Shedd BLU, the Shedd Aquarium’s annual fundraiser is the ultimate Chicago date night. The aquarium itself is a can’t miss Chicago attraction, and Shedd BLU brings in food from top Chicago restaurants, great drinks, a special aquatic show, music, and entertainers. And since the event takes place on a Saturday, there are fireworks too.
Shedd BLU is the perfect excuse to dress up and dance the night away for a worthy cause. The Shedd Aquarium is home to 32,000 animals, including penguins, beluga whales, sea lions, dolphins, sharks, and sea otters, and the money raised at Shedd BLU goes towards animal care, sustainability, conservation, and learning initiatives.
The evening began with cocktails on the terrace overlooking the skyline beside Lake Michigan.
We moved inside for the One World Aquatic show. It started with appearances from a sea lion, and several penguins – who were all wearing green bow ties!
Then the dolphins and beluga whales showed us their moves. The aquatic show is one of my favorite parts of the event.
After the show ended, it was time to eat. Over 25 Chicago restaurant participated in the event, serving up samples of their cuisine. We particularly loved the brisket sliders from Old Crow Smokehouse, and the chicken and grits from Honey Butter Fried Chicken.
The Radler created a special pretzel to fit with the aquarium theme. Apparently sometimes the chefs there have contests to see who can sculpt the best pretzels.
This year the theme of the event was Frog Wild – since the Shedd currently has a special amphibian exhibition on display. We made a point to visit the exhibition and made a game out of trying to find the frogs that were hiding in their habitats. The frog in the photo is named Fluffy (for real).
Once we ate, the party moved outside. Fire dancers performed, and made me slightly nervous as they danced around with balls of flames.
Then a speed painter created the Blackhawks logo. The started the painting upside down, so what he was painting was a mystery, and I really thought he was painting a fish – but when he flipped the painting over it was clear that he was painting a tribute to our Stanley Cup Champs. The crowd loved it.
Doughnuts (from Stan’s), fireworks, and the Chicago skyline, just a few of my favorite things.
Before we hopped on the bus to the after party at Filini we stopped to take a photo with the frog. We had one of the most fun nights of the summer. Plus, this year Shedd BLU raised $415,000 for the aquarium!
Missed Shedd BLU, but want a fun reason to visit the aquarium? Check out Jazzin at the Shedd – it takes place every Wednesday until September 9th – and the evening ends with a great view of the Navy Pier fireworks.