Chicago area attractions begin to reopen for first time since pandemic began

Last year at this time, all we could talk about were all the spring and summer events we've grown to love being shut down. This spring? A much different story as it's not only the flowers that are springing back to life.

"Our last show was March 13, 2020- a day that lives in infamy in my mind," said "Sir Camden, Lord Marshal for Her Majesty the Queen" at Medieval Times in Schaumburg. "We are reopening our castle tonight!"

The knight, decked out in full medieval regalia, said he and his fellow performers are eager to be in front of an audience.

"We're all very excited to get to perform. For a lot of us, this will be the first time we've been able to perform in front of a live crowd in over a year," Sir Camden said.

Normally, 1400 people fit into Medieval Times Hall of Arms, but per COVID-19 guidelines, audience size will be limited to 350 people, with costumed performers walking around to remind people about social distancing.

A similar situation at Six Flags Great America, which is going to open its gates to the theme park Saturday for the first time since its 2019 season.


"I don't think the smiles have left anyone's face in a long time here," said park spokesperson Caitlin Kepple. "We're so excited to get back to the excitement. We'll all be smiling under our masks this weekend so that is what guests can expect. There will be some changes."

Capacity will be limited inside the park at 25 percent., but that could possibly mean shorter lines for rides. Guests will also have to reserve their slots in advance, with timed entry.

"There's no exit time associated with a reservation. You can stay as long as you like within the park. So if you have a 10:30 a.m. reservation, you could stay til we close at 8 p.m. on Saturday, for example."

The Willis Tower's renovated Skydeck will also open up to the public starting Friday.