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Shedd Aquarium vs. Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Mar 2nd, 2013, 10:08 PM
  #1
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Shedd Aquarium vs. Monterey Bay Aquarium

We're looking at options for Chicago and considering putting together a custom Chicago pass through www.smartdestinations.com

We've visited and loved the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and wanted to know how the Shedd Aquarium compares to it. Better, not as impressive, about the same?

Thanks!

Lee Ann
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Hi, ElendilPickle. Sorry, can't compare the two, but if you're coming in March, there are free days to the Shedd every Monday & Tuesday this month. (And even if the aquarium may not compare as favorably, the area immediately surrounding the Shedd is gorgeous to walk around, and offers a great view of the skyline.) Hopefully someone can answer your question.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:12 AM
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I think they are both impressive. A bit like comparing the National Gallery of Art and the Met. Been to the Shedd twice in the last half dozen years and once to Monterey. I'd go back to either and will if I have the opportunity.

Related to ChgoGal's post, not certain but I think the free days at the Shedd did not include the Oceanarium which is absolutely worth the ticket fee. Admission to both Shedd and Monterey aren't inexpensive but worth it if you're a fan of marine science and ecology.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Kal
 
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Picks...while it's been awhile since we've been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I don't recall it being as big as The Shedd.
We did The Shedd 2 yrs ago and darn near spent the whole day there. Very nice....even buying some food at the cafeteria and eating on the patio was an experience. Great views of the city and lake.

When are you going?
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Kal, we'll be there in May.

www.smartdestinations.com has a ticket package which includes the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the SkyDeck, and Shedd Aquarium. We're considering swapping the Art Institute of Chicago and a river architecture tour for the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.

Lee Ann
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Lee Ann, free (or discounted )days at the Shedd - or any of the major Chicago museums are usually limited only to Illinois residents. The above posters should have mentioned that to you.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 02:43 PM
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Also, the river architecture cruise - IMHO, still the best is the Chicago Architecture Foundation's.

And a big YES to the Art Institute.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 03:09 PM
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They are both good aquariums but I think the Monterey is more impressive. I was last at the Shedd in August and the lines outside had an estimated wait of two hours to get inside (per the roaming staff). It was a beautiful day but no way were we waiting that long. Went back a day or two later and there was no line. If you're out there in the museum complex the Field and Adler are great too and very worthy of visits.

Don't know your dates in May but you might be able to take advantage of Bank of America free museum days. If you have a BofA credit or debit card, the 1st full weekend of the month (May 4 & 5, 2013) will get you free admission to the Shedd, Art Institute, Adler, Chicago History Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art. One admittance per card. http://museums.bankofamerica.com/
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 04:14 PM
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If the line is long at the Shedd, walk north to see the Field Museum to see Sue.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 04:29 PM
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>> We're considering swapping the Art Institute of Chicago and a river architecture tour for the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.<<

Well that, for me, would be like choosing a favorite among children. Were it my decision, I'd opt for the Art Institute and the architecture tour.

>>Lee Ann, free (or discounted )days at the Shedd - or any of the major Chicago museums are usually limited only to Illinois residents. The above posters should have mentioned that to you.<<

Not an Illinois resident so would have no way of knowing that. Apologies for offering incomplete information.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 04:38 PM
  #11
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obxgirl, that's what I think we will do. Mr. Pickle isn't super excited about the Field Museum.

Thanks for the B of A reminder. Unfortunately, we'll be in Chicago in mid-May.

Lee Ann
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 04:43 PM
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The Federal Reserve Bank has a free self guided tour. You do have to go through a bit of security to get inside. The FRB is across the street from the Chicago Board of Trade on Jackson Blvd.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 06:58 PM
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We visited Chicago not so long ago & did The Art Institute, Shedd, Field Museum, architecture tour, Adler, etc. and they were all amazing but I would second doing the Art Institute(fabulous!)and the architecture tour also. Enjoy your trip-Chicago is so much fun!
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