Cantigny, Morton Arboretum, Naper Settlement reopen -- with limits
Are you yearning to enjoy a visit to a pretty place, other than your backyard?
Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Morton Arboretum in Lisle and Naper Settlement in Naperville reopened this week. The Chicago Botanic Garden will open next week.
But before you head to these attractions, realize there are new restrictions and procedures in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peonies typically bloom in early June at the Morton Arboretum, which will reopen for members on Monday, June 1, and the general public on Monday, June 15.
- Courtesy of Morton Arboretum
Only Morton Arboretum members and their guests can get in to the facility now through June 14. And they will need to make online reservations unless they have given substantial donations to the arboretum (think $1,500 or more a year).
The tickets will allow entry at a certain time and up to one hour after the timestamp.
You may want to plan ahead for your bathroom needs because all buildings will be closed. Portable toilets will be set up in the bus lot in the Visitor Center parking area, the Big Rock Visitor Station parking lot and the Prairie Visitor Station parking lot.
The Children's Garden and the Maze Garden also will be closed. And there will be no wheelchair or stroller rental.
Other procedures include:
• Some paths will be designated as one-directional.
• Footbridges should be crossed one person at a time.
• Bikers should ride single-file on the right side of paths and roads, and walkers should move to the right, single file, when other users are approaching from either direction.
• Visitors should wear masks when they are closer than 6 feet to unrelated visitors. They must maintain a 6-foot distance when visiting popular spots, such as the giant wooden trolls.
• The arboretum has temporarily suspended the practice of reciprocally honoring memberships of other organizations that belong to the American Horticultural Society (such as the Chicago Botanic Garden or Cantigny Park).
The arboretum plans to open to nonmember visitors on June 15.
Cantigny Park in Wheaton reopened its grounds to members Monday, June 1. Officials said they have not decided when to open to the general public, saying only "early this summer."
Face masks are not required when outside, but you will have to put one on to use the restrooms.
McCormick House and the First Division Museum will remain closed, and only the restrooms in the Visitors Center will be open.
The playground and the Army tanks will remain unavailable.
Memberships can be bought online. They cost $50 for an individual membership and $80 for a "plus" membership. Senior citizen discounts are available. The memberships let you and any passengers in your car into the park.
The Cantigny golf course reopened May 1.
Naper Settlement in Naperville reopens to visitors on Tuesday, June 2.
- courtesy of Naper Settlement
Officials at Naper Settlement living-history museum detailed a comprehensive plan to reopen the 12-acre location on Tuesday, June 2, with limited capacity, a mask requirement for all indoor areas and strict social distancing.
Building tours have been modified to accommodate social distancing, Marketing Director Brittany Tepper said.
No reservations are needed, and the general public is welcome. Admission is free to Naperville residents and costs $8 to $12 for nonresidents.
"The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is of the upmost importance," Tepper said. "This is an incredibly difficult time for our community and local business. As we open back up to the public, it is important that we continue our missions to bring the community together safely."
The Chicago Botanic Garden will launch a limited reopening beginning Tuesday, June 9, with a perimeter walk available, giving visitors views of the North Lake, the Malott Japanese Garden and more. Some sections will be one-way only.
All buildings will be closed.
Preregistration is required for timed entry, and parking will be free. More details and the registration link is at chicagobotanic.org.
A broader reopening is scheduled for June 24 but is subject to change.
The Fayban Villa and Japanese Garden in Geneva are both set to reopen Sunday, June 7, but officials are still working on a plan.
"We are currently working with our board of directors and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County to determine the best time and protocol for reopening," said Kelsey Shipton, executive director of the Preservation Partners of Fox Valley, which operates the site.