Visiting the Shedd Aquarium During Covid

The Shedd Aquarium is our family’s FAVORITE museum (I blame my toddler son’s obsession with “Finding Nemo” for this) so when we heard that it was reopening with stringent Covid precautions, we were thrilled to give it a try. We have been incredibly cautious during the global pandemic for a wide variety of reasons, and I am happy to report that we felt incredibly comfortable and safe during our visit. Here are some tips on Visiting the Shedd Aquarium During Covid:

While the museum has implemented new guidelines to everyone safe when visiting the Shedd Aquarium during Covid, I can assure you that your family can still have a ton of fun learning and interacting with sea creatures during these challenging times. I highly recommend reading through these changes and adjusting your plans accordingly so you aren’t dealing with any surprises once you arrive at the Shedd Aquarium.

First up, purchase your tickets ahead of time. In order to limit capacity, the only way to attain access to the museum is by buying tickets ahead of time. If you are on the more cautious side, I recommend booking the earliest time slot when the museum will be the least crowded. Learn more about ticketing here.

Groups are limited to 6 people, so plan accordingly. Someone in your group not feeling well? No problem! Just call the team at the Shedd to reschedule your visit. Their priority is safety so they will help you plan a visit when everyone in your party is feeling well.

Street parking is NOT allowed at this time, so use apps like Spot Hero or Park Whiz to secure a discounted spot in one of the garages. If you arrive at the Adler lot prior to 9:30, you can take advantage of the “early bird” discount as well.

This shouldn’t be shocking news now that we are almost an entire year into the global pandemic, but WEAR A FACE MASK OVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE and pack a few extra just in case. EVERYONE over the age of two must wear one—no ifs, ands, or butts.

Bring a credit card if you plan on purchasing anything since cash transactions are severely limited.

You may bring your own food, but can only eat in designated areas. The Bubble Net Food Court has limited operating hours Friday through Sunday but my personal recommendation is to support your fellow Chicagoans who have DELICIOUS food stands and trucks set up all around museum campus once your tummies start rumbling.

Prepare your children that high touch and large volume areas, such as the Polar Play Zone , Stingray Touch, and Aquatic Show are closed for now. While it might be hard for them to understand that visiting the Shedd Aquarium during Covid is hard, remind them that the more we all social distance, the sooner the museum will be back to their normal ways. Additionally, the movie theatre is still open for socially-distant films.

Follow all of the signs in terms of where to stand when in crowded galleries, how to use elevators safely (one family at a time), and where to walk in order to follow the “one way directional flow” throughout the museum.

From the interactive screens set on autoplay to the plethora of hand sanitizer and amount of staff constantly cleaning and reminding people to wear their masks correctly, our family had a fantastic time visiting the Shedd. While it might be a looooooong time until we can have a sleepover again as part of the “Asleep with the Fishes” program, we will still be supporting this amazing museum by visiting (safely) in person and by taking part in their virtual programs.

Have any specific questions about visiting the Shedd Aquarium during Covid?Ask them below!

Enjoy the Fish!


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