Drinking With The Fishes: Jazzin' At The Shedd

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 27, 2013 3:10PM

Shedd Aquarium's weekly Jazzin’ at the Shedd event promises a chance to see the aquarium and its odd occupants after nightfall with a glass of wine or a cold beer in your hand and some jazz in your ears. The event was crowded, but not as crowded as during regular operating hours. Guests must choose between a night of jazz or a night of exploring the aquarium, as seats on the north terrace facing Navy Pier go fast.

On a recent visit, we opted for the latter, wandering through the Jellies exhibit and then the Wild Reef. Music from a few different jazz ensembles playing in different areas could be heard through most of our exploration.

Appetizers and a few entrees were available at a station off of the main lobby but were mostly transplanted cafeteria fare at a heftier price. Still, our plan was to stay until the end of the event to view the fireworks at Navy Pier so we bit, so to speak. With the terrace as crowded as it was and with it being a beautiful summer night in the city, we pulled up a patch of lawn just beneath the terrace for the fireworks and listened to the band play as it grew dark. You really can’t beat the view of the city from Museum Campus, especially from the Shedd's terrace and it was a great end to the event, though it wasn't lost on us that we could have caught that particular part of the show for free outside of it, as had some of our neighbors on the lawn.

Our final verdict on the event? It’s not as elegant and enchanting as it’s puffed up to be, but it was worth it for a bit of a break in the aquarium’s crowds and a large break in admission for two. We still had the childhood thrill of being somewhere “after hours” and got to enjoy the big beautiful building at a leisurely pace while having a glass of chardonnay. We think the whole thing would benefit from a bit more organization, and more seating so you aren’t choosing between jazz and jellies, but overall we weren’t disappointed.

Jazzin' At The Shedd runs Wednesday evenings through Sept 4 and advance tickets are available

By: Marielle Shaw