Chicago Beaches Will Open Friday, Just in Time for Memorial Day Weekend: Here’s What You Need to Know

The Chicago lakefront is pictured in a July 2022 file photo. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)The Chicago lakefront is pictured in a July 2022 file photo. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Ready or not, the unofficial start of summer in Chicago is here.

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Beaches in Chicago will open Friday at 11 a.m. for the 2024 season – just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Beaches will remain open through Labor Day on Sept. 2.

The city has 22 beaches that are free and open to the public. Click here for the full list.

Beaches are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., but swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the season.

Lifeguards use colored flags to notify beachgoers whether it’s safe to swim depending on weather conditions and water quality:

  • A green flag means swimming is permitted.
  • A yellow flag means swimming is allowed but caution is advised. 
  • A red flag means that a swim ban is in place and swimming is not allowed because conditions do not meet safe standards.

The Chicago Park District is still accepting lifeguard applicants for the final swim test of the season on June 1. For more information about the requirements to be a lifeguard and to register for the test, visit

Safety Tips

The Chicago Park District recommends taking the following measures when visiting the beach:

  • Respect the flag, stay out of the water if the flag is red.
  • Don’t swim in non-swimming areas. Look for stencils that indicate “no swimming” and “no diving.”
  • Pay attention to the waves. Avoid longshore and structural currents.
  • Keep your children safe. Use a buddy system and stay near your kids when they’re in the water.
  • Know where you are on the lakefront.
  • If you see someone in trouble, call for help (lifeguards or 911).
  • Get a last-seen point so you can direct first-responders.

The Park District is offering water safety trainings every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at three select beaches starting on May 29 through June 26. Click here for the full schedule.

So, when will the pools at the park open?

All pools are expected to open this year on June 17, according to the Chicago Park District, as it continues its lifeguard recruitment efforts. Pool schedules for each park location will be posted on the district’s website prior to opening date.

Contact Eunice Alpasan: @eunicealpasan | 773-509-5362 | [email protected]

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