Chicago Park District

Beach Season Officially Begins; Visit The New Website


The Chicago Park District beach season opens for the season on Fri., May 24 and runs through Labor Day, Mon., Sept. 2.  New for the 2013 beach season, the Chicago Park District will launch a new interactive website showing swim status, water quality, weather data, location information, amenities, directions and historical details about each of the 24 beach locations. This new website developed internally by the IT and Green Initiatives Departments uses responsive web design technology to make it easily accessible for mobile phone and tablet users.

“The Chicago Park District strives to integrate the latest technology in our efforts to manage and maintain the health of our beaches for the millions of patrons that visit our beaches each summer,” said Michael P. Kelly, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO.

The following flag notification system tells patrons the current status of beaches: 

• Green – Swimming is permitted. Weather conditions are fair and water quality is good.

• Yellow – Swimming is permitted, but caution is advised. Weather conditions are unpredictable or bacteria levels are higher than the water quality criteria set by EPA for notifying the public.

• Red – Swimming is not permitted. Weather conditions are dangerous or water quality conditions are dangerous.

Patrons are asked to observe the following beach rules: 

• Obey lifeguards and swim only when lifeguards are present. 
• No glass, alcohol or smoking on the beach. 
• Properly dispose of food, diapers and other refuse.  Do not feed birds.  Dogs are only allowed in designated dog areas. 
• Please put swim diapers on small children.
• Grilling is only allowed in designated areas and coals should be disposed in the red hot metal containers. 
• Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
• Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed at 12th Street Beach.  For more information, go to the rules page and download information on Lake Michigan water trails. 
• Kiteboarding is not permitted at 12th Street Beach; kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach. 
• Swimming is permitted and lifeguards are on duty at all beaches from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless otherwise posted.

A texting service is available that will communicate to beach goers the swim status of a beach by texting the name of your beach to (312) 715-SWIM.  To get a list of swim status at all beaches, text the word ‘beaches’.  In addition, beach goers can also access information on swim status by calling the Chicago Park District Beach Hotline at 312-74-BEACH, visiting or following us on Facebook and Twitter for the swim status at each beach. 

The Chicago Park District outdoor pools open for the season Fri., June 21 and are open through Mon., Sept. 2.  Outdoor pool hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Admission is free to Park District pools, but fees vary for lap swim and instructional classes.

Admission to Chicago’s beaches is free.


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