Recreation has dramatically changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recreation providers have tirelessly spent the spring season trying to create new ways for us to play, learn, compete, and connect, either in a virtual world or on our own. As we enter the summer, now in the midst of the Restore Illinois Phase 3 guidelines, many of us crave more opportunities to enjoy the benefits of active recreation, but how do we play? Where can we exercise? Can kids go to camp?

To help answer these types of questions, our Parks & Recreation experts collaborated with our partners to better understand the challenges recreation providers are facing and help determine potential strategies to bring recreation back, while aligning with guidelines outlined by the State of Illinois.

The culmination of these discussions, along with our interpretation of the guidelines, are graphically represented in our new publication: "Recreation Reopening | Make Time to Play." In it, we've included a set of diagrams that represent our interpretation of guidelines for Phase 3 and Phase 4 of Restore Illinois during the COVID-19 pandemic. They include considerations for determining building circulation, rooms capacities, and layouts for indoor sports, fitness, day camps, and other programs typically offered by Recreation Centers.

We hope this document can be used as a tool by Parks and Recreation staff to help plan and implement their programs during both Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the COVID-19 pandemic re-entry plan. These strategies include considerations to determine building circulation, room capacities, and social distancing requirements for gymnasiums, cardio & weights, fitness studios, multi-purpose rooms, staff offices, and childcare.

Download a PDF of "Recreation Reopening | Make Time to Play."

Report Authors

Robert Ijams, PLA

Director of Parks & Recreation

Ania Szulc, LEED AP, CPHC®

Senior Project Designer, Architecture