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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good Night Chicago - Shedd Aquarium

This weekend, we crossed another page off Mia's "Good Night Chicago" photo book that I'm re-creating for her.
Good afternoon, sharks, fish, turtles and mammals at the aquarium.

Even though everyone says it's crowded at the Shedd Aquarium, especially on a weekend, we still went on a Saturday afternoon. And wow. It. was. packed! You see the people under the blue awning below? Yeah? Well the line actually extended three times past that point! I couldn't believe it! I definitely recommend paying the $5 in fees and purchasing tickets in advance to avoid a ridiculously long line. Also check the schedule to see if the aquarium is closing early that day for a special event.

Thankfully, there is an accessible entrance off to the side for wheelchairs and strollers. So even though we didn't purchase tickets in advance, we waited maybe 5 minutes thanks to this accessible entrance/separate line. Phew!

A trip to the Shedd to see all the exhibits is not cheap. The parking garage under Soldier Field set us back $22. Doug and I each purchased $35 tickets and since Mia is under 3 years old, she was FREE. But our Total Experience Passes did include:
So cool! And weird if you think about these unique creatures.

A 15 minute 4D show:
We didn't feel the need to dumb it down for Mia, so we chose Planet Earth instead of Dora chasing a robot butterfly (what?!) or Ice Age.

A 30 minute aquatic show with dolphins, a sea lion and beluga whales:
I don't think it's as exciting as a show at Sea World or actually swimming with dolphins, but it was ok.

Wild Reef, my favorite exhibit!
 This is where the sharks are at! And the floor to ceiling tank and enormous creatures are amazing. Makes me feel like a kid in awe. every. time.

The Oceanarium, where you can see the penguins, beluga whales and dolphins in the underwater viewing area.:
I love seeing all the strange creatures that also kinda creep me out.

We shelled out another $20 for a sandwich, yogurt and hot dog. But when you eat on the terrace with the most amazing view of the skyline and lake, you forget how much you paid for a crappy lunch.

After being at the aquarium for 3 hours, Mia fell asleep in Doug's arms while we navigated through bustling crowds of people to see what creatures resided beyond the glass. So we called it a day and sat on a shady park bench to take in the view while Mia napped.

*sigh* I love museum campus.

Need to catch up on my re-creation of the Good Night Chicago book?
Good morning, Lake Michigan. (There's a lot: May 2010, May 2011, July 2011, and many more not blogged about!)
Good morning, Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. Are we ready for a wonderful day? (Not sure this will ever happen.)
Good afternoon, sharks, fish, turtles and mammals at the aquarium.
Wow! Look at those dinosaur bones at the Field Museum of Natural History.
Choo! Choo! There go the model trains at the Museum of Science and Industry.
It's nice to see you, art.
Hello, historic Water Tower on the Magnificent Mile.
Good luck, Chicago Sports Teams, you can do it. (If the Cubs didn't suck, maybe we'd have more motivation to go sooner.)
Just listen to those blues and jazz musicians. (This'll be something new for Doug and I, too!)
Good evening, star gazers at the planetarium. Have you ever wished upon a star?
Goodnight Chicago, sleep tight. Thank you for a wonderful day!


Sarah said...

We were shocked by the line at the Shedd when we went earlier this year too! Soooo glad we had a stroller and were able to get in the accessible line!

Love the jellies shots!

Kara @ June & Bear said...

i love aquariums. the one in baltimore is fabulous, but i've never been to shedd. seems i'm always in chicago for business and never get the opportunity. looks like a great day was had.