The Shedd Aquarium, which had reopened to the public in July following mandated shutdowns that began in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is once again closing its doors to the public out of an abundance of caution.
Amid newly announced city and state mitigation efforts, the aquarium will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday with a reopening date scheduled for Jan. 2, 2021. Despite limited capacity attendance and mandatory facial mask requirements in place, aquarium officials on Tuesday decided on a proactive approach that will offer visitors a virtual experience for the time being.
“While the aquarium’s doors may physically close, Shedd’s mission has never been more alive and open. We remain committed to creating meaningful moments of learning, joy, engagement, and respite and to do our part to continue to support the recovery and healing of our city and state,” said said president and CEO Bridget Coughlin.
Essential staff will remain site as usual to maintain the care and well-being of the 32,000 “residents” of the aquarium.
According to an official statement, both free and fee-based online programming will continued to be offered including:
— Virtual Slumber Party – On Dec. 4-5 or Dec. 18-19, the whole family can log-on from the comfort of their home for “Zzzs Under the Seas.”
— Virtual Aquarium Adventures – Throughout December and January, enjoy digital explorations into the lives, homes and behaviors of aquatic animals. Designed for kids enrolled in grades K-5, each session will focus on a new animal or environment.
— Virtual Animal Encounters – Guests of all ages will “meet” some of their favorite animals while also connecting with the animal care team that cares for them.
— Virtual Field Trips – Students K-8 can explore turtles, penguins and sharks from behind-the-scenes at Shedd virtually with their whole classroom, learning pod or homeschool group.
— Stay Home With Shedd –This digital learning initiative invites families, educators and learners (grades 3-5) to discover unique animal adaptations.
— Underwater Beauty Live Cam – This habitat includes incredibly vibrant fish from across the globe.
For complete information, visit sheddaquarium.org.