Smile Politely

The pools open at the end of the month, here is what you need to know

*Editor’s Note: Since this was originally published, Governor Pritzker announced a date for Illinois to move into the Bridge Phase. Sholem and Crystal Lake have been able to remove the reservation times and resume regular hours, with capacity limits. Follow the links to find updated schedules.

After a sad summer of missing Sholem and Crystal Lake Aquatic Centers, they are both preparing to open on May 29th. Everything in our lives is operating a bit differently right now and require some planning ahead, so be sure to read up on how to enjoy some pool time this summer.

Both Champaign and Urbana Park Districts will have reservations systems where you can register for an open swim time slot. They will also accept walk ins, but only if they are not at capacity. In between open swim times, the pool will close for cleaning. Here are some specifics. Follow the links for more details about passes, lap swims, and such.


  • Open swim times: 12 to 2 p.m., 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., 5 to 7 p.m. 
  • Register up to a week in advance (more info on how to do this will be posted to the website)
  • Concessions will be open
  • Masks required for entering and traveling around the deck. Not required on lounge chairs, while eating, or in the pool

Crystal Lake

  • Open swim times: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Registration for May-June is open now
  • Masks required when not in the water
  • There’s no new guidance for bringing food/drink in a cooler, maybe call to ask before assuming you can bring it in?

Of course, both facilities will continually update guidance as we move into other phases designated by the state, so check websites for updated information, and be chill about things being sort of weird and different. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to swim this summer.

Top image from Crystal Lake Aquatic Center Facebook page.

Staff writer

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