to making these important days as accessible as possible so that guests can stop by whenever their schedule allows to make an impactful connection with the aquatic world.”

Shedd Aquarium
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Illinois Resident Free Days offers free general admission to all the Shedd Aquarium's galleries and exhibits, including the special exhibit, Underwater Beauty, as well as a ticket to an aquatic presentation. Those interested in viewing a 4-D movie or a Virtual Reality experience can upgrade their ticket for a fee. Guests are asked to show a valid ID or proof of residence in order to receive free admission. 

The Shedd reminds guests that free days are typically busy. Guests can secure their tickets online, though a $3 transaction fee applies to all Illinois Free Day tickets. Group reservations can be made in advance by calling the group hotline (312) 692-3333 to receive special entrance and individualized signage inside the aquarium.

Free Days and Extended Hours: 

  • Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.