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04.02.2015


When you live in Chicago, it’s bound to happen that friends and family will visit you. I’m not much of an architecture nerd, but I can appreciate a well-designed building when I see one. My favorite part of the entire experience is getting to learn about what good work Shedd has done, especially with the animals they’ve rescued and rehabilitated, like these adorable sea otters from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and Nickel the sea turtle, who suffered injuries from a motor boat accident. Here’s one of two rescued sea lions, a perfect example of some of the awesome work that Shedd does. I bet seahorses aren’t something you see everyday, but you know you wish you did–they give off this aura of tranquility. This post may contain affiliate links from our advertising partners, such as American Express. I love good aquariums, I love dolphins even more. When I discovered this weekend that the Shedd Aquarium were doing special viewings of their one-month old Pacific white-sided dolphin I was on top of the world. I couldn’t book day-of tickets through Ticketmaster, so I decided to meander down from the hotel and hope they had a free spot.
Walking towards the end of the line, I saw helpful (and discouraging) signs indicating my spot was a 90-minute wait. I hadn’t planned to spend $70 on my visit, but if they still had slots for the shower, it might be worth it.
I walk inside, find the special lane for the Dolphin Baby Shower (no wait) and within 5 minutes I not only had tickets for the next viewing, but I had my general pass as well.
You’re escorted down to the lower level of the Abbott Oceanarium (my group only had 5 people total) where you can watch the mother and baby and ask questions of the trainer. My favorite anecdote was how all 6 beluga whales in the adjacent section didn’t eat for an entire day after he was born because they were so fascinated with watching him. When lunch time came, I debated crowding into one of the cafes onsite, but decided to go for a cheaper, tastier Turkey Hot Dog (half Chicago style) from one of the stands outside. If you’re going to the Shedd before July 1 and see a long line, just pop into the membership area and buy tickets for the Dolphin Baby Shower.
Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel.
Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links n this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. If you plan to go to the aquarium, plan ahead or you’ll be waiting in the huge line like you see in the photo below. Disclosure: CityPASS provided us with two passes for our family (we needed to purchase additional tickets) for review purposes. Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles. Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and experienced rapid growth in the mid-nineteenth century.
In 2012, Chicago hosted 46.37 million international and domestic visitors, an overall visitation record. This spring break, purchase an advance online ticket to Shedd for any future date and receive free admission for you and a guest to come back for Jazzin’ at the Shedd this summer ($40 value)! Bring your family and friends to Shedd to hear some of the city’s finest musicians and vocalists, from straight-ahead jazz to funk, while you enjoy beverages and light refreshments for purchase, lake breezes and the skyline from our terraces. Take advantage of our extended hours to visit with your favorite animals—the Abbott Oceanarium and Polar Play Zone will be open until 8 p.m. Don't Miss a Deal!Join over a 1,000 other subscribers and get the FREE daily email update from Chicago on the Cheap.


Chicago on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Chicago on the Cheap has an affiliate relationship with some of the companies that offer deals on this site. Chicago on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists, and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel, and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap. Every day, you'll receive one email listing all the deals, discounts and free events published in the last 24 hours at Chicago on the Cheap. Help us keep Shedd safe for our guests and animals — review our policies before you arrive. Located in our historic rotunda, this 90,000-gallon habitat has been thrilling guests since 1971.
Experience the Amazon’s yearly floods and meet some of the mighty river’s diverse residents. Discover amazing animals from oceans, rivers, lakes and wetlands around the world in Shedd’s original galleries. Dive deep into the magical coral reefs of the Philippines and get within inches of sharks and rays! Learn more.
Take an unforgettable stroll through the Abbott Oceanarium, where you’ll encounter dolphins, belugas, sea otters, sea lions and more. At Shedd Aquarium, animals connect you to the living world, inspiring you to make a difference.
One thing you’ll notice about Shedd is that every little detail is part of a theme–aquatic life. For a $20 tax-deductable donation on top of the Shedd pass, you got to attend their Dolphin Baby Shower — a behind the scenes viewing with a trainer. After walking the 2 miles to the Aquarium, I was horrified to discover a line that trailed down the steps and all the way to the entrance of the Field Museum. The baby dolphin is adorable — only 3 feet long, playful, awkward, you just want to scoop him up and take him home.
Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories. Uncomplicated Advice.What to do (and NOT to do) to travel more comfortably, affordably, and fashionably. We got two press ones to try out (not enough for the whole family) and they saved us money.
All opinions are my own, and we thought CityPASS provided so much value to families that we became affiliates. Today, the city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation, with O’Hare International Airport being the second-busiest airport in the world in terms of traffic movements. Chicago’s culture includes contributions to the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly blues, soul, and house music.
Our Stingray Touch experience can be added to your Jazzin’ visit for an additional fee of $3. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap. That means if you purchase a deal from one of these links, Chicago on the Cheap will earn a small commission. Our special exhibit and the aquatic show cannot be added to this General Admission ticket.
You’ll notice, however, that after a while, you are bound to re-visit the same Chicago tourist attractions time and time again.


With details like octopus lamps, turtle door frames and marble walls that resembles ocean waves, the architecture is amazingly intricate. At the end of the trip, I think every one of my friends had pictures worthy of making screen-savers and desktop wallpapers with.
I overheard a volunteer telling some folks that they were selling express passes on the spot for $50. The guy came back and told me they had tickets for 30 minutes from then and I could buy them at the Membership Desk. The total cost for quick admittance and the special event was $48.95, and I’d been ready to spend $50 on just the pass!
It was also surprisingly interesting to hear the trainer talk about the pregnancy and birth. If you’re going for the first time, I would recommend not getting add-on tickets for extra attractions until you know that you will want them.
In 2010, Chicago was listed as an alpha+ global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network,and ranks seventh in the world in the 2012 Global Cities Index.
The city has many nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. Enjoy skyline views from Shedd’s terraces, cocktails, fireworks, live jazz and 32,000 animals. I could try and fit an entire itinerary in this post, but instead, I think the Shedd Aquarium deserves it’s own. If you’re really looking for a fancy time, you can meet the penguins and belugas and everything for a premium price.
Due to the sheer size of the building, it was difficult to take pictures that would do it justice. If you’re an Instagram enthusiast like I am, I think the jellies takes the cake for the most photogenic creatures at Shedd. Regular passes were essentially $30, so spending $20 more saved you an hour and a half of boredom and heat.
They had some hokey movies playing in the background where you can see the sunset above, showing a bit more about caring for the animals. This is a huge thing if you plan to visit the Shedd Aquarium when it’s busy, which is pretty much always.
Its metropolitan area, sometimes called Chicagoland, is home to 9.5 million people and is the third-largest in the United States. As of 2012, Chicago had the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States, after the New York City and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, at a sum of US$571 billion. Chicago on the Cheap retains full editorial control over the information posted on the site and limits the use of affiliate links to the types of deals routinely posted. Try to picture what the legendary city of Atlantis might look like, and now imagine it being removed from the sea and painted white.
In between that (but closer in price to the top level) is the Shedd Pass and Shedd Pass Plus.
Any time I’ve gone to this aquarium (I’ve been several times – I have family in Chicago) there is a massive line out the door.
Chicago is the seat of Cook County, although a small part of the city extends into DuPage County. Get your tickets in advance, get a membership or get a CityPASS, all of which let you bypass the line.



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