Shedd Aquarium Plans to Safely Reopen to the Public on January 27

Following the announcement from Governor Pritzker on January 18 concerning Chicago’s shift to Tier 2 COVID-19 mitigation standards, Shedd Aquarium announced that it is prepared to safely reopen to its members on Wednesday, January 27. Members will enjoy three full days of exclusive access before the aquarium reopens to the general public on Saturday, January 30.

Shedd’s members had the first opportunity to purchase tickets online Thursday, January 21. Tickets for the general public will be made available for purchases starting today. Guests hoping to be among the first ones back to the aquarium should consider purchasing a membership for more special visiting times and offers. Memberships also help fuel the aquarium’s mission-driven work in the worlds of animal care, conservation and education.  Additional members-only hours will also be offered on Sunday, January 31 at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. reservation times.  

Shedd Aquarium stressed in their statement that as the museum welcomes guests back to its 276,000 square feet of public space, staff will continue to employ the same stringent health and safety measures that allowed guests to come up close to everything from leopard sharks to sea turtles over the summer of 2020. This includes highly limited building capacity, online purchasing of timed tickets to entry, mask requirements, hand sanitizer stations, one-directional pathways and enforcing any active travel advisories for the city and state.

This reopening comes after Shedd voluntarily closed in November 2020 to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. During the closure, animal care teams have continued to provide excellent care to the thousands of animals at the aquarium, including updating and developing new habitats for guests to explore during their next visit. Shedd expressed a commitment to providing Chicagoans with access to the aquatic animal world during a time when there are few options available to connect with nature.

For those visitors who may wish to maintain social distancing from the comfort and safety of their own homes, Shedd offers a number of ways to connect to aquatic animals at the facility. Virtual animal encounters and programs that allow guests to explore the aquatic animal world can be booked via Shedd’s website. Purchasing a ticket to visit or participating in these programs helps support Shedd’s mission and offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.

For more information, visit the Shedd Aquarium at