Host an unforgettable event in an incomparable setting
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Why not cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with dolphins and whales? An elegant dinner party in a rotunda fit for Neptune, with a Caribbean reef for a centerpiece? Or dining among the fishes of Waters of the World?
These exotic and delightful aquatic locales are easily accessible at Shedd Aquarium, in downtown Chicago. We offer spectacular spaces for events of up to 1,200 people.
Discover another side of Shedd Aquarium – as a spacious, gracious setting for your next special event. Whether you’re looking for an underwater wonderland for a wedding reception, a cool coastline for cocktails with whales, or a state-of-the-art meeting facility, Shedd and its events-and-catering team can fulfi ll all your needs. Of course, we get a little help from our more than 32,000 amazing aquatic animals from around the world. They will make your event utterly unique. We will simply make it an unparalleled success!
Begin the evening with a cocktail reception on the mezzanine level overlooking a stunning re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastline. Guests can stroll down to the water’s edge to visit with dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters, a sea lion and fascinating fishes and sea stars.
Capacity, reception | 500 (mezzanine)
Capacity, reception | 1,000 (mezzanine, Polar Play Zone and sea otter cove)
Capacity, theater | 1,000 (amphitheater)
This magical Indo-Pacific coral reef exhibit, filled with delicate corals, majestic sharks and rays, and rainbow-hued schooling fi shes, is available
for viewing. (No food or beverages are allowed in this area.)
Take your event outdoors! This seasonal space combines a sweeping vista of the lakefront and skyline with gentle breezes and amenities like a full canopy (May through October) and bar — perfect for a cocktail reception.
Capacity, reception | 280
Capacity, dinner | 120
This new space, also open May through October, combines stunning views of the lakefront and skyline with a gentle waterfall and wildflower garden — the ideal space for a wedding reception.
Capacity, reception | 280 (without tent)
Capacity, dinner | 150 (without tent)
Caribbean Reef (Rotunda) and Aquarium (Galleries)
Classical Greek architecture and our signature 90,000-gallon Caribbean Reef exhibit create a setting fit for King Neptune. Whether seated around the turquoise reef habitat or in the aquarium’s elegantly vaulted galleries, your guests will dine in the company of a dazzling array of fishes and other aquatic life.
Capacity, dinner | 230 (rotunda)
Capacity, dinner | 680 (rotunda and aquarium galleries)
Capacity, reception | 1,200 (rotunda, aquarium and Oceanarium)
Main Foyer/Kovler Hall
This majestic soaring space will dazzle your guests. The classical Greek architecture is enlivened with superlative sea life ornamentation in marble, bronze and terra cotta. It’s a grand space to dance the night away!
Capacity, dinner | 160
Our 246-seat auditorium features state-of-the-art audiovisual technology that can be tailored to your specific needs — meeting, lecture, awards program, or multimedia presentation. Available at an additional cost.
Capacity, theatre style | 246
Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline are the backdrop in this beautiful window-lined room. The unique and flexible space is great for a variety of events, from dinner parties to large receptions.
Capacity, dinner | 200
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Tel: +1(312) 692-3275