Exploring Shedd Aquarium

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
May 01, 2009 / 2 comments

This travel photo essay is part of Photo Fridays at DeliciousBaby.com. Head over there to see more great travel photos!

We love marine life - so much so that we plan our trips around water, lakes, seas, aquariums. When we were recently in Chicago, we had a blast at Shedd Aquarium!

 

travel photos - shedd aquarium

 

"The John G. Shedd Aquarium, a nonprofit institution dedicated to public education and conservation, is known as “The World’s Aquarium.” Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, the facility houses nearly 22,000 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world. Since its opening in 1930, the Aquarium’s mission has been to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the aquatic world. Today, this educational goal has gained urgency as more species acquire endangered status. Shedd Aquarium is committed to a number of projects designed to preserve threatened or endangered aquatic species."

 

travel photos - shedd aquarium

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

Shedd Aquarium is currently undergoing construction, yet there was plenty for us to see. The aquarium is currently divided up into the Wild Reef, Amazon Rising, Waters of the World, and Caribbean Reef. We visited each of them, and found lots to explore!

The Wild Reef was our favorite, for two reasons - the sharks, of course! - and a large educational display about coral. Our 6-year old daughter loves coral, and was entranced with the push buttons that lit up different parts of the coral. There was also a really cool see-through floor, with many manta rays underneath of the floor, skimming along the sand. It was fascinating! There were many ways to learn, and each area had plenty to read and explore. In the Wild Reef, there are 20 different habitats featuring 500 species, the largest public display of live coral in the Midwest, and more than two dozen sharks in a large, floor-to-ceiling habitat! One other cool aspect of the Wild Reef is the 250 pulsing moon jellyfish that are in a big tank at the entrance. I could stare at them for hours.

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

Our next favorite was the Amazon Rising exhibit, which explored all sorts of waters and the animals that inhabit these waters. In low-water season, the animals were in shallow habitats. The exhibit was sorted into the rainy season, high-water season, receding waters, and the floodplains. It was a great learning experience, and focused on the animals and people that live here.

There was a very large display called Waters of the World. It explored in detail 90 habitats through oceans, local waters, islands and lakes, rivers, seahorses, and frogs. We also saw a live blue-tongued spink, in a live animal exhibit! There was a great chameleon, as well as in-water and out-of-water animals to learn about.

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

One cool exhibit was located centrally where visitors enter, called Caribbean Reef. It is a 360 degree tour of an underwater reef community, and several times a day, a diver heads in and talks to the viewers about the fish he is feeding! This circular habitat holds 90,000 gallons of water and shows us a variety of tropical reef fish. It was gorgeous!

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

One highlight for us was a 4-D movie experience. We had a choice of Earth: shallow seas, and Spongebob. You can guess what won out. Yes, Spongebob. It was so funny, and we were sprayed with mist, possible glop, the chairs moved, it smelled fishy, and more. The 3-D effects were incredible! Our daughter just loved it - as did the rest of the kids that saw it - definitely a good thing for kids that are experiencing fatigue from learning or the crowds.

When the Oceanarium will reopen May 22nd, it will teach visitors about otters, belugas, birds of prey, sea lions, and more. I'm sure that it will entrance visitors with its broad scope.

 

travel photos - Shedd Aquarium

 

We just loved visiting Shedd Aquarium, and can't wait to go back and see the new Oceanarium.

 

For more information, and to plan your own trip, please see:

http://www.sheddaquarium.org/

 

 

Comments (2)

  • wandermom

    13 years 5 months ago

    Love these photos. I've always found acquariums are a great day-trip with kids. So far, the belugas at the Vancouver BC acquarium are my favorite!

  • Dominique-Midwe...

    13 years 5 months ago

    Great photos! I always find aquariums fascinating. There used to be a Micky D's in town that had a large aquarium in back of a counter with stools. I liked to go there once in a while to sit with a pop and fries, although I don't think I've been in a Micky D's since the one with the aquarium closed!

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