Tips on Summer Registration with the Chicago Park District

Summer Registration for the Chicago Park District‘s thousands – yes, thousands – of programs begins next week. Whether it’s aquatics, theater, boxing, or yoga, they’ve got a class or a camp or something for everyone. That being said, there are a limited number of spots available for each program. It’s kind of like the mosh pit of summer activities: everybody’s jostling to get the best spot.

This year the CPD has a new website and they’ve issued a set of recommendations to help make this process as smooth as possible. We’ve got them highlighted below. After you’ve reviewed them, take a moment to visit their registration instructions, complete with screen shots.

Registration opens at 9am on Monday, April 13, for parks west of California Avenue, and on Tuesday, April 14, for parks east of California Avenue. Please note that registration does not work as well on mobile devices, so you’ll want to get to a desktop or laptop computer.

Prior to Registration Day:

  • Check your account login and password.
    If you experience any problems, this will allow time to contact us before registration begins. If you areregistering for the first time, an account is needed to register.  Save time and set up your account prior toregistration day, and make sure to add all persons who you plan to register for on your account.
  • Create a wish list.
    This feature saves time on the first day of registration by allowing you to search for programs and save them in your wish list. You are not saving actual slots in the program – so this does not guarantee a spot in a program.  If you plan to register more than one child in an activity, save the activity in your wish list prior to registration and once you begin to register you can add the different children to the activity, one at a time. This doesn’t mean separate transactions however. Review these screen shots to see the quickest way to register two or more children for the same activity.  Learn more about the wish list.
  • Delete old items in your wish list.
    The new design & functionality of the site allows for items to remain in your wish list from previous seasons.  So if you don’t have any need for activities from past seasons, delete them from your wish list to make it easier to choose the activities you want to focus on for this season’s registration. Note: The system defaults to show only items currently open for enrollment in your wish list.  To show all items in your wish list, click “show all.”
  • Update your account information.
    Specifically school information, and child pick up information (who can/who can’t pick up your child, and the ability for your child to walk home alone). To answer these questions, log in to your account and click on the “Answer/Edit Account Questions” link.  Look for these questions under the “Account Creation Questions” section for each account holder.  Remember to update this information for all individuals on your account.  To change any other account information, click on the “Change Personal Account Information” link.  Note: Address and date-of-birth changes have to be made in-person at a park, and proof of residency/age is required.

On Registration Day:

  • Start registration from an activity page, not the wish list.
    A countdown clock exists on activity detail pages, but not in the wish list.  So we recommend you go to the activity details page for the activity you want most, prior to 9am.  You will see the countdown clock appear and at 9am, the “Add to Cart” button will appear.  After attempting to register for your first activity, feel free to utilize your wish list for any additional activities you wish to register for.
  • If you get the queue screen, wait for your turn.
    We continue to use a queue system that takes effect once the site has reached capacity for the number of patrons completing a transaction at one time.  With the high level of registrations expected for summer, you may get the queue screen (see image below) after you choose your first activity.  If you do, please wait patiently until the system automatically takes you to the next page in the registration process.  If you leave this screen, you will lose your spot in line.

Photo courtesy Chicago Park District






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