Santa with Penguins - Shedd - Blog

Our of our family's favorite holiday events is Shedd Aquarium's seasonal spectacle: Fantasea. This multi-species aquatic show is now running through Jan. 5, 2013, and is a Christmas treat that we all enjoy year after year. It's a great way to celebrate the season with an enormous collection of aquatic animals, but it's not the only way! 

A Holiday Fantasea

Fantasea gives your family the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, penguins and a playful California sea lion, as they dance to live music and work with their trainers. You'll be surprised to find the Abbott Oceanarium decked out in its holiday best, with snow-capped trees and twinkling lights.

This is an education-focused show for families with kids of all ages: the toddlers will enjoy the dancing dolphins, while teens will learn exactly how the dolphins are trained to perform such fun feats. And the best part of the show is by far the mode of transport that the man in red, Santa himself, uses to arrive on the scene.

Holiday Breakfast with Santa

Start your day at the Shedd off with a Holiday Breakfast with Santa featuring the 4-D feature Polar Express on Dec. 8, 15 and 22. Families can catch both Polar Express and the brand new Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas from Nov. 23 to Jan. 5 in Shedd's Phelps Auditorium.

Santa with Beluga whale - Shedd - Blog

Jingle Jazzin

The Shedd has so many other fun activities going on over the holidays, including Jingle Jazzin' evenings (from Dec. 16 through Dec. 23 until 9 p.m.) where guests can take in the decorated aquatic galleries with a side of jazz. Festive cocktails, food, and holiday treats are also available for purchase.

Insider Tips for a Wonderful Winter Time at the Shedd

Christmas Eve is a wonderful day to visit the Shedd. We went last year, and were among the few families wandering the aquarium.

And here's another tip: Do you have a marine animal lover amongst your family and friends? Consider gifting one of the Shedd's Extraordinary Experiences. You'll have the chance to dance nose-to-nose with the gentle white giants of the Abbott Oceanarium during a Beluga Encounter; waddle up to a penguin during a Penguin Encounter or go behind the gallery walls to view the animals from a new angle during a Behind-the-Scenes Tours.

The Shedd will also offer extended hours Dec. 26 through Dec. 30 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The aquarium will be closed on Dec. 25. For more information, call 312-939-2438 or visit