Kid-Friendly Openings as Illinois Moves to Phase 4

Select zoos, bowling, indoor dining, and other kid-friendly spots are coming as Illinois plans to transition into Phase 4 of the reopening plan on Friday. We’re covering the reopening plans below — but be sure to call ahead or make online reservations to be sure the business has space for you! Things are changing quickly and most businesses can only host a certain number of people.

Expect that everyone over 2 will need to wear a face covering and be mindful of social distancing rules — which are coming from state and local governing bodies, not the businesses themselves. (If your kids are like mine and struggle with masks, you’ll want to stick to more distanced outdoor activities, rather than showing up at a business.)

Please remember that businesses are trying hard to adapt. Whatever your plans for phase 4, let’s all have good spirits and grace while we support our local businesses and figure this out together!

Museums and Conservatories

  • Shedd Aquarium is reopening on July 3 advance purchase of timed tickets before your visit is required.
  • The outdoor gardens at Garfield Park Conservatory are open to the general public starting July 15 with timed-entry and the reopening of indoor rooms will be determined at a later date.

Zoo Reopening Plans

  • Brookfield Zoo plans to reopen for members on July 1 and to non-members on July 8. Reservations and face coverings are required.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago plans to reopen on June 29. Free reservations and face coverings are required; members can access special members-only time slots. Plan ahead because spots are filling up quickly.
  • Cosley Zoo in Wheaton plans to open July 6 with pre-reserved, timed tickets. The first two days are for members only; the general public can reserve tickets for July 8 and after.
  • Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora plans to remain closed until Phase 5. You can walk around the outside of the zoo and will still be able to see some of the animals; the staff is moving some signs and the parrot cages to make them easier to see.

Kid-Friendly Indoor Dining

  • The American Girl Store in Chicago is open, and you can make a reservation for dining or the salon (scroll down on this page). Check their FAQs for changes, which include limited capacity and face coverings.
  • Medieval Times in Schaumburg is reopening with reservations starting July 5. Check here for guidelines and what to expect, including face coverings and temperature screenings.
  • 2Toots Train Whistle Grill plans to open Friday, June 26 for indoor dining. Check their Facebook page for updates.
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Bowling Alleys Opening on Friday, June 26

Bowling alleys will have limited capacity, and some spots are requiring reservations. Your best bet is to call ahead.

Movie Theaters Opening Soon

Movie theaters are opening with reduced capacity and guidelines such as face coverings. Buy tickets in advance and check theater websites for what you should expect when you arrive.

Other Openings

Deep River Waterpark in Crown Point, Indiana is open as of June 30, 2020 with reserved ticket times. (They will not sell any tickets at the park itself.) Read over the website to see the changes and expectations.

The Forge: Lemont Quarries plans on opening on July 17 and is taking reservations. This new giant outdoor adventure park will feature ziplines, ropes courses, climbing walls, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, and more.

The Morton Arboretum is open for visitors with timed-entry tickets. They’ve also begun opening the buildings (with changes), including the visitor center and Gingko Café. The Children’s Garden remains closed.

Haunted Trails Burbank and Haunted Trails Joliet have select outdoor attractions including go-karts, mini golf, and batting cages open. Additional safety measures include masks and social distancing. Outdoor dining is also open.

Funway Entertainment Center in Batavia is open with for dining, go karts, mini golf, batting cages, basketball, bumper boats, and water wars.

For indoor fun, Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield is open, Luigi’s Pizza and Fun Center in Aurora is open; Chasers Laser Tag in Naperville is open for private groups with advance reservations; and Safari Land in Villa Park and Lazer X in Addison plan to open Friday, June 26.

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For even more information on what’s open and closed, check out where to see 4th of July fireworks, local farms to visit with kids, and local mini-golf courses.

What will stay closed in Phase 4?

Indoor playgrounds, trampoline parks, and amusement parks do not look like they will be opening soon.

We know you’re all curious about outdoor playgrounds, too! We’ve been reaching out to park districts about playgrounds, but have yet to hear about definitive re-opening plans.

If you know of a closure or opening, please email Annie ( Thanks!

This article was originally titled “Guide to What is Open Summer 2020: Planned Openings, Closings, and Reschedulings” and first published in May 2020.

Restore Illinois: What phase are we in?

What is open this summer?

Please note that parks are open (check out our article about parks with paved paths!), however playgrounds remain closed.

The Downers Grove Park District recently announced that they will be removing caution tape and posting signs encouraging social distancing at playgrounds during Phase 3. (Equipment will not be sanitized. Please follow CDC recommendations and guidelines under the Restore Illinois Plan while visiting the parks.)

Cantigny Park is open! click here for updates on their phased reopening. From their website:

“Only Cantigny’s gardens and grounds will be accessible. The Visitors Center (except for restrooms), McCormick House and the First Division Museum remain closed. The playground and Army tanks also are temporarily off limits. Full-service outdoor dining will be available daily on the Bertie’s Bistro patios from 11 am to 2 pm.”

See full details on the Cantigny website.

Geneva Park District has opened disc golf, mini golf, and tennis courts with limited hours and additional guidelines. Reservations are required for mini golf; click here to sign up.

Santa’s Village Amusement Park anticipates opening in late June (a change from previous plans to open June 12). Click here for updates.

Go Ape: This outdoor experience for ages 10+ includes ziplining and more in Bemis Woods. Go Ape is open by reservation only and with adaptations for COVID-19 safety. Wear a mask and bring extra hand sanitizer; Go Ape will be helping everyone maintain six feet of distance, providing hand sanitizer, reducing group sizes, and more.

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The following events have (or are planning to) reschedule:

What has been canceled this summer or closed for the season?

Pools Closed for 2020

While some smaller neighborhood pools are open to their residents, most public pools are not. The following pools have decided to not open for the 2020 summer season:

Events Cancelled for 2020

Wheaton Park District has announced that all events through July 2020 have been cancelled, including the Independence Day Fireworks and Parade (July 3-4).

The following events have also been cancelled this year:

For ideas, resources, and encouragement, check out our lifeline for navigating the COVID-19 stay-at-home order with kids.

About the Author

Rachel Matuch
Rachel is a mom to two boys (ages 2 and 4) who "certainly has her hands full," as strangers in grocery stores tell her. She's doing her best to keep up and get comfortable with the mud pies and tree-climbing her kids love. In addition to writing and editing, Rachel frequently pillages the Naperville library, plays nerdy board games with her husband, and collapses into a tired heap at 8:30 p.m.

2 Comments on "Kid-Friendly Openings as Illinois Moves to Phase 4"

  1. Carol Skwarek | May 20, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Reply

    Cypress Cove Aquatic Park in Woodridge posted on their web site that their facility will not open for the 2020 summer season. Bummer!

  2. Carol Skwarek | May 20, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Reply

    Sunset Pool, Glen Ellyn – closed for the summer season. Posted on their web site today.

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