Shedd Aquarium’s initiative to offer free admission to Illinois residents throughout September has a new twist this year that could help you avoid rush-hour traffic.
Shedd’s Illinois Resident Free Days, which kicked off Sept. 4, includes extended hours until 9 p.m. three days a week. Each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in September, visitors will be able to spend an additional three hours in the aquarium and participate in a series of after-hours programming, including themed food nights, Latin dancing and an evening of Chicago-inspired house music.
“As students head back to school and focuses turn to learning, these September free days make it easier than ever for families to support academic or in-school learning by visiting Shedd, where we encourage curiosity around science,” said Jo-Elle Mogerman, Shedd’s vice president of learning and communities, in a statement.
With proof of Illinois residency, visitors get free admission this month with access to all of Shedd’s exhibits and experiences, including its popular aquatic presentation, daily dives by Shedd trainers, animal chats and other activities. Access to Shedd’s 4-D movie experience is not covered by free admission but is available for $4.95 per person. (A number of other Chicago-area museums also offer free admission during parts of September and throughout the year.)
Attendance is on a first-come basis and limited to building capacity. Tickets can be reserved in advance online (with a $3 transaction fee) or obtained at the door.
Below, a description of after-hours programming for September.
Shedd After Hours: Caribbean Flavors and Flair
Mondays (Sept. 10, 17, 24)
Features Caribbean-inspired menu items.
Jazzin’ at the Shedd: Live Latin Rhythms
Wednesdays (Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3, 10)
Live Latin jazz with Latin-inspired food and cocktails inside the aquarium and along the lakeside terrace. See the full lineup of performers.
Shedd After Hours: House Party
Thursdays (Sept. 6, 20, 27)
Featuring DJs Jesse Saunders, Terry Hunter and Farley Jackmaster Funk.
Note: Shedd will not be open late Thursday, Sept. 13, due a private event. The aquarium will make up this date by staying open late with special programming on Tuesday, Dec. 4.