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Lakefront marine reserve
Housed in a beautiful, circular 1920s building on the lake, the Shedd Aquarium holds every conceivable kind of fish and water mammal. Enter through the main lobby and you’ll be greeted by a large Caribbean coral reef exhibit, spectacularly plonked in the middle of a domed hall.
From this central root protrude a number of branches – corridor-like exhibition spaces devoted to themes from the exotic (African tropical fish) to the everyday (invasive species found in the Great Lakes). The displays are clearly labeled, and the layout of the exhibits (you can approach them in any order) means that even when the museum’s busy, there are always displays that are less crammed than others.
Be sure to get a look at Granddad, the lungfish in the Waters of the World gallery. He was plucked from the waters of Australia in 1933 for the Century of Progress World’s Fair; at an estimated age of 100 years of age, he’s thought to be the oldest aquatic animal living in captivity anywhere in the world.
The aquarium doubled in size in 1991 with the addition of a spectacular $45-million Oceanarium. It’s an extraordinary place, dominated by a vast tank (flooded with natural light and with great views of the lake) in which whales and dolphins swim and perform shows several times daily for enthusiastic crowds. The Shedd is simply one attraction visitors of all ages must see while in Chicago.
1200 S Lake Shore Drive, at E McFetridge Drive, Chicago
Phone: 1- 312 939 2438
Open Hours: June-Aug 9am- 6pm Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun; 9am-10pm Thur. Sept-May 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm Sat, Sun.
Price: Cost money