While winter in Chicago doesn’t inspire thoughts of summer camp for most people, if you want to get your child signed up for some of the city’s many exciting camp programs this coming summer, now is the time to act. Whether you’re looking for a multi-day diversion or a month-long experience, there is something for everyone available. Registration is or soon will be open for most camp programs, and if past years are any indication, most of them will fill up fast. Below is an outline of some of Chicago’s most popular summer camps (though as always, consult the included links for the most up-to-date information).
What: Weeklong, full or half-day camp sessions introducing children to the Lincoln Park Zoo, its animals and habitats, and various conservation topics. My oldest son went there for two weeks last summer and loved it.
Where: The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago
Who: Four and five-year-olds through eighth graders
When: Sessions running from June through August
How: Registration open February 23, 2010. Priority and early registration is available to zoo members and supporters of the Donors Club. Prices range from $150 to $300 a week depending on the program. Visit here for more information.
What: Camp that connects children to the wonders of nature through a combination of art, music, movement, hands-on science activities, and live animal encounters led by Nature Museum staff
Where: The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago
Who: Children aged four through ten
When: Two-week, 4-6 hour per day sessions running in June, July and August
How: Registration for returning families began on December 4, 2009. General registration begins on February 1, 2010. Prices range from $375 to $525 depending on the session selected. Discounts are available for museum members.
What: A variety of education and recreational programs ranging from nature hikes, arts and crafts, and swim lessons for younger children to digital video production, upper level mathematics, and SAT prep for middle and high school students
Where: The Latin School of Chicago
Who: Three-year-olds through twelfth graders. Participants need not be Latin School students
When: Various summer dates
How: Online registration is now open. Tuition ranges from $255 to over $2,000 depending on the program selected.
What: A variety of multi-week summer camps offering activities such as arts and crafts, sports, beach visits, scavenger hunts or chess
Where: The Francis W. Parker School
Who: Junior kindergarteners through twelfth graders
When: Multi-week sessions throughout the summer
How: Registration is open now online, prices range from several hundred dollars to over a thousand depending on the program and length
What: A number of day camps and programs offering a variety of educational, recreational, athletic, and fine arts activities
Where: Sacred Heart’s facility at 6250 N. Sheridan Road in Edgewater, Chicago
Who: Children aged three to fifteen
When: Various summer dates
How: Registration is open now. Prices range from less than $100 for day sessions to over $300 for multi-day sessions
What: Various camp programs (day, morning and extended afternoon) at over 190 Chicago parks offering water fun, field trips, athletic activities, and cultural experiences
Who: Details available starting April 5
When: Length of camp programs vary, but most begin the week of June 28 and run for six weeks
How: Online registration opens on April 19. Fees vary by camp, but most are affordable at between $1 and $3 per hour. Full details will be available online starting April 5
What: Multiple programs (including day and overnight camping) featuring activities such as swimming, canoeing, hiking, rope climbing, singing, and arts and crafts
Who: Two-year-olds through tenth graders
When: Various summer dates
How: Registration is available online here. Prices range from the low hundreds for one-week sessions to the mid thousands for six-week sessions
What: Themed language lessons in Spanish, French, Italian, German and Mandarin Chinese
Where: Language Stars’ center in Lincoln Park
Who: Twelve-month through ten-year-olds
When: Flexible dates and hours from June 14 through August 21
How: Registration is available online here (.pdf). Prices range from just over $100 to over $1,000 depending on the hours of instruction
What: Four or eight-week day camp programs encouraging campers to participate and challenge themselves through activities such as field trips, swimming, and bowling.
Where: The DePaul University Athletic Training Center and Ray Mayer Fitness and Recreation Center
Who: Four-year-olds through eighth-graders
When: June 21 – July 16 and July 19 – August 13
How: Registration forms are available online here. Tuition ranges from $1,900 to $3,615 depending on the age group and program length.
What: Various one or two-week theatre programs with themes ranging from fairy tales and Doctor Seuss for younger children to CSI and Wicked for older campers.
Where: The Emerald City Theatre School and Theatre Building Chicago in Lakeview
Who: Three-and-a-half through twelve-year-olds
When: Various dates from June through July
How: Registration is available online. Tuition ranges from $255 to $750 depending on the age group and program length.
Paul Green School of Rock Music Summer Boot Camp
What: A two-week-long music camp focused on all things rock including music lessons, daily band rehearsal, rock history, and a studio recording culminating in a rock show.
Where: The Paul Green School of Rock Music in Highwood, Illinois
Who: Eight to seventeen-year-olds who have basic proficiency with an instrument or vocal work
When: June 14 through 25
How: Tuition is $1,100 before April 1. Visit www.schoolofrock.com for more information.
You can find even more Chicagoland summer camps at this list on About.com. It’s from 2009, but many of the camp programs listed are ongoing.
Know a great Chicago-area summer camp but don’t see it above? Post a link in the comments section and share it with our other readers!