A Spooky Overnight at the Aquarium & A Lovely Bike Ride Home

We tried out some new Halloween activities this year and one of the big hits in our house was Spooky Seas Family Overnight at the Shedd Aquarium. We really love the aquarium (we’re members) – it’s a great facility and a beautiful one as well, the way it is situated right along the lakefront on the museum campus in downtown Chicago.

Shedd Aquarium

I met the guys there after work on Friday, but since Mr. Ding was on call he couldn’t really spend the night in the aquarium with us, so Little Ding and I were left to handle sleeping with the sharks all by ourselves.

The night began with dinner and then a night-time dolphin show! That was followed by a trip to the Wild Reef and some of the other exhibits, dancing, and squid dissections!  The little guy chose that activity over the scavenger hunt or craft area, and I gotta say I was glad – I’ve dissected a lot of things during my school years but never a squid! It was very cool. The staff offered to slice anything we were interested in to examine under the microscopes, and we could touch any part of the squid we were interested in – they had disinfecting wipes on hand.

dissecting a squid

Of course, we spent some quality time around the big Caribbean Reef that sits in the center of building. We watched the manta rays and Nickle, the Green Sea Turtle swim around. Later on in the evening when one of the divers descended into the tank to feed the fish and talk to all of us while he was underwater, the greedy friendly manta rays wouldn’t leave the poor guy along and the sea turtle hung around to get her belly scratched.

Checking out the Carribean Reef

fun at the shedd aquarium

After more dancing, a late night snack, and some board games, we finally settled down in our sleeping bags on the floor in the Great Lakes Gallery.  All the fishes went to sleep and so did we.  In the morning we said good bye to the beluga whales who were out and about, and stopped by the Jellies exhibit to take some videos of those cool jellyfish.  Then we grabbed our gear and headed outside to wait for Andrew to meet us with the Yuba Mundo!  When he arrived we packed the sleeping bags, pillows and mats into the giant panniers on that bike,  LD climbed aboard and off we rode through the park.  We wove our way to Millennium Park and stopped at the Bean – it was such a beautiful morning and LD really likes the Bean.

Millennium Park & A Glimpse of the Bean

Millennium Park and a glimpse of the Bean between the trees

The trees along the new bridge to the Art Institute were brilliantly red and bright in the sunlight.

trees in millennium park

bike art in millennium park

Bike art in Millennium Park

 

hanging out in Millennium Park

It was a great morning for riding around the city. After we left the park we headed home though we did make a hot chocolate/coffee stop. We relished that it was October and we could still sit outside with our warm drinks.  The trip home was slightly marred though by a motorist who almost doored us on Kinzie Street – east of the bike lane.  He reacted to our bells, looked right at us, and still tried to walk around to the driver’s side of his car and open the car door on us as we rode by.  We instructed him not to do that.

A mile or so after that incident though,  the sun was still shining, the morning was beautiful, and LD was singing as he rode on the back of the bike with his Dad.  It was a great Halloween weekend!

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