Chicago Vacation :: For Spring Break 2014 we took the kids to Chicago for three nights and four days.  We crammed as much fun as we could into those four days and had adventures all over the Windy City.  I’m going to share our adventures with you in a series of installments so you can see pictures from our excursions and maybe find some inspiration for planning your own trip to Chicago!

Shedd Aquarium:Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

We spent our first full day in Chicago at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and when I say “full day” that’s exactly what I mean.  The Shedd Aquarium is not a place you want to visit and just spend an hour or two, it’s definitely an all day experience.  Even though we spent all day there and I still think we may have skipped by a fish or two, because there’s just that much to see!  The Shedd Aquarium is how I remembered it from my childhood, only bigger and better.  If you are planning a trip to Chicago be sure to have the Shedd Aquarium on your itinerary.  Adults and children alike enjoy this amazing aquatic experience.  I’d highly recommend planning to attend one of their shows, we were lucky enough to get tickets and we loved it!  And I’d also recommend that you plan to eat lunch at the Aquarium, you could picnic outside and take in the gorgeous views of Chicago and Lake Michigan or you could eat in one of the two restaurants at the Aquarium.  This is what we did and it was great because they had such a great variety of foods up for grabs I was able to make everyone of my horribly picky children happy.  While we were at Shedd we had so many cool experiences: spying on fish, watching employees in scuba gear working in the tanks, seeing dolphins dive & sea lions stand on their heads, gazing adoringly at otters swimming, touching star fish, playing in water-play scapes, seeing sea creatures big and small up close and personal, and much much more!  I’ll share some pictures with you to tell you the story of our visit to Shedd Aquarium!

Our Favorite Things About Shedd Aquarium:

1.  The Fish of course! Shedd Aquarium Orange Fish

Shedd Aquarium Kids

Shedd Aquarium Fish

Shedd Fish Up Close

2. The otters of course!  I couldn’t get a good picture of Sam gazing adoringly at the otters as they swam because flash photography is not allowed, and these otters were just too quick to be caught by my camera.  So I snapped this picture of Sam with an otter sculpture instead.  He loved watching those otters, and the Aquarium has two great places for otter viewing, above the water and below so you can see them swim up close!  It was so cool!

Shedd Aquarium Otter

3.  The “Jellies” exhibitShedd Aquarium Jellyfish

Shedd Aquarium Jellyfish 1

4.  The outstanding architecture & design, with a focus on aquatic life.  I spent as much time appreciating the details of Shedd Aquarium that I did gazing at the fish.  This building is remarkable!  It was built in the 1920’s and opened in 1930.  The website has a great description of the aquarium’s rich history, and the site describes the building as: “a neoclassical temple of white marble and terra cotta that celebrates aquatic life, from the marine fossils in its limestone floor to Neptune’s trident capping its glass dome”.   There are amazing aquatic features throughout the aquarium, it’s really kind of amazing what attention to detail there was in designing this aquarium. Shedd Aquarium Details

Shedd Aquarium Starfish Light

5.  The Aquatic Show ~ when you go to the Aquarium go ahead and splurge and get tickets for an aquatic show.  It’s really a great experience, and you not only get to see some cool animal tricks, but you also learn so much about the Aquarium.  We had a blast at the Aquatic Show!

Shedd Aquarium Dolphins

Shedd Aquarium Show

6. The Hands-On Kid Friendly activities like the Polar Play Zone and Star Fish encounter.

Shedd Aquarium Starfish

7. The View!  Before or after your trip to the Aquarium be sure to spend some time outside taking some pictures for the scrapbooks!  The views from Shedd are so beautiful!

Shedd Aquarium View

Shedd Aquarium View Family

To find out more about Shedd Aquarium such as hours, ticket prices, directions and more, visit their website or Facebook page!

More Posts in the Chicago Series:

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Field Museum

Lincoln Park Zoo

Museum of Science & Industry

Navy Pier

The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

Where We Dined in Chicago


Disclaimer: I was given complimentary Aquarium passes for my family for review purposes, but I can guarantee you that every one of my opinions stated is 100% true.  Thank you Shedd Aquarium for hosting my family!  We had so much fun!