Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Event Types Welcomed

  • Adult Social Events
  • Corporate Social Events
  • Wedding Ceremonies
  • Wedding Receptions

Unique Venue Feature

Shedd Aquarium offers the aquatic world as a backdrop to your special event. When you book an event, guests are offered access to the entire aquarium, from archerfish to zebra sharks. From stunning views of the Chicago skyline to world-class cuisine, guests are surrounded by the beauty and wonder of aquatic life at Shedd Aquarium.


Encounter incredible animals from the world’s oceans, rivers, reefs, islands, lakes and wetlands at Chicago’s premiere event venue. Located right on Lake Michigan and offering a gorgeous view of the Chicago skyline, Shedd Aquarium is a National Historic Landmark and is home to award-winning interactive exhibits that take you to sunny Philippines reefs, the Amazon’s flooded forests, the vast Great Lakes and other worlds thriving with aquatic life.

Shedd Aquarium will bring the event of your dreams to life. Our hands-on approach provides customized event designs and world-class food and beverage options, creating memorable moments for guests down to the last detail.

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Meeting & Event Spaces

  • Max Capacity: 1600 guests
  • Largest Theatre Style: 1000
  • Largest Auditorium Seating: 1000
  • Largest Seated Reception: 650
  • Largest Standing Reception: 1600
Caribbean Reef and Aquarium Galleries
Classical Greek architecture and our signature Caribbean Reef exhibit create a setting fit for King Neptune, with seating around our 90,000-gallon reef habitat or in the aquarium’s elegantly vaulted galleries. Reception 1200 | Seated 680
  • 680 Banquet Style
Abbott Oceanarium
Begin the evening with a cocktail reception overlooking an authentic re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastline. Guests can stroll down to the water’s edge to visit Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters and many other aquatic animals. Reception 1000 | Seated 500
  • 500 Banquet Style
Rice Foundation Amphitheater
Used along with the Abbott Oceanarium, this space features seating for up to 1,000 guests and a state-of-the-art sound system. It’s perfect for a special welcome or presentation for your corporate event.
  • 1000 Theatre Style
Kovler Hall
This large, soaring space, featuring Classic Greek architecture enlivened with handcrafted sea life in bronze and terra-cotta, is perfect for dining and dancing. Reception 300 | Seated 160
  • 160 Banquet Style
Lakefront Terrace
Stunning views of the lakefront and skyline with a gentle waterfall and wildflower garden, for a more casual gathering that showcases the beauty of Chicago. Reception 280 | Seated 150
  • 150 Banquet Style
North Terrace
This seasonal space offers a sweeping vista of the lakefront and skyline along with amenities like a full canopy and bar—perfect for a cocktail reception. Reception 280 | Seated 120
  • 120 Banquet Style
Bubble Net
Overlooking Lake Michigan’s shore, this indoor venue is available for evening events, giving guests a dazzling view of Chicago’s lit-up skyline. Bubble Net is perfect for lively cocktail receptions or elegant plated dinners for groups of fewer than 100 guests. Reception 249 | Seated 249
  • 249 Banquet Style
Phelps Auditorium
Featuring state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, this space can be tailored to your specified needs, from meetings, lectures, awards programs, or multimedia presentations.
  • 246 Theatre Style
A window-lined space overlooking Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, perfect for corporate dinner parties or large receptions. Reception 200 | Seated 150
  • 125 Banquet Style

Featured Amenities

  • Accessible Facilities
  • Bus - Shuttle, Public Bus Access Bus
  • Eco-Friendly
  • In-House Catering
  • Near Public Transit
  • Paid Parking
  • Rooftop Space
  • Taxi
  • Theater Seating
  • WiFi

Venue Location + Transportation


1200 S DuSable Lake Shore Dr,
Chicago, Illinois 60605


  • BusBus
  • LyftLyft
  • MetroMetro
  • TaxiTaxi
  • TrainTrain
  • UberUber

Nearby Airport

  • O'Hare Airport - 30 minutes


  • Onsite Parking: No
  • Car Charging Stations: No

Nearby Cities

Oak Park, Skokie, Evanston, Niles, Park Ridge

Things to Know


  • Must Use In-house Catering: Yes
  • External Catering Allowed: No
  • Can Bring in Own Food: no
  • Cultural Catering Available: Yes
  • Food and Beverage Onsite: Yes
  • Do you offer tables, chairs, and linens?: No


  • Guest Wi-Fi: Free
  • Onsite Tech Support: Yes
  • Wi-Fi in meeting space: Yes
  • Equipment Available On-Site:
    • Projector Screen
    • Microphones
    • Sound System

Venue Policies

  • Alcohol Consumption: Yes
  • Smoking Permitted: no
  • Cannabis Industry-Friendly: No
  • Cannabis Consumption: No
  • Eco Friendly: Yes
  • ADA Accessible: Yes
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Pet Friendly: No


“Mary & Taylor were absolutely terrific to work with. Were always accommodating and flexible with their time, answering my questions and assisting our last minute needs. The overall experience was absolutely wonderful!”
Chelsea Finn / Misophonia Research Fund Dinner
“THANK YOU to you and Taylor so much! You both were also a pleasure to work with and I’m so glad everything finally worked out. We had wonderful feedback on the event – of course everyone loved the animals.”
Jessica Johnson / Bain & Company
“Thank you for an amazing night! Everyone had a great time and the staff was amazing! The amount of positive feedback has been overwhelming! A new bar has been set and it’s going to be hard to meet!”
Earl Famanas / Rise Interactive
“Taylor and Mary were fantastic to work with from start to finish. They made sure not only I had an enjoyable experience during the planning but our guests did during the execution! Mary and Taylor were both great to work with!”
Ashley Steele ? Polsinelli Common Spirit Health