Belugas and barracudas at the Shedd Aquarium

The Minions were on Spring Break this week.  Unfortunately, Marathon Man and I couldn’t take the week off with them due to commitments at work.  But, I did manage to sneak away for the afternoon on Friday to take Little Minion to the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
shedd photo
Look up any list of “must see attractions” in Chicago and Shedd Aquarium is almost always ranked #1.   Built in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium is home to beluga whales, bull sharks, spider crabs, an octopus, penguins and much more.  Click here to learn about the Shedd Aquarium’s very cool place in Chicago history.

The last time I was at the Shedd Aquarium was on a visit with Big Minion when he was two years old, so it’s been about 16 years.  The simple truth is, I haven’t been to the Aquarium for such a long time because I don’t like fish.  One of my strongest memories about going there as a kid was that it had a bad fishy smell.  I know, it’s an AQUARIUM, but that and my dislike of anything that lives in the water was enough to keep me away.

However, I’m on a quest to expose my Minions to culture and new experiences.  Plus, Little Minion has a strong interest in sharks and REALLY wanted to go to the Shedd.  So, off we went.

And I’m so glad we did.  Little Minion and I had a GREAT time!  We spent about three hours there and saw everything that was on our wish list: sharks, whales, otters, sea lions, jellyfish, penguins, and lots of amazing fish that I have never heard of!  Little Minion seemed to have the most interest in the Amazon River exhibit.  There were birds, monkeys, and lots and lots of species of fish. Some were colorful and beautiful, some were just downright creepy, but all were fascinating.  He also got to touch a few different kinds of starfish and a Lake Sturgeon that was as long as he is tall!

Shedd Aquarium pro
At the beginning of our undersea adventure.

The ticket prices were a bit steep for a family on a budget.  We certainly could not take all four of us without saving our pennies first.  The mid-grade (Shedd Pass Plus) adult and child tickets were $35 and $25 respectively.  That was on top of the $22 to park (worth it since it was right by the Aquarium), and $12 for tolls (we live about an hour from Downtown Chicago) making a $100 dent in my wallet before we even saw a walleye.  The Shedd Pass Plus ticket included all of the general admission areas plus the aquatic show, jelly exhibit or a 4-D movie.

Did it still have that fishy smell?  I did notice something when we entered the main lobby, but it wasn’t nearly as strong as I remembered.  As soon as we got to the first exhibit hall, a fishy smell was the last thing capturing my attention.

I’m definitely putting the Shedd on the “recommend” list and I’m hoping we can go again soon.

Live. Laugh. Love.

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