March 5, 2012

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium

One of the benefits of living in a world class city like Chicago is that it has all sorts of great opportunities for family fun.  Like the Museum of Science and Industry, which my children frequent, or the Shedd Aquarium.

Until a few days ago, my children had never been to the Shedd Aquarium.  But I decided the time was right.  After all, they are *obsessed* with fish.  They live for "Finding Nemo."  In fact, one of their favorite games is what I quietly refer to as "The Nemo One-Man-Show Game."

It's sort of a reenactment of the entire movie.  If you haven't seen the movie, I'm afraid this won't actually make a lot of sense.  My apologies.

The girls start at one end of our nice long hallway, and run towards me while crying out, "I coming Nemo!  I coming Nemo!  I coming!"  When they reach me, they fling themselves into my arms with cries of, "Daddy!"

SI says, "It's a man hugging a fish!"
After many hugs and a great deal of exclamations such as, "I found you!" they begin to tell me who they are.  Usually DD is Nemo, while SI tends to be Marlin- I am often told that I am Dory.  After these explanations they stand up, apparently confused.  "Where Nemo go?"

"I don't know!" I reply, "Why don't you go find him?"

And then they run away again, calling out, "Nemo!  Where are you?"

They have a toy fish that is intended to be laced up with a piece of cord.  This fish is so important that my mother has had to make them a paper copy, so that they each have their own fish to play with.  They make the fish swim around the house... under the dining room table, over the couch, into their chairs... into it's home, which is apparently under an end table in the living room.  The fish also gives Mommy kisses, and occasionally attempts to eat Mommy.

The aquarium seemed like a great place to take a break from all of that.

Grandmommy and Poppa were in town, so one day Grandmommy and I decided to just pack up the girls and go.

We parked by Soldier Field, and ended up sneaking into the museum via the handicapped accessible entrance.  My mom was having some trouble with her knee, and as I'm all pregnant and uncomfortable, the idea of *not* climbing up the steps to the main entrance appealed greatly to both of us.  An extra bonus?  The very odd sculpture that graces the courtyard in front of the accessible entrance.
There are DUCKS in there!

I cannot stress enough how much the girls adored the aquarium.  From the moment we stepped inside, they were transported with delight.

The major highlights were a fish in the Caribbean Reef exhibit that DD decided was Dory, otters that actually POOPED in the WATER (oh, to be two again), and of course... the clown fish.

"It's DORY!"
"It's MARLIN!"
"It's NEMO!"

If those three creatures ranked a 10 on the excitement scale, everything in between came to about an eight.

SI was particularly impressed by the star fish, which *I* found impressive because star fish don't, you know, DO anything.

And then there were the jellyfish.

Upside down jellyfish
SI's favorite jellyfish
DD's favorite jellyfish

The Shedd is currently showing a special exhibit on jellyfish.  It's beautiful.  The perfect place the sort of relax while at the same time letting your kids be totally insane with delight.

It was a blast.
SI is utterly transfixed.

The girls got popcorn for lunch, which thrilled them to no end.  On the way out, we even got to see a scuba diver feeding the fish.

This guy claimed his name was Marlin, too.

And, of course, Grandmommy and I had to spoil them a little bit.  They had been SO well behaved, and SO charming, and SO cooperative... between the two of us we got them snacks (which included the miracle of a veggie hot dog purchased at a street hot dog stand for me and Grandmommy), books, suitcases/backpacks, and a goofy photograph.  To be fair, the suitcase/backpack things were something I was already planning on getting them... somewhere else.  Somewhere cheaper.  But still.
With all their Aquarium swag
We just couldn't help ourselves.

On the way back to the car, we stopped to jump in some mud puddles and play in one of the sculptures in the Children's Garden on the museum campus.


And then... home.  For a nap, and yet another viewing of "Finding Nemo."
Grandmommy, SI, DD, and yours truly.  Yes, DD and I are pretty much clones.

All in all, an awesome day.  :)


  1. Sounds like an awesome trip! we love aquariums. If you ever get a chance to get down there, the Atlanta Aquarium is AMAZING!

  2. love it! We're in the same Nemo boat as you. ... or out of the boat. ... since he's a fish and all. My mom wanted to buy the girls Disneyland passes but ended up going with aquarium passes and they are so much better for this age range. They can stare at fish all day every day if you let them. Glad your girls had so much fun.

  3. I love this! I wish we could afford to take my son to the aquarium that just opened in Cleveland.

    Also, I am a new follower from MBC.

  4. When I was 9, I went to the Shedd Aquarium and I remember for the longest time I had a key chain with a dolphin on it. No finding Nemo then though, this was back even before The Little Mermaid came out. lol

    We have not had a chance to go to the aquarium in Chicago (maybe someday). For my older daughter's fourth birthday (rather, right before she turned 4 because she would still be free ha ha ha), we took her to the aquarium in Seoul, South Korea which was where we were living at the time. She too was into finding Nemo and she found lots of Nemos and was very excited. Ironically though, she was most fascinated by the bats (do not ask me why there were bats--and monkeys--at an aquarium. She enjoyed it a lot though.

    We're not in Korea anymore so we haven't had a chance to visit an aquarium since then. Hopefully someday.

  5. Sounds like fun!! Your kids look so adorable!!!

    (I'm not angry. I just love using exclamation points to show how excited I am when I'm talking. Sometimes.)


  6. I recently had one fish tank Aquarium for my office and i placed some colored fishes in it. These pictures give me more idea about how to make my aquarium unique and different.



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