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Oak Lawn Park District opens with a splash

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Photo by Joe Boyle
Parents and their children enjoy a day at the Centennial Aquatic Center splash pad in Oak Lawn on Friday. The splash pads recently reopened along with swimming pools in the village under modifications due to COVID-19.
By Joe Boyle
The Oak Lawn Park District has opened pools for the summer and that includes a little splashing as well.
Open swim is available at both the Central Pool, 9400 S. Kenton Ave., and the Centennial Aquatics Center, 9401 S. Nashville Ave., which began on Saturday. Reservations will be accepted online only at www.olparks.com.
Along with reservations, a pool membership is required to reserve a spot. Up to 50 individuals per time slot will be allowed. No drop-ins will be allowed and no guest passes will be accepted.
The splash pad at the Centennial Aquatic Center opened on June 30. The splash pads at Memorial Park, 10200 S. Major Ave., and Columbus Manor, 99th Street and Moody Avenue, opened this past week.
The Centennial Park splash pad is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The splash pad is free and will remain that way throughout the summer. The splash pad is on a timer and will turn off at 7 p.m. Individuals will not have access to the locker rooms or restrooms.
Capacity at the splash pads are also limited to 50 people and individuals must follow social distancing guidelines as well as other applicable state guidelines. Patrons not using the splash pad must wear face coverings.
Central Pool and the Centennial Aquatic Center pools will also have a 50-person capacity. Reservations are required for two-hour time slots.
Near the Oak Lawn Ice Arena and Administrative Center at 9400 S. Kenton Ave., a soccer field is also available. However, participants need to practice social distancing. The Central Pool also has a children’s pool and vending area. Swim lessons, open swim lessons and party rentals are available at this location. For more details regarding Central Pool, call (708) 857-2225.
Oak Lawn Park District officials have stated that at least residents will have an opportunity to participate in some activities as long as they follow the modifications. Officials were disappointed that the annual Party in the Park event at Memorial Park and the evening fireworks show at Richards High School had to be postponed on July 4 due to the pandemic.
Members of the Oak Lawn Park District Board are hoping to reschedule the celebration and have it occur over the Labor Day weekend.
Maddie Kelly, the executive director of the Oak Lawn Park District, said that COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Many activities have had to cancel including softball leagues who would usually be playing at Centennial Park. However, some pickup games have taken place at the park of late.
“We do have some individualized instruction and some activities are taking place in small groups,” Kelly said earlier this summer. “We are trying, this is what we have to do. We have to stay safe.”
But with the opening of Phase 4 state guidelines, playgrounds are now open. The lots are also limited to 50 people and individuals must follow social distancing guidelines as well as other applicable Illinois Department of Public Health guidance.
The Oak Lawn Park District’s Stony Creek Golf Course has opened along with the driving range and miniature golf course at 5850 W. 103rd St.. Indoor and outdoor dining areas are available.
Open swim is also open at the Centennial Aquatics Center Pool. More information can be obtained by calling Centennial Pool, (708) 398-6313.

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