Are Chicago Beaches Closed After Labor Day? Chicago Beach Laws

Chicago beachgoers and swimmers are accustomed to wringing the most enjoyment out of the official beach season. With Labor Day already in the rearview mirror, the season is coming to an end, so it might be time to pack up swimsuits and beach towels for another season.

After all, summer is a fleeting experience in Chicago, and the beach season is May 25 through September 3, according to the Chicago Park District. The Chicago Park District manages 26 miles of free and open lakefront, staffing lifeguards at city beaches, performing a clean-up and other maintenance, and reporting on water conditions at each of Chicago’s beaches throughout the season.

Swimming After Labor Day at Chicago Beaches

So what happens if a person were to go to the beach after Labor Day? The beach is open much like other parks managed by the city, with regular open hours from 6 am until 11 pm. However, the Park District does restrict swimming hours to those when a lifeguard is on duty. Don’t see a lifeguard? Then swimming is off-limits. And you shouldn’t expect to see a lifeguard on duty at Chicago beaches after the end of the official season.

What can happen if an intrepid visitor goes to the beach and jumps in the water after the season is over? According to Chapter 7 of the Chicago Park District Code, any person caught violating the rules is subject to a fine of up to $500. Yikes! 

It’s worth noting that some seasoned beachgoers will still venture into Lake Michigan after Labor Day. It might be tempting to take a dip with temperatures expected to remain hot and dry well into September. Swimmers do so at their own risk, though, and if Chicago Police are patrolling the beach that day, they might end up with a hefty fine for heading into the lake. 

Interested in swimming after Labor Day but don’t want to risk getting a ticket? Check out the best rooftop swimming pools in Chicago apartments.