Summer is time for the family road trip! Follow Kids Activities Blog and Julie Blair and her family as they travel 8 states in 30 days for the ultimate road trip story ¦
When you go to America’s third-largest city, you expect a top-notch kids’ experience, which is exactly what you get at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
This living museum beautifully houses creatures great and small with an eye towards education and research.
It’s hard to beat the seeing the white, bumpy-headed Beluga whales or throngs of throbbing jelly fish outside of a “National Geographic” special.
Elizabeth, our future marine biologist, took a special interest in the invasive Asian Carp.
A Shedd Aquarium docent happily answered our questions about the creatures, which were introduced to clean up sewers but are now making their way into rivers and wrecking havoc on the ecosystem. Apparently, they eat anything and everything including the wildlife that’s essential to America’s waterways. (We are all feeling very protective of American rivers after visiting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium last week in Dubuque, Iowa.)
Meanwhile, William spent a good deal of time watching the penguins jump into the laps of their trainers like puppies.
Across the way, Charlotte and our friend Ella scuttled about in the penguin-themed playground. They slid down “icebergs” and dressed up in fuzzy penguin costumes.
It’s worth noting, too, that the aquarium make excellent use of its property: The cafÃ© offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the glamorous Chicago skyline. (Has anyone out there ever been proposed to at the Shedd? Just wondering.)
All this splendor came at a price: Throngs of summer visitors will be accompaning you through the aquarium.
That said, a friendly line minder told us that if you get there at the opening bell–9 a.m. or even as late at 10:30–you’ll have good luck speeding through ticket lines and experience less bustle at the exhibits inside.
He added that anyone with a stroller (which we had for the little girls) can gain access to even faster by using the entrance at the side of the building.
Of course, as seasoned parents, you know that anything worth doing is often complicated.
Kind of like having kids.