Chicago’s Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan raises funds for good causes

Chicago's Polar Plunge Into Lake Michigan Raises Funds For Good Causes

NOTE: You can watch live coverage of the event in the player above beginning at 9:30 a.m.

On Sunday morning, Chicagoans began the annual tradition of diving into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan to support Special Olympics Chicago and Special Children’s Charities for the Chicago Polar Plunge.

Participants in the event, a fundraiser to the two charity organizations, gathered at North Avenue Beach for the annual event Sunday morning. The opening ceremony will start at 9:45 a.m. and the plunge will start at 10 a.m.

Here is information for those looking to come out and join the fun.


Free parking is available at Lincoln Park Zoo. 

Metered parking will also be available along Cannon Dr.

What to wear

The event organizers recommend bringing a bag that has a change of clothes, shoes, and an extra towel for after the plunge.

There are changing tents along the beach for changing post-plunge.

There are no clothing requirements for plungers, but participants must wear shoes.

If plungers want to dress up, there will be a costume contest with prizes for the best dressed of the morning.

What will you get?

Before the plunge, participants will receive and have access to:

  • A Chicago Polar Plunge T-shirt
  • A wristband
  • Complimentary coffee tent courtesy of Areas and GID Industries
  • Complimentary water from Polar Beverage and ConAgra Brands
  • Official Chicago Polar Plunge swag from Lemolade
  • Selfie stations along the beach

Want to know more about the Polar Plunge?

Check out NBC Chicago’s coverage from previous Polar Plunges to learn more about the fundraiser and event.