CITY GUIDE: SHEDD AQUARIUM | Chicago has a wealth of cultural activities around every corner so knowing how to plot your time can sometimes be a little tricky. Do you want to hear music? Stroll a museum? Take in world-class theater? All of the above? When you stay at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, much of that culture is right outside our front door. The museum campus, a first-rate collection of art, history and marine biology, is a quick walk or bike ride across Millennium Park and through Grant Park. There, one of the museums you’ll find is the Shedd Aquarium. This stunning collection of sea life opened in 1930 after John G. Shedd, the president of department store Marshall Field & Co., donated $2 million to create his dream of Chicago having a spectacular aquarium like most major European cities.
Since its opening, the Shedd has expanded twice — the Abbott Oceanarium and Wild Reef — allowing for larger sea animals like sharks, beluga whales, otters and dolphins to swim comfortably in larger pools — and for visitors to marvel at their grand beauty. Throughout the museum, you’ll see all forms of sea life from penguins and turtles to jellyfish and seahorses and octopuses and, well, we could go on because there are 32,000 animals that live at the Shedd.
Plan on spending an afternoon or even a full day roaming the vast hallways and exhibits at the Shedd Aquarium. You can watch a dolphin show or sign up in advance to spend time with the penguins. Whatever you do, you and your family will be amazed at every turn at the Shedd. If you love sea life, this is a place for you.