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A scene from the 2020 Chicago Polar Bear Club’s plunge into Lake Michigan. This year’s “plunge where you are” will look different. (Courtesy of Chicago Polar Bear Club)

“We can jump in the lake next year. People are just going to have to plunge where they are,” said the head of the Chicago Polar Bear Club. The 2021 event is going forward, virtually, to raise money for families in need.

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Chicago Park District in-person programming is suspended, but virtual sessions are still open for registration. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Winter programs have been suspended due to mitigations in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus, but people are still welcome to enjoy park trails and outdoor spaces.

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Parks and preserves are tightening restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. In the spring, even picnic tables were "closed." (Raed Mansour / Flickr)

With tighter mitigations in place due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Chicago Park District and surrounding forest preserve districts have suspended programs indefinitely.

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The Blue Angels are a fan favorite of Air and Water Show observers. (Courtesy of Blue Angels)

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated Chicago’s cultural landscape, and that pain is likely to continue into 2021, Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, said during Thursday’s budget hearings.

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Des Plaines River Trail. (Google)

The trail, which took nearly 60 years to complete, was one of 30 designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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The Forum in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. (Zachary Whittenburg / Chicago Architecture Center)

Open House Chicago will now run through Nov. 1, with additional online programming to be made available during the seven-day extension.

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(Veronika_Andrews / Pixabay)

From apples and pumpkins to pig races, hay rides, petting zoos and beyond, we’ve rounded up some options for fall fun in the Chicago area.

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(Keith Johnston / Pixabay)

The possibility for high school students to play all fall sports is again at a standstill. We discuss the situation with a student, a lawyer and a doctor.

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(PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay)

Trick-or-treating is not banned in the city, but groups should be limited to no more than six people that stay on the move, according to the guidelines.

“We are not canceling Halloween,” said Dr. Allison Arwardy, Chicago’s top doctor.

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(Pexels / Pixabay)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines Tuesday to help people understand the potential risks associated with common fall and winter traditions, like trick-or-treating and holiday travel.

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26 by taking part in activities at select Cook County Forest Preserves. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Visitors can choose from a slew of free activities at more than a dozen sites Saturday. Among the options, you can take a nature walk, learn the basics of camping, build a toy boat, meet some critters or join a scavenger hunt.

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How some Gage Park residents are giving back to their community during the pandemic.

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The Windy City Coop Tour showcases Chicagoans’ backyard chickens. (Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts / Facebook)

Chicagoans are raising chickens, growing food and experimenting with all sorts of sustainable-living practices — all in their urban backyards. See how it’s done during this weekend’s annual Windy City Coop and Eco-Yards Tour. 

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First Church of Deliverance in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. (Eric Allix Rogers / Chicago Architecture Center)

The revamped Open House Chicago features walking and biking trails and celeb-led virtual tours of the architecture and history of more than 20 city neighborhoods. 

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Alison Newberry and Matt Sparapani in Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. (Courtesy of Alison Newberry and Matt Sparapani)

Matt Sparapani and Alison Newberry weren’t planning to be in Chicago this summer. But like many of us, they had to rethink their plans. What the local teachers have learned about the natural areas of Chicago.

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The Mexican Independence Day Parade in South Chicago. (Courtesy of the Mexican Patriotic Club)

Mexican Independence Day celebrations are a community staple across many communities in Chicago and beyond. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, those celebrations are looking very different this year.

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