The Shedd Aquarium is one of our absolute favorite places in Chicago. I’ve been going since I was a kid and remember when the Oceanarium opened.  

A lot has changed since my fifth grade field trip to see the beluga whales. Here are ten reasons to visit the Shedd this summer.  

1. The View


The outdoor patio st the Shedd could be the best view of the Chicago skyline. Summer days are great for eating outside and taking in our gorgeous city. 


2. Underwater Beauty

Underwater Beauty is a temporary exhibit at the Shedd. It really is breathtaking with creatures from the sea that you might not typically see.  


3. Jazzin at the Shedd 

I don’t have any photos from our night that aren’t blurry because these kids never stopped dancing.  


Music fills the Shedd indoors and outdoors every Wednesday night from 5pm-10pm all summer long.  


4. Sharks

Viewing the sharks in the Wild Reef never gets old. The exhibit is beautiful beginning to end but the sharks really are amazing to see. 


5. Dolphins

There is just something so majestic about the Pacific White Sided Dolphins.  We could just watch them all day!


6. Stingray Touch

This seasonal exhibit is in full swing. The female stingrays swim about and if you put your hand in just right, you’ll be able to pet a stingray on the back.  


Some our family was a little timid but Ellie was all in. Every time she touched a ray she got the biggest smile on her face. It was really hard to pull them away from their new friends. 


7.  Polar Playground  

It is ridiculously hot outside. But do you know what’s cool? The Polar Playground. At this spot on the lower level of the oceanarium you can put on a penguin suit and stay cool sliding around. Plus the real penguins are just so cute. 


8. You can find Nemo.  


9. And Dory! 

When we were in the Underwater Beauty exhibit, our preschooler shouted, “I found her!!! I found Dory!!!!” And he was right. It was hilarious and so cute.  


10. The view

i know this was also our number one reason but at night at Jazzin at the Shedd, you get the perfect view of the Navy Pier fireworks.  


For more information on the Shedd, visit  


Is the Shedd Aquarium on your summer to do list?