A View of the Ocean Along the Lakefront

Chicago Photographer | Sharon Gaietto Photography

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So thankful for Chicago’s many indoor attractions, especially during the winter months. This season’s weather has caused even the toughest Chicagoans to curl up in a ball and weep, longing for warmer temperatures. On a breezy, -5 degree day in January, the family headed to the John C. Shedd Aquarium. We had received free passes from the Harlem Irving Plaza in December when we visited Santa.

Shedd2014Jan8For those that have never visited the Shedd Aquarium, the first thing that may come to mind is fish, lots and lots of fish. Though this is very true, there are so many other animals to see. Reptiles and amphibians are represented in large numbers. A great place to see them is in the Amazon Rising exhibit.

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As we head down the elevator to the Wild Reef exhibit, we are greeted with the sounds of the surf. We quickly find ourselves surrounded by countless reef fish, coral, sea urchins and countless other sea creatures. The kids really enjoy looking and learning about all the sea life.

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One of the coolest spots in the Wild Reef exhibit is the shark tank. An enormous wall of glass allows you to get very close to these amazing animals. With the curvature of the glass, it’s hard to tell how close you can actually get. A thump of the forehead, is usually the best signal, you are close enough.

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We head back up to the main level, only to head back down to the Abbott Oceanarium. We are on our way to the Polar Play Zone, when I convince the kids to stop and take a look at the beluga whales. They are getting their “check-ups” and are being treated to numerous fish snacks. One trainer moved right in front of us. We could have reached out and touched these “canaries of the sea”. It was an amazing site to see.

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The dolphin show is a huge attraction at the Shedd, but for me, it’s viewing them underwater. That is where I can spend my whole day. Luckily, there is plenty of activities for the kids to do, while I click away on the camera, hoping to capture these super fast Pacific white-sided dolphins.

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The kids even stop playing for a moment to get a glimpse of these torpedoes.

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Before we end our visit at the Shedd, we make a stop at the temporary Jellyfish exhibit. Not really sure how long this exhibit will stay. It seems like they are always extending its run. Which is great, because this is really a spectacular exhibit. While walking among the many different jellyfish, I found myself wanting to do more than just capture a picture of these incredible specimens. So, I took out my iPhone and recorded their graceful movements. Check the video out on YouTube!

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Whether it’s your first visit or 51st visit, there are so many things to see at the John C. Shedd Aquarium. I know I will be bringing my family back, again and again. There is no doubt, you will always see something you may have missed on your last visit.

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