With temperatures expected to be in the 90s this Memorial Day weekend, Evanston residents will welcome the opportunity to celebrate the traditional beginning of summer on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.

Evanston’s five public swimming beaches will be open seven days a week, from this Saturday through Labor Day, Sept. 3.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that a daily pass or season token must be presented for beach admission.

The “preseason” fees for tokens, available at the Morton Civic Center and all community centers through June 8, are $24 for residents of Evanston and Skokie and $40 for non-residents. After that, the fee jumps to $24 and $40, respectively.

The City of Evanston and the Skokie Park District have a mutual deal going whereby Evanston passes for the beach and Skokie passes for its swimming pools are available to residents of both suburbs at the “resident” rate.

Daily passes may be purchased at beach entrances. A daily pass is $6 for children ages 1-11 and $8 for people 12 years and older. Admission for children under age 1 is free.

Based on family size and income, Evanston residents may qualify for beach token fee assistance and a free beach token program. The outreach beach pass program for Evanston teens is in place again this year.

Beach hours from May 26 through June 8 are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beach hours from June 9 through Labor Day are 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. All beach hours are subject to weather and beach conditions.

Evanston has three beaches which are accessible to people with disabilities: Greenwood Street, Lee Street, and Lighthouse.

Lighthouse Beach is at Central Street and Sheridan Road.

Clark Street Beach is at Clark Street and Sheridan Road.

Greenwood Street Beach is at Greenwood Street and the lakefront.

Lee Street Beach is at Lee Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.

South Boulevard Beach is at South Boulevard and the lakefront.

There’s also a beach for dogs (accompanied by their owners, of course). It is at Church Street and the lakefront.

A beach token or daily pass is needed for admission.  Admission for children under age one is always free. Daily passes may be purchased at each beach entrance. Free beach days for Evanston residents will be held at Clark Street Beach on Mondays from July 9 through Aug. 27.

During certain conditions, swimming is prohibited at one or more of Evanston’s beaches, but admittance to the sandy area of the beach is still allowed. At other times, both the water and the beach areas are closed for your safety.

The city has just launched a new service by which beach patrons can receive either a text message or email with information on beach closures. To sign up, visit the city’s website.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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