There's no way your little Einstein is going to spend her summer lazing at the beach—she's way too interested in flexing that brain of hers studying the stars or losing herself at a Chicago museum. Instead of wasting away the days, an academic summer camp could be the best way to spend the warmer months. Kids can learn how to program a robot, order in French at a French restaurant, study wildlife and more.
RECOMMENDED: Chicago summer camp guide
Academic summer camps
ID Tech Camps
Bill Gates wannabes can get their start at computer camp. While the focus is on coding, robotics programming and game design, there's also plenty of time devoted to enjoying the great outdoors. Times, prices and locations vary; see website for details. Ages 6–16.
Lycee World Camp
Whether your little guy or gal is fluent or still mastering “un, deux, trois,” this immersion-style camp will get them up to speed. Language camp programs include lessons in French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Arabic. 9am–3pm. Dates vary, see website for details. $210–$805. Pre-k–12th grade.
Children delve into topics like nature, art, music, movement and science during these camp sessions. Depending on the camper's age, activities include exploring the museum's outdoor wetlands, woodlands and prairie habitats, animal observation, off-site field trips and more. 9am–1pm or 9am–3pm July 5–Aug 26. $435–$710. Ages 4–11.
Curious kids can develop problem-solving skills as part of Camp Noggin’s hands-on activities, games and experiments. One-week summer day camps for explorers in grades K-8 offer up creative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. This year’s themes include “arctic expedition,” “crazy contraptions,” and “radical robots.” Find the full schedule, or look for info about four weeks of pre-K camp, on the website. 9am–noon, 1–4pm or 9am–4pm June 13–Aug 19. $295–$495.