Chicago Coronavirus

Here's Which Chicago Area Destinations Are Opening Amid Tier 2 Mitigations

Some are opening as soon as Friday


After Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Chicago could move to Tier 2 coronavirus mitigations, some area destinations released reopening dates this week.

In Tier 2 restrictions, museums and other attractions are able to open to the public with limited capacity, social distancing and mask requirements, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Here's what is opening over the next week:

Shedd Aquarium

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium plans to open next week amid Tier 2 coronavirus mitigations, officials announced Tuesday.

After Chicago moved into Tier 2 mitigations Monday, the Shedd said the facility is prepared to "safely reopen" to members Jan. 27.

For three days following the opening, members will have exclusive access to the Shedd before the aquarium opens to the general public on Jan. 30, according to a release.

Tickets will go on sale to members Thursday at noon, the Shedd said. The general public can purchase tickets beginning Saturday at noon.

"Shedd will continue the same stringent health and safety protocols put in place over the summer that allowed guests to enjoy a safe and fun experience coming eye-to-eye with aquatic life," the aquarium said.

The popular Chicago destination closed in November after the city moved to Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations, with initial plans to reopen Jan. 2.

“Although we continue to be a safe place to work and visit due to limited capacity attendance, facial covering mandate and rigorous social distancing protocols, we are taking this action proactively for the positive influence it may have for all,” President and CEO Bridget Coughlin said in a statement.

Field Museum

The Field Museum in Chicago announced it plans to reopen this week after the city enters Tier 2 COVID-19 mitigations.

After being closed for two months due to the coronavirus, the Field Museum said it will reopen its doors to members on Thursday and Friday. The general public can then visit the museum on Saturday.

On Jan. 25 and Jan. 28, the museum will offer free general admission to Illinois residents, according to a release.

“We’re thrilled to welcome visitors back to the Field Museum so they can have fun and learn about the world around us while remaining safe,” Ray DeThorne, the museum’s chief marketing officer, said. “People haven’t been able to get out and travel lately, but when you come to the museum, you can explore ancient Egypt, watch a traditional Chinese shadow puppet show, stand beneath the world’s largest dinosaur, and come face to face with the world’s best-preserved T. rex."

Due to COVID-19 mitigations, the museum will maintain the same precautions as summer and fall, which include a mask requirement, social distancing and reduced capacity.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago announced it will reopen next month as officials loosen coronavirus mitigations citywide.

Starting Feb. 11, Chicago's Art Institute will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday, with the first hour daily reserved for members.

The iconic city art museum said two exhibitions, "Monet and Chicago" and "Bisa Butler: Portraits," will remain open beyond their original closing dates following the institute's closure.

"The Art Institute continues to be at the forefront in its responsiveness to evolving environmental and civic circumstances that impact the community," a release said. "We are proud of the operational expertise utilized to ensure the collective well-being of visitors and staff while providing the familiar experience of care, trust, and excellence expected of the museum."

Due to coronavirus health precautions, visitors will be required to wear a face covering, maintain social distancing and purchase tickets online through the website here. Tickets go on sale next week, according to the Art Institute's website.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Chicago's LEGOLAND Discovery Center announced its reopening Friday as the city loosens coronavirus restrictions.

The city attraction has introduced enhanced cleaning and safety measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a release.

LEGOLAND workers will sanitize high-frequency touchpoints, play areas and LEGO bricks prior to each playtime throughout the day, the attraction said. All guests ages two and older are required to wear a face covering while inside and reserve playtime online for a maximum of two hours, the website read.

Based on statewide coronavirus guidance, the following LEGOLAND areas will remain closed:

  • Master Builder Academy
  • Pirate Adventure Play Center
  • Character Meet and Greet
  • Photo stations

Both MINILAND and LEGO 4D Cinema remain open with either adjusted safety measures or limited capacity, according to the LEGOLAND website.

To purchase tickets for Chicago's LEGOLAND and playtime reservations, click here.

AMC Movie Theaters

AMC Entertainment announced 42 movie theaters across Illinois will resume operation by Jan. 29, with some reopening as soon as Friday.

Seven AMC theaters will reopen throughout the state Friday after state officials announced most Illinois regions could leave Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations, the company said in a release.

On Jan. 29, 35 additional AMC locations will reopen under enhanced health and safety mitigations, according to the movie theaters.

For a list of theaters reopening in the Chicago area, click here.

Theaters will operate at 25% capacity to abide by state requirements in curb the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois, AMC added. Movie-goers will also be required to wear a mask and socially distance while in the theaters.

AMC said guests are still able to book Private Theatre Rentals for a personal film showing for up to 20 people through or through the app. To book, guests need to request a movie, time and date, then confirm and checkout, AMC said.

The company added that all locations are adhering to "strictly enforced" AMC Safe and Clean policies and protocols amid the pandemic.

Contact Us