Chicago Park District

Beaches in Chicago to open for season as Memorial Day weekend gets underway

Beaches will remain open through Labor Day, officials said

Though the Chicago area could be in for a washout or two this upcoming holiday weekend, the unofficial start of summer means beaches across the city of Chicago will open for the season, starting on Friday.

Beginning Friday at 11 a.m., lifeguards will staff the city's beaches, offering residents free access to swimming and outdoor recreation along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Beaches will remain open daily from Friday through the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 2, according to the Chicago Park District.

While this weekend may not provide the best beach weather across all three days, here's everything you need to know if you're planning on heading to the beach this summer.

Is there an admission charge for the beaches?

Chicago beaches operated by the park district are open to the public and admission is free, according to the district’s website.

When do beaches open?

The 2024 swimming season gets underway on Friday.

Swimming is only permitted at beaches while lifeguards are on duty, between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, according to officials.

Are there restrictions on when I can swim?

According to the district, a color-coded flag system will alert beachgoers as to whether or not they can swim on a given day.

When green flags are present, swimming is open without restriction. When a yellow flag is being flown, swimming is still allowed, but swimmers are urged to take precautions.

Red flags indicate that waves are at unsafe levels, or that a beach is experiencing water quality issues, and swimming is not permitted in those circumstances.

When is water quality tested?

Water is tested daily for a variety of pollutants, and alerts will be issued each afternoon in the event of water quality issues.

More information can be found on the park district’s website.

Are all of the city’s public beaches open to the public?

Several beaches are currently closed due to erosion, including Fargo Beach, Howard Beach, Juneway Beach, and Rogers Beach. More information can be found on the park district website.

Are there any other rules to know about?

Beachgoers are reminded that there is no smoking or alcohol consumption allowed on beaches. No dogs are allowed except at designated dog-friendly beaches, and residents are not to feed birds or wildlife.

Contact Us