Disneyland phased reopening
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Theme Parks, Festivals, and Major Attractions Reopening Across America

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Disneyland phased reopening
Handout/Getty

They're Back, Baby

For anyone who loves major events attended by thousands of people, 2020 was a major bummer of a year (and yeah, we know, 2020 was a major bummer of a year for just about everyone). But there are glimpses of hope on 2021's horizon, with theme parks, festivals, sporting events, and other major attractions announcing scheduled dates and openings. While pretty much everything on this list could see backpedaling depending on local virus numbers and health and safety guideline changes, here — for the moment, at least — are some things to look forward to. 


Related: Iconic Activities Canceled by COVID-19 in 2020

Disneyland
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Disneyland

Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced in mid-March that Disneyland would reopen on April 30. The announcement came after new California guidelines permitted amusement parks to reopen beginning April 1 with 15% to 35% capacity, depending on the level of COVID-19 in the community. Additionally, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa will reopen on April 29 with limited capacity, and the Vacation Club Villa at the Grand Californian will reopen on May 2. Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel have yet to announce reopening dates.


Related: Vintage Photos of Disneyland and Walt Disney World

Legoland California
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Legoland California

After a year of closure, Legoland in San Diego will reopen on April 1 under California's new guidelines. Its reopening strategy has been named Park Preview Days and will limit access to select attractions and rides to Legoland hotel guests, annual pass holders, and existing ticket holders who were affected when the park closed last year.


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Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor
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Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor

These two Illinois parks will open on April 24 and May 29, respectively, with reduced capacity and a reservation system in place. Additionally, the parks will require other safety protocols such as mask requirements, temperature screenings, physical distancing, increased sanitation, and more


Related: 25 Amusement Parks: Then and Now

Boy & Dolphin
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Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California
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Six Flags Magic Mountain

This north Los Angeles theme park is set to reopen on April 1. The park website notes that it has a "comprehensive" reopening plan that "the company developed in consultation with epidemiologists," and that "meets or exceeds federal, state, and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene, and social distancing protocols."


Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
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Views of Knott's Berry Farm from Sky Cabin
Views of Knott's Berry Farm from Sky Cabin by Loren Javier (CC BY-NC)

Knott's Berry Farm

Although it hasn't yet announced a specific date, this Buena Park, California, amusement park has said that it will reopen sometime in May. "From hiring and training new associates to working with Government officials on finalizing guidelines," noted a March 12 update, "we will work hard to ensure that we can reopen our park safely for all to enjoy."

Movie Theaters
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AMC Theaters

Movie buffs, take heart — this major cinema chain recently announced it would be reopening 99% of its locations, including 52 of its 54 California locations. AMC has developed a "Safe & Clean" protocol, which includes social distancing & automatic seat blocking in each auditorium, mandatory mask-wearing, and upgraded air filtration with MERV-13 air filters, as well as many other important health, sanitization and cleanliness efforts, according to CEO and president Adam Aron. 


Related: 21 Companies Refusing to Pay Rent as Millions of Americans Face Eviction


Regal Cinemas
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Regal Cinemas

This theater chain, the second-largest in the U.S., also announced it will reopen the doors to 500 of its theaters on April 2. Theater capacity will range from 25%-50%, and guests will be required to wear masks. 

New Orleans Street Jazz Musician in the French Quarter
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New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Normally taking place in April (though canceled in 2020), festival organizers have elected to postpone the 2021 event until Oct. 8-17. More information about this year's event can be found at the website.


Related: 36 Bucket-List Destinations for Music Lovers

Riot Fest
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Riot Fest

This popular rock, punk, alternative rock, and hip hop music festival, which was canceled in 2020, has already announced preliminary lineup plans for Sept. 17-19, 2021, at Douglass Park in Chicago. Bands include My Chemical Romance, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, and many more. 

Pitchfork Music Festival
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Pitchfork Music Festival

The organizers of this Chicago-based music festival are making tentative plans for Sept. 10-12 in Union Park, though those plans will only be allowed to move forward if the state transitions into Phase 5 of its reopening plan, according to officials

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
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Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

This annual four-day music festival is currently scheduled to happen Sept. 2-5 at The Bonnaroo Farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Headliners include The Avett Brothers, Billy Strings, and Jon Mardi. 

Alcatraz
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Alcatraz Island

After being closed for a year, Alcatraz Island, a National Park Service landmark, reopened on March 15. Ferries are operating at reduced capacity with advance reservations required. More info on the reopening, including which specific areas are welcoming visitors, can be found here


Related: 50 Tourist Traps That Locals Still Love

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

This massive hot air balloon festival, which was also canceled last year, is scheduled to happen in 2021 from Oct. 2-10. Nearly 600 balloons take part, and nearly 900,000 guests have attended over the nine days of the festival in years past.

Chicago Cubs Wrigley field
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Major League Baseball Parks

Opening day for MLB is April 1, and many ballparks — though not all — are planning to welcome fans. Those giving seats to ticket holders at limited capacity include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, and Kansas City Royals, among many others. Those yet to be determined include the L.A. Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. CBS Sports is updating a list of related announcements and status changes here

united center stadium on chicago
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NBA and NHL Venues

The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League seasons will continue into July this year, and many team venues are welcoming fans at limited capacity, while still others are making plans to do so. The Tick Pick blog has a chart of which venues are opening here, but check your local venue's website to see if plans have changed; the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets' Ball Arena, for instance, recently announced it will start allowing fans at games on April 2. 

Boston Marathon
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Boston Marathon

After canceling its 2020 race, organizers of the Boston Marathon have said that the event's 125th year will take place on Oct. 11. “We announce the 2021 Boston Marathon date with a cautious optimism, understanding full well that we will continue to be guided by science and our continued collaborative work with local, city, state, and public health officials,” said Tom Grilk, Boston Athletic Association president and CEO in a statement. “If we are able to hold an in-person race in October, the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members will be paramount.”

New York City Marathon
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New York City Marathon

Another iconic 26.2-miler, this marathon is slated to take place on Sunday, Nov. 7 after being canceled in 2020. 

 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Canceled in 2020, this marathon is set to take place in 2021, with a current date of Sunday, Oct. 10. 

Little League Baseball World Series
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Little League Baseball World Series

The league's website notes that the 2021 series is "tentatively scheduled" to take place Aug. 19-29 in various U.S. locations. More info can be found here