Plunge Day Info!

Thank you for being a part of this wonderful day! This fundraiser is extremely important to the thousands of Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children's Charities athletes that the Chicago Polar Plunge benefits. You are what makes this day possible, so thank you! We want to make sure you are properly prepared. Below are some helpful reminders to get you ready! 

Itinerary for March 5, 2023:

8:00 AM Beach and registration opens

9:45 AM Opening ceremony

10:30–11:15 AM Plunge Waves


North Avenue Beach

1601 N. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60614


We encourage public transportation/carpooling/rideshare. If driving, the parking lot at Lincoln Park Zoo is free for the Chicago Polar Plunge. The lot is located at Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive, 2400 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614.

Check in and Registration

We recommend checking in ahead of time to beat the rush during one of our pre-registration times prior to Sunday, March 6. 

Early pickup dates:

Friday, March 3, from 3:00–6:00 PM

Saturday, March 4, from 10:00 AM–2:00 PM

Plunge Day Registration

Sunday, March 5, from 8:00–10:30 AM
Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your wave time to check in.

Groups of 20 or more will be required to pick up their team's materials at one of the pre-registration times.

What to bring

Please bring your bags and dry items with you as you enter the queuing tents. As far as what to wear into the water, less is better. Shoes are REQUIRED to take the plunge. Don’t forget about the costume contest!

Please bring a bag with the following:

  • Shoes (required to plunge) 
  • A warm change of clothing

What to do with your belongings

One great thing about bringing friends to watch is that they can hold your bag while you plunge. But don’t worry. If you want to keep your gear handy, just take it with you into the queuing tents before you plunge. Our volunteers will direct you to leave your bags on a tarp before heading into the water as a “Gear Check”. After you take the plunge and exit the water, volunteers will hand you a souvenir towel and will direct you to your bag right where you left it on the dry tarp. 

The boathouse has restrooms available to all plungers before and after the event, as well as changing rooms throughout the beach. 

Please note: Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children's Charities is not responsible for lost or stolen personal belongings. Please leave all items at your own risk. We will have lost and found in the registration tent.

Play it safe! Remember there is no diving allowed!

You should expect to have an absolute blast! Also, expect a very large crowd filled with tons of energy. The actual plunge is short and sweet, but you may have to wait in line before you jump in the water.

Click here for more FAQ's

See you soon, Plungers!