I love Chicago there are so many things to do, but trying to do them all can quickly add up. Especially if you plan a visit downtown because parking there does not come cheap and if there is any kind of convention or sports event than parking rates are very high. So when I heard there was a free day, which fell on a Saturday, to visit the John G. Shedd Aquarium well, it was time to take advantage. I decided there was no better time to go for a visit; it was free for all Illinois residents plus I hadn’t been there in years. Usually free days consist of weekdays, so I knew that if it were a Saturday it would most likely be crowded. But I was hoping I was wrong because of the cold weather we where having and it would be colder especially around the lakefront. I guess everyone else also wanted to take advantage of the free day on Saturday because when I got there, there was a long line & yes it was extremely cold. The line to get in was approximately 1hour & 45 minutes, of just waiting in the cold plus the wind just made it unbearable, the only consolation was that there was a tent close to the aquarium but it would take about an hour to reach it. The good thing is that I was prepared; I wore enough layers of clothing to somewhat keep me warm. The free day consisted of only the basic exhibits, which mainly keep you on the first floor, but it was well worth the wait especially since I had not been there in years. I decided that because most of my time was spent waiting to get in that it wasn’t worth it at that time to pay for any other exhibits especially since it was so packed. But I will definitely be planning another visit, especially with all of the exhibits they have: Penguin Encounter, Jellies, Aquatic Show and many more. The John G. Shedd Aquarium, which opened in 1930, today is home to more than 32,600 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world. The oceanarium houses beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions and penguins.
For the history of the Shedd Aquarium please visit: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/history.html
View of the Shedd Aquarium, the frozen Lake Michigan and a Downtown Chicago view.
This world-class aquarium, the largest in the world, sits in the center of the Museum Campus at the edge of Lake Michigan. The tent I couldn’t wait to reach.
Man with Fish Fountain at the entrance of the Museum This fountain and sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol was installed outside the Shedd Aquarium in 2001.