Shedd Aquarium to reopen next week

Members will be the first allowed in, with access to the aquarium from Jan. 27 to Jan. 29. General admission will begin on Jan. 30.

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The Shedd Aquarium as it sits, closed on Nov. 20, 2020.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The wait is over for Chicagoans who have missed visiting their favorite underwater creatures at the Shedd Aquarium since the coronavirus pandemic forced its closure: The Shedd will be reopening to the public next week, it announced Tuesday.

Members will be the first allowed in, with access to the aquarium from Jan. 27 to Jan. 29. General admission will begin on Jan. 30. Tickets for members will go live at noon on Thursday, and regular tickets will be available starting at noon on Saturday. 

Before that, the Field Museum also will reopen and follow the same sequence, with members-only days on Thursday and Friday and admission for the general public starting Saturday. The two institutions’ neighbor on the Museum Campus, the Adler Planetarium, will remain closed, as it’s been since March 2020.

Shedd staff plan to employ strict health and safety measures, including limiting the amount of guests allowed inside at a time, mask requirements, hand sanitizer stations and one-directional pathways so visitors can safely social-distance.

The news comes as Chicago and most of its surrounding suburbs were given the green light on Monday to increase capacity at casinos, museums and big-box retailers. 

The aquarium closed its doors voluntarily in November out of an abundance of caution ahead of the holiday season. It had reopened in July following an initial closure in March, when the coronavirus first hit Illinois. 

While it was closed, penguins were occasionally allowed to roam the exhibits to check out other animals.

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