Shedd Aquarium plans to reopen to public Jan. 27

Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium Photo credit ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Shedd Aquarium is preparing to safely reopen to the public next week, following the announcement of a loosening of COVID restrictions in Illinois and Chicago moving into Tier 2.

The aquarium will first host member-first days from Wednesday, Jan. 27 through Friday, Jan. 29. General public admission begins Saturday, Jan. 30.

Shedd’s members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets, when they go on sale Thursday, Jan. 21 at noon on the aquarium’s website. Tickets for the general public will be available for purchase starting Saturday, Jan. 23 at noon.

Guests hoping to be among the first ones back to the aquarium should consider purchasing a membership for more special visiting times and offers, the Shedd said in a statement.

Additional members-only hours will also be offered on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. reservation times.

As the Shedd welcomes guests back to its 276,000 square feet of public space, staff will continue to employ the same stringent health and safety measures that allowed guests to come up close to everything from leopard sharks to sea turtles over the summer of 2020. This includes highly limited building capacity, online purchasing of timed tickets to entry, mask requirements, hand sanitizer stations, one-directional pathways, and enforcing any active travel advisories for the city and state.

This reopening comes after Shedd voluntarily closed in November of last year to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. During the closure, animal care teams have continued to provide excellent care to the thousands of animals at the aquarium, including updating and developing new habitats for guests to explore during their next visit.