black friday

Black Friday Shopping: Hours and Restrictions This Year Amid COVID-19

Most malls will not begin Black Friday shopping events until after the morning

With one of the biggest shopping days of the year just days away, several area malls have announced new guidelines to manage crowds and avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Malls across the Chicago area have announced changes in hours and further restrictions for Black Friday shopping with many not opening until morning.

Here are the latest updates:

Chicago Premium Outlets: Aurora

Aurora police announced Black Friday shopping at Chicago Premium Outlet Mall will begin Friday morning at 6 a.m. as opposed to the shopping center's typical Thursday night start.

The outlet mall will keep doors open until 9 p.m. Friday and reopen Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Aurora police said.

In efforts to manage crowds, officials explained shoppers will be directed to the various parking lots once entering the mall and subsequent parking spaces by on-site workers.

For more information on how to most easily access the mall this weekend, click here.

Fox Valley Mall: Aurora

Fox Valley Mall announced shopping hours begin at 8 a.m. Friday and end at 10 p.m. that evening.

Starting Friday, the mall will welcome Santa Claus on a set based on the "Peanuts" story "A Charlie Brown Christmas," a spokesperson said.

The mall's "Peanuts Christmas Experience with Santa" incorporates the traditional Santa visit with entertainment and a walk-through experience.

Chicago Ridge Mall: Chicago Ridge

Shopping will begin at Chicago Ridge Mall on Friday at 7 a.m. and end at 9 p.m., which is extended from typical hours.

According to the website, the shopping mall will open at 9 a.m. this Saturday following one of the biggest shopping days of the year and close at 9 p.m. Chicago Ridge will open Sunday at 7 a.m.

Gurnee Mills: Gurnee

The Gurnee shopping center will open Friday at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m., then switch back to "holiday shopping" hours Saturday, opening at 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Beginning Friday, Gurnee Mills will also welcome Santa for socially distanced visits and photos until Christmas Eve, the mall said.

Hawthorn Mall: Vernon Hills

Hawthorn Mall will have adjusted hours throughout the upcoming weekend following Thanksgiving. Friday, the mall will open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

On both Saturday the mall will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Then Hawthorn will return to typical shopping hours next week.

Seated on a set inspired by the film, "Elf," Santa will arrive in Vernon Hills on Friday at 10 a.m., the mall announced. Visitors will have a walk-through experience with a "selfie museum" and augmented reality interactions before seeing Santa.

Lincolnwood Town Center: Lincolnwood

Lincolnwood shoppers can expect the mall to be open Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, the mall will shift back to normal hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Following the weekend, Lincolnwood Town Center will begin holiday hours with the mall open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m during the week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Beginning Friday, families can visit with Santa in Lincolnwood while maintaining social distancing with a recommended reservation, the mall said. Employees will be required to clean and undergo temperatures checks to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Water Tower Place: Chicago

On Friday, Chicago's Water Tower Place will open to shoppers at 7 a.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. Saturday, the shopping center will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Water Tower Place announced that any shoppers under the 18 must be accompanied by a parent or "responsible adult age 21 or older" both Friday and Saturday after 4 p.m.

"Proof of age may be required for the youth and/or supervising adult. Those who lack proper identification may be asked to leave the property," the shopping center said.

According to the website, valid forms of identification include a state-issued driver's license or ID card, a military ID, a school ID card or a passport. The mall said one adult may accompany up to four young people.

Northbrook Court: Northbrook

Northbrook Court will be open Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., which will remain the typical weekday hours during the holiday season.

Santa will be greeting in-person visitors this Christmas in Northbook beginning Friday while seated atop decorated packages, the mall announced. Families can expect Santa to be wearing a mask during the visit and hand sanitizers placed at the entrance and exit. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.

Oakbrook Center: Oakbrook

The Oakbrook mall will be open Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

According to the website, the shopping center's Saturday hours will remain consistent, with the exception of Sunday, throughout the holiday season.

Old Orchard Mall: Skokie

Old Orchard mall will open Friday at 7 a.m. and close to shoppers at 10 p.m. On Saturday, the shopping center will open at 10 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

Leading up to the holidays, the mall will have differing hours, generally open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with some exceptions. For information on how to most easily access the mall, click here.

Orland Square Mall: Orland Park

On Friday, the Orland Park mall will open 6 a.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. Shoppers can visit the mall Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Santa will arrive in Orland Park for socially-distanced visits and photos Friday until Christmas Eve, the mall announced. Both Santa and staff will be required to wear masks throughout the duration of each visit.

Woodfield Mall: Schaumburg

The Schaumburg mall will be open Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

After the weekend, the shopping center will be open for holiday hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with the exception of Sunday.

Yorktown Center: Lombard

Yorktown Center will be open for extended hours both Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Santa Claus began visiting the mall Tuesday and will be seeing shoppers Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For a list of Santa Claus plans at Chicago area malls this year, click here.

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