DIVE TO THE DEPTHS OF CHICAGO'S SHEDD AQUARIUM - The Windy City is a sweeping metropolis filled with some of the best attractions in the Midwest, and the Shedd Aquarium is no exception. Opened in the 1930s by John Graves Shedd, this popular excursion has grown to be one of the biggest indoor aquariums on the planet. You won't be short of incredible critters worth seeing with over 32,000 species of marine creatures on display, as well as an array of amphibians, mammals, and birds.

Travelers visiting the Shedd Aquarium for the day can drop their belongings off at a luggage storage service in Chicago before exploring this aquarium filled with some of the world's most amazing aquatic life.

Bask in the Sunshine at Shedd's Lush Gardens

The first exhibit you'll ramble through when entering the Shedd Aquarium is the Gardens. This open-air exhibit features beautiful wildflowers, regional grasses, and homegrown vegetables. While there are no guarantees you'll see any wildlife here; you're bound to see the occasional bird and colorful butterfly fluttering around. 

Observe Ocean Predators at the Wild and Caribbean Reefs

This section of the aquarium boasts some of the ocean's most vibrant animals, focusing on how their beauty has helped them adapt and survive. While passing through this exhibit, you'll see everything from luminescent white-spotted jellyfish to dancing weedy seadragons

Coral reefs are home to an array of creatures, including some of the sea's top predators. Lurking in this Philippine Reef are several species of razor-toothed sharks, including sandbar sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and zebra sharks. There's also a variety of other unusual ocean dwellers swimming around this tank, like clownfish, moray eels, and green sawfish. 

The Caribbean Reef is also well worth exploring, with a 90,000-gallon tank bustling with green sea turtles, queen angelfish, and bonnethead sharks. These exhibits also focus on how fragile coral reefs are, with reefs around the world disappearing at an alarming rate. 

Explore Incredibly Saltwater Habitats at the Ocean Exhibit

This Ocean exhibit is truly breathtaking, with long strands of kelp hiding a host of fish, such as flashlightfish, chain dogfish, and leopard sharks. While at this exhibit, learn astonishing facts about intelligent giant Pacific octopi and watch seahorses locked in spectacular courtship dances. 

Learn about Freshwater Fish at the River Exhibit

The world's waterways contain some of the strangest and most interesting aquatic animals around, and you learn about them at the Rivers exhibition. While perusing this section of the aquarium, you'll see ravenous violet-line piranhas, bizarre paddlefish, and adorable fly river turtles.

Learn about the Locals At Home on the Great Lakes

The Shedd Aquarium is perched on the edge of Lake Michigan, and anybody wondering what creatures lurk below the surface can find out at the At Home on the Great Lakes exhibit. Visitors can reach into the water and touch ancient lake sturgeon, as well as gazing at some unusual freshwater natives, like lampreys and alligator snapping turtles. 

Discover the amphibians and lizards at Amazon Rising

The Shedd Aquarium is home to many different creatures, including some of the Amazon's rarest animals. While touring this tropical exhibits, you'll be treated to everything from tarantulas to snakes to cayman. This exhibit also contains arapaima, one of the largest and most dangerous freshwater fish on the planet.

Unleash Your Inner-Child at the Polar Play Zone

You and your kids are sure to love the Polar Play Zone. All ages will relish feeling a variety of sea stars and corals at the touch pool or exploring icy polar waters in miniature submarines. This Oceanarium is also home to many of the arctic's most adorable mammals, like beluga whales, rockhopper penguins, and sea otters.

Make a Splash at Stingray Touch

Shedd Aquarium's mammoth touch pool lets you stroke a variety of marine wildlife, including cownose rays and horseshoe crabs. Great for kids and adults, this touch pool is a unique experience, unlike any other aquarium, with schools of stingrays gliding through the water. 

Come Face-to-Face with Your Favorite Animals

If you're searching for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Shedd Aquarium, consider booking one of their animal encounters. For an additional fee, visitors can play with beluga whales, sea otters, penguins, and more. You can even become a trainer for the day and see what it's like to work with and train dolphins. Anybody feeling brave can also participate in a shark feeding, and learn more about this unique group of predators.

Rest upon the Terraces

After a long day of exploring the Shedd Aquarium's many exhibits, you'll undoubtedly be looking for the perfect place to relax. Thankfully, the Shedd has two outdoor terraces where you can rest your weary legs and enjoy panoramas of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. If you're feeling peckish, there's also a cafe and food court where you can grab some food. The Terraces also host live bands and parties, with dancing and fireworks over the lake.

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