Dreaming of places to go in a post-COVID Chicago


E. Kvelland

Navy Pier, with its massive ferris wheel, is one of many local attractions that must await the end of COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo credit: E. Kvelland via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license.)

Blayr Young, Staff Writer

After falling into the new norm of social distancing and wearing masks for almost a year now, some of us may wonder if we’ll ever get back to what the world was like before the pandemic.  However, as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more available, can we dare to hope for a return to normalcy by summer?

If you are struggling to see yourself returning to that pre-Covid society, let me suggest a few places to go and things to do in Chicago when everything finally reopens.

1. Hit the beach

Chicago’s lakeshore offers miles of sandy beaches and plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball and barbecues. Whether relaxing on the beach with friends or running on the lakefront, you can’t beat a summer day at the beach.

2. Lalapalooza

Lalapalooza is the biggest music festival in Chicago every summer. That is, it was the biggest deal until the festival was canceled due to COVID-19.  Someday – whether this summer or in the future – it will surely make a comeback.  When it does, the music, the ambience, and the energy of the crowds will once again offer an unforgettable rush that everyone should experience.

3. Wherever the games are being played

Last year, most professional, college and high school level sports were either postponed or canceled all together, leaving passionate fans with a lot of extra time to on their hands.  Recently, many sports are being played again, although with few or no fans in the stands. But by summer, some arenas and stadiums are expected to open up, offering at least a bit of the excitement they offered in past years.

4. Six Flags

Six Flags Great America is the largest amusement park in Illinois, and one of the best in the country. Even if you don’t enjoy roller coasters, the food, the shows, and the crowds are worth the trip. For many, summer is not complete without visiting Great America, and hopefully by this summer it will be open again for everyone.

5. Navy Pier

Navy Pier has always been an magnet for tourists and locals alike. Currently, Navy Pier is closed, and even when it was open last fall there were strict COVID-19 safety precautions that closed theaters and limited the number of guests in confined spaces. Once these rules and restrictions are lifted, Navy Pier will again become the booming tourist attraction we once knew it to be.

We can dream, can’t we?