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Did you know that there's a place in Chicago where you can find over 32,000 animals? In fact, you can find as many as a million animals in some seasons! Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world, and is the only one surrounded by some other museums. How cool is that, right? Shedd Aquarium is home to 1500 species of fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects. It is also the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection in the world. And it's right here in the heart of Chicago.

At the center of the Museum Campus, with the coolest skyline view, Shedd Aquarium is definitely not like any another aquarium in the world. The basic design is taken from classical Greek architecture to match the other structures of the Campus (Adler Planetarium and Field Museum). The central aquarium building is octagonal, fronted by columns and a formal staircase, and topped by a dome. Aquatic motifs are worked in at every opportunity; tortoise shells, dolphins, octopuses, waves, and even the Trident of Poseidon can be found all over the aquarium's exterior and interior. Since 1930, Shedd has expanded twice, with both additions carefully respecting the original architecture that earned the aquarium a National Historic Landmark designation.

As we went in on Illinois's residents day, we only had access to part of the aquarium (which is still a huge part, by the way) where you can see thousands of fish, stars, crabs, frogs and more. Also, there is an area where you can touch small sharks! With the full price ticket, you are also able to get up close and personal with a variety of animals. You can meet the aquarium's resident beluga whales, feed the sharks, and even learn what it takes to be an animal trainer at the aquarium. You can also tag along on a behind-the-scenes tour for a glimpse of how the aquarium cares for its creatures.

Going out and enjoying places like this together is priceless for us as an ESL school. This is definitely a day we will remember for years to come. Learning while having fun is a true Solex experience. If you, Solexian, haven't been there, the next free Illinois's residents days are August 29th and 30th. We will see you there!