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Whihala Beach, Whiting Lakefront Park, & Whoa Zone Floating Water Park
Please note: Whihala Beach will be CLOSED effective Wednesday, July 15, 2020 and remain closed until further notice. In addition, Whiting Lakefront Park will also be closed to vehicular traffic on the same timeline. All bike and walking trails will remain open for pedestrian use.
With unusually large crowds far exceeding their normal summer attendance, it became difficult for patrons to comply with the COVID-19 social distancing and other CDC guidelines. Reduced beach area due to the high Lake Michigan water levels was also a contributing factor in maintaining the recommended distancing.
The Whiting Lakefront and Whihala Beach may be best known for its picturesque views of Chicago's skyline from the sandy beaches and beautiful boardwalk, but this Whiting location also features walking paths, play and picnic areas, a fishing pier, and a floating water park.
Whiting Lakefront Park and Whihala Beach have metered parking throughout the park, beach and on 117th St. For current fees, visit their website here.
Dogs are allowed on trails if they are leashed. Only during the off season (after Labor Day until Memorial Day) can they be on the beach, but they must be leashed.
Safety note - Do not swim in Lake Michigan when Rip Current warnings are posted or in large crashing waves, which can cause rip currents. These strong currents rushing out into Lake Michigan can carry even the strongest swimmer with them. If you get caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current. Check for beach hazard warnings before you go.
Whihala Beach spans more than 20 acres. Swimming is only permitted when a lifeguard is on duty. Visitors can enjoy the beach, swim and relax on the shores or on a boat. A number of migrating bird species can be seen in the flyway for those interested in bird watching.
- Grills are only available if you rent a shelter.
- No floating devices allowed in the water.
- No alcoholic beverages.
- For the 2020 summer, there are no paddle board, kayak or cabana rentals.
Memorial Day – Labor Day: 10am-6pm
Beach Parking Lot (past the gates): 10:30am-6:30pm
Boat Launch Parking Lot: 7am-6:30pm
Park and Beach Parking Meters - Cars: $4 per hour or $20 all day; Minimum credit card purchase is $5.
Boat launch fee: $30
Whiting's Lakefront Park
Whiting's Lakefront Park has recently been revamped and offers plenty to do for everyone. Grassy areas are perfect for picnicking and play areas are a favorite for preschool and elementary aged kids.
Enjoy hiking the walking paths or playing on the tennis or sand volleyball courts. There is metered parking at the park as well as bathrooms and concessions.
WhoaZone will not open in 2020 due to safe social distancing standards.
Whoa Zone at Whihala brings additional entertainment with a one-acre floating water park. The floating structure includes monkey bars, slides, towers, bridges and jumping platforms for children and adults (must be 7 years old, at least 45" tall and a good swimmer.) Various play areas offer different levels of challenge so both young and old can enjoy the attraction. Visitors are encouraged to schedule their hour-long sessions in advance, especially during busy and hot weekends in the summer.
2021 Schedule TBD