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

Beaches in Chicago will open Friday at 11 a.m. for the 2024 season – just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Here is everything you need to know to enjoy those Chicago summer days. 

Spring Lake Forest Preserve, Cook County. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Created back in 1994, the day is meant to celebrate the connection between people and the green space in their community. 

A water rescue device is pictured in a file photo. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

A pair of water rescues on Chicago's lakefront over the holiday weekend resulted on one person dead and another in critical condition, according to the Chicago Police Department. Indiana officials report a teen drowned in East Chicago.

(WTTW News)

Beach season will run through Sept. 4. The city’s pools are expected to open by June 23.

Plastic accounts for 85% of litter collected at Great Lakes beaches. (Brian Yurasits / Unsplash)

The annual Adopt-A-Beach cleanup, organized by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, is set for Saturday.

Red flags will be flown at Chicago beaches, indicating swimming is prohibited. (WTTW News)

The weather may still feel like summer, but when it comes to Chicago's beaches, the season is officially over.

(WTTW News)

Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the start of Chicago’s summer beach and boating season. Here’s what to know before you hit the sand and water.

(Courtesy of John Soss Photography)

Discovery is central to the work of an artist who seeks and finds all kinds of things on the shores of Lake Michigan. John Soss makes artwork out of seemingly nothing, sifting the sand for debris left by people and nature.

Rough waves coughed up the remains of one of Lake Michigan’s most troubling invasive species, quagga mussels. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Recent storm waves stirred up deposits of invasive mussels from the bottom of Lake Michigan and brought them ashore, begging the question: Would you know a quagga mussel if you saw one?

A man rides a bike along a wave-battered lakefront in Chicago on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. (WTTW News)

The National Weather Service is warning people to steer clear of parks, trails, piers and breakwaters Wednesday and Thursday, with waves as high as 18 feet and wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour in the forecast.

A Chicago beach sign warns people against swimming or diving in Lake Michigan. (WTTW News)

Safety officials are reminding Chicagoans that even if it still feels like summer, the lakefront’s beaches are now closed for the season to swimming, with lifeguards no longer present along the shoreline. So far in 2021, 38 people have drowned in Lake Michigan.

Volunteers are needed for beach cleanups in September. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

As beach season winds down in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a series of weekend cleanups to clear the shoreline of a summer’s worth of litter and debris.

A life ring installed on the lakefront by Rogers Park activist Jim Ginderske. (Credit Halle Quezada / Twitter)

After a drowning in Lake Michigan near a Rogers Park beach earlier this month, longtime community activist Jim Ginderske decided to take action in the name of public safety. Now, a local alderperson is joining the effort.

Lane Beach is five-star worthy. (Alexandra Silets / WTTW News)

For three months out of the year, Chicago’s every bit as much of a beach town as Los Angeles or Miami. As we kick off summer 2021, here are some things you might not know about the city’s sandy shore.

(WTTW News)

The city’s lakefront beaches will officially open Friday for the first time since 2019, with lifeguards on duty and concessions returning. 

A section of open beach is being added to the protected Montrose Dune Natural Area. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Conservationists are celebrating a big win for wildlife along Chicago’s lakefront, where the expansion of a “treasured” natural area will give more room to some high-profile occupants: a pair of endangered Great Lake piping plovers, Monty and Rose.