“Aquariums have always inspired a certain amount of wonder”
LIFE LIST: SHEDD AQUARIUM
What: This 1920's aquarium was the world's largest until the turn of the millennium.
When: April 2013 on our recent 3 week trip to Chicago- my first visit to the Shedd Aquarium was in 2011.
Where: Chicago, Illinois, right on Lake Michigan.
|Beautiful Aquatic Carvings in the Main Entrance|
Why this is on my list: I love aquariums. I fell in love with them years ago at the New England Aquarium in Boston. I think they are the perfect place....for every occasion Obviously it's a fun and educational place to take kids, but it's a soulful place to wander around alone, or an ideal location to spend an afternoon with a loved one. I find aquariums highly romantic-aquariums and airports-I think both are the perfect place to pop the question, share a first kiss or tell someone that you love them.
Something I would recommend? Definitely. From parents, to families, to school groups, and couples or even people who just want to stroll around solo. Every inch of this 400,000 square foot aquarium is magical and memorable all the same.
|I think This Would Be The Coolest Place To Have Wedding Photos Taken.|
|Submarine Play Area Across From The Beluga Whale Enclosure|
parking- If you are not staying inside the city or do not live in Chicago-just automatically tack on at least $20 for parking for anything you do. Yes, that's a lot but in DC and NYC it's over $40/day so I can deal with half that. My advice is to arrive early in the morning, around the time the Aquarium opens to park in the lot closest to the aquarium in the adjacent parking lot attached to the Field Museum. If it is a nice day then the walk from the parking garage is fine but on the day we went it was cold and pouring down rain so I was very happy with myself for arriving early to ensure a nearby parking spot. If you are organized enough there is a parking lot in front of the Adler Planetarium that only charges $11 if you get there before 9h30 A.M.- it is totally worth it and it is a short walk to the aquarium.
|Complimentary Penguin Costumes For Kids To Wear While They Play|
snacks- We spent 6 hours at the aquarium and I was able to spend less than $10 to purchase a few small snacks for my little one and 1 drink. I did bring with me a bottle of water and a baggie of goldfish which helped curb my appetite. Had I known about the lockers I would have brought in a few more bottles of water. I get SO dehydrated-I could easily spend a small fortune just in filtered h2O. There are three cafes, and several gift shops where you can also find small snacks and drinks.
|Either A Feeding Or A Cleaning|
|Photo Of Shedd Aquarium Taken At Adler Planetarium|
aquatic show- We were able to see the aquatic show which showcased beluga whales, dolphins, and sea lions. The show is about 30 minutes and definitely worth it, what really made it special for us was that we were about a foot away from the sea lion which was surprisingly large and adorable! It is really something to see how intelligent these animals are! I love what Z says at the end of this clip!
gift shop- I am a NUT for gift shops- I'm not even going to pretend to try to hide it... I LOVE THEM. I think it's nice to buy a little memento from the places you visit. Typically I go for a magnet or something that I can use on a regular basis like a coffee mug or toenail clippers. The large gift shop by the main entrance is very unique because of its very uncommon ceiling art, which was only pointed out to me by my 2 year old saying "look mama, a giant squid". I had to laugh that she even knew that title and could accurately identify it...because of an episode on the Bubble Guppies. Below is the quirky necklace I couldn't pass up.
|Inside The Wild Reef|
my 7 favorite things about the Shedd Aquarium
1.light fixtures: When you walk into the aquarium, don't forget to look up. The building has the charm and details that you don't see created now a days. The unique octopus light fixtures at the entrance of the aquarium are unusual and extraordinarily beautiful ....in fact the main entrance itself is really quite a sight. So if you are stuck in a long line, just look up, and your time in line will make you feel like you are in a museum in Europe.
2.jellies exhibit: The current Jellies exhibit is captivating and host more than 10 different species of Jellyfish. I would have never realized how bewitching these peculiar creatures are had we passed on the opportunity to walk through this display. There is a lot of intriguing information along the way but even just to spend time gazing at these mesmerizing beings would be time you could get lost in. This display will be available throughout 2013. I am actually quite intrigued about jellyfish, enough so to inspire several 'fun jellyfish facts' google searches.
3.play areas: The lowest level houses the Polar Play Zone. Granted before I had a child I would not have cared or even noticed...now though I find play areas like these to be invaluable. It gives my daughter a chance to play with other kids which is a treat since our trips are typically very lengthy and usually we are in hotels that cater to' business people' and it gives me time to relax. One of the play areas is across from the Penguins and the other submarine play area is across from the Beluga Whales. I certainly did not mind the long stretches of time we spent in the Polar Play Zone, being able to watch my daughter in a state of bliss all while being able to the unique view left a big smile on my face.
4.beluga whales: The first time I had even heard of the Beluga Whale was on my first visit to Shedd Aquarium. I think they are one of the most interestingly beautiful creatures on this planet. I am very anxious to one day (hopefully soon) take part in the Beluga Encounter!
6.great view of Chicago: The views along the perimeter of the Shedd Aquarium are some of the best in the city. You can take some incredible shots of Chicago outside or even sitting at one of the cafes inside the aquarium. Unfortunately the majority of our trip to Chicago was rainy and overcast so most of my pictures are similar to this.
|My Little Girl Marveling At The Grandeur Before Her|
|Entrance Into Wild Reef|
7.wild reef:We almost missed this massive area of the aquarium, it was a last minute walk through right before we left and it ended up being my absolute favorite of all the permanent displays. The Wild Reef had an astonishingly large tank with colorful fish, sharks and eels. It was impressive, enchanting and felt like we were walking into a magical book. Now this would be the place to have to engage in that special moment....again wedding photos here in the Wild Reef would be stunning.
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