Chicago beaches reopen for Memorial Day weekend with Navy Pier, Maggie Daley Park also fully reopens
While it’s not like beach weather Friday, Chicago’s 22 beaches officially opened after being closed for over a year.
Swimming will be permitted from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with lifeguards on duty, unless the weather becomes dangerous. The beaches will remain open until Labor Day.
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All traditional beach equipment will be available, with the exception of drinking fountains, which remain prohibited.
Also from Friday, Navy Pier extends hours and fully reopens to the public.
RELATED: Chicago Beaches Will Reopen Friday
Maggie Daley Park will also fully reopen on Friday, along with all of its iconic attractions, including the climbing wall, mini golf area, and play garden. Visitors can even rent roller blades and scooters to take advantage of the space.
And Chicago’s water taxi service will also resume on Friday along the Chicago River.
The city is relaxing more and more restrictions every day, and just in time for tourists and others to enjoy the holiday weekend.
As the trip picks up, many choose Chicago for their weekend getaway. Downtown hotels are booked and occupied. Room rates have increased by around 50% compared to last year.
“This is shaping up to be one of the busiest weeks of the year so far, and truly since the pandemic,” said Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association. . “We are seeing more and more bookings.”
A beach risk statement is in effect Friday for strong winds and waves, but that hasn’t stopped James Sullivan from surfing. He admits that the conditions should not be taken lightly.
“It’s a bit too choppy right now,” he says. “I’d rather be a little cleaner, I just like, uh, kinda like the free movement of being on the waves.”
Chicago police and park district officials even closed part of the trail along the water on Friday morning due to waves crashing on the path from Ohio to Oak Street.
Laura Bodien braved inclement weather to run, although she initially wanted to get inside.
“I have my trusty running partner, and he said, ‘No, let’s go! “”, Did she say.
Even winter runners had to bundle up.
“I run all year round so you know it’s a lot harder to run when it’s below zero,” said Greg Amoroso.
But he agreed that Friday didn’t feel so far away.
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