I hadn’t been to the Shedd Aquarium in a very long time, decades maybe. It was really nice to go back. It is a beautiful building and I was way impressed with the up-to-dateness of the programs and exhibits offered. We spent the perfect amount of time there. Nobody had a meltdown or an issue (oh, except me dry-heaving in the stinky bathroom) and it was the perfect way to spend the last day of 2011.
The Dolphin/Beluga Whale show was just down right funny. The problem is you are seated in an arena that has a giant pool of water, over-looking Lake Michigan and your life experience immediately recalls Shamu. Then the Beluga whales don’t leap and the dolphins are not that familiar blue-grey color, and all your expectations just lower and lower and lower.
I had to keep reminding myself I was at an aquarium, NOT Sea World. What made it worse was the fact that we were still viewing the Holiday Fantasea show, which meant a Santa who arrived by air (in a boat) and had an hysterically frantic “Ho-Ho-Ho”…the singing trio (look, I would have TOTALLY done that job back in my Chicago days) was TRYING to make us Merry, but this was 4 days AFTER Christmas–the audience was COLLECTIVELY over it, and the penguins marched a whole of 20 feet–and that was it…not the most impressive display.
But, that Shedd Aquarium staff–they tried! They even wore red and green wet suits. Here’s a tip: The beluga’s are most stunning when viewed from BELOW. Just skip the show and go downstairs and see them swim underwater, much better.