General Interest Camps
Banner Day Camp Set in idyllic Lake Forest, Banner offers two private lakes, a large aquatic center with four heated pools and two water slides, plus indoor and outdoor facilities for sports, music, dancing, wall climbing and more. 1225 Riverwoods Rd, Lake Forest (847-295-4900, bannerdaycamp.com). Camp runs Jun 21–Aug 13, Mon–Fri 9am–4pm. Four-week session $1,870–$3,400; Eight-week session $1,400–$5,600. Ages 3 to 14.
Boys and Girls Club of Chicago Campers spend the summer exploring our fair city with field trips to baseball games, water parks and museums. Clubs include Cotter, Jordan, McCormick, Valentine, King, Little Village, General Wood and Logan Square (312-235-8000, bgcc.org). Dates, times, prices, ages and locations vary.
Brookfield Zoo Summer Day Camp Pint-size animal lovers will learn about animal habitats and life as a zookeeper and take a sneak peek into the world of zoology with behind-the-scenes zoo activities. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St, Brookfield (708-688-836, brookfieldzoo.org). Dates and times vary. One-week session $265–$375; half-day $135–$185. Ages 4 to grade 8.
Bubbles Academy Imagination Camps Imagination camps incorporate all of Bubbles Academy's programs including yoga, creative movement, art, science, music, cooking, drama and storytelling—and with special themed days, no two days are alike. Bubbles Academy, 1504 N Fremont St (312-944-7677, bubblesacademy.com). Camp runs Jul 5–Sept 3. $250 per one-week session; day passes available for $65. Ages 3–6.
Chicago Park District Expect traditional summer day camp activities including field trips, visits to the local pool, arts and crafts, nature exploration, sports and games at more than 190 parks throughout Chicagoland. Contact your local park for its specific camp agenda. Locations throughout the city (312-742-7529 chicagoparkdistrict.com). Jun 14–Aug 22. Prices and sessions vary. Ages 6 to 12.
Chicago Waldorf School True to the school’s educational ideals, camp days revolve around arts, nature, crafts, sports, beach play and weekly field trips to places like the Botanic Garden. 1300 W Loyola Ave (773-465-2662, chicagowaldorf.org). Jun 14–Jul 30, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. One-week session $200, single-day drop-ins available. Ages 4 to 12.
The Chopping Block Grade-school gourmets can choose from three different four-day camps, including one that will take their taste buds around the world to Mexico, France, China and Italy. In addition to exploring new foods, the focus here is on following recipes, learning about ingredients, and working cleanly and safely in the kitchen. The Chopping Block, 4747 N Lincoln Ave (773-472-6700, thechoppingblock.net). Camps run Jun 7–Sept 2. $150. Ages 7–11.
FasTracKids Young scientists run experiments centering on a weekly theme (think dinosaurs, anatomy and astronomy) from 9am–noon Monday through Friday. Campers get to meet working scientists and develop their own projects with this specially designed camp curriculum focused on biology, technology, communication skills and critical thinking. FasTracKids, 725 W Wrightwood Ave (773-281-5437, www.fastrackids.com). Camp runs Jun 7–Sept. 3. $175 per month. Ages 3–8.
Francis W. Parker Summer Programs Your wish is their command. Offering every sport (like yoga and soccer), activity (think LEGO architecture and chess) and class under the sun (such as ACT prep and drivers ed), kids are guaranteed to find something right up their alley. Francis W. Parker School, 300 W Webster Ave (773-797-5104, fwparker.org/summers) Jun 21–Aug 27. Days, times and prices vary by age and session. Ages pre-kindergarten to 9th grade.
Fred’s Camp Kids in junior, senior and tween sessions develop physical coordination, social skills and self-esteem. Field trips, swimming, bowling and more are on the docket at this popular teacher-founded camp. DePaul University Athletic Training Center, 2323 N Sheffield (773-818-8027 fredscamp.com). Camp runs Jun 21–Aug 13, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. $1,900–$2,000 for four weeks; $3,425–$3,615 for eight weeks. Ages kindergarten to 8th grade.
Glenview Park District This suburban park district offers everything from tennis and golf camps to Nature Rangers camp, where kids explore plant and animal life, to Claymation Movie-making Camp. Download a brochure at glenviewpark.org to see all the arts, dance, sports, hobby and technology camps and more that are open for sign-up. Glenview Park District Park Center, 2400 Chestnut Rd, Glenview (847-724-5670, www.glenviewpark.org). Prices, dates and ages vary; visit website for details.
Jewish Community Center Day Camps Programs range from the traditional camp experience to specialty sessions geared toward the arts, sports and adventure. Jewish values, tradition and Israeli culture are woven into camp days through stories, games, art and celebration. JCC also provides a residential camp in Wisconsin. Visit website for camp locations (gojcc.org). Dates, times and prices vary. Ages 3 to 10th grade.
Kendall College Summer Camps Spice up your little chef’s summer with day or overnight camp at Kendall College, where kids learn cooking techniques from some of the city’s fine food and dining stars. Courses cover culinary skills, international cuisine and advanced chocolate (mmm). Overnight campers will develop their culinary skills as they explore the city with activities such as attending the Broadway in Chicago theater series, restaurant dining and boat tours of the city. Kendall College, 900 N North Branch St (312-752-2206, culinary.kendall.edu). Dates vary. Day campers: Mon–Fri 8:30am–4:30pm. One-week day session $675–$800; one-week overnight session $1,100–$1,225. Scholarships available. Ages 13 to 18.
The Kids’ Table Kids get to roll up their sleeves to chop, slice, dice, and even wash dishes and sweep up after taking these hands-on cooking classes. Themes change from week to week; go to kids-table.com for a complete list and info about times for specific age groups. The Kids’ Table, 2337 W North Ave (312-235-2665, kids-table.com). Camp runs Jun 14– Sep 3. $45–$250. Ages 2–10.
Lakefront Children’s Academy Summer Camp Songs, games, literature, art, cooking and more—it’s all here. Each week centers around a different theme, such as Under the Sea, Wild Kingdom and On the Go. Campers take weekly field trips to places like the zoo. 400 E Randolph St (312-819-1760, lakefrontchildrensacademy.com). Camp runs Jun 21–Aug 20, Mon–Fri, times and prices vary. Ages 2 to 12.
Lakeshore Athletic Club At LAC’s Pee Wee Club, kids burn energy through active endeavors like swimming, arts and crafts, tumbling and outdoor play. An Adventure Camp with activities geared to ages 8 to 13 is also available. 1320 W Fullerton Ave (773-477-9888, lsac.com). Camps run Jun 21–Aug 20, Mon–Fri 9am–6pm with pre-camp available at 7:30am. Mon–Thu $81/day, Fri $86, Mon–Fri $365 (discounts available for members). Ages prekindergarten to 13.
Latin School of Chicago Day Camp Activities range from swim lessons to computers to cooking at this day camp. Beach days, scavenger hunts and trips to local climbing walls and water parks are also on tap. Summer academic and recreational programs are available for high-school students. Latin School of Chicago, 1531 N Dearborn Pkwy (312-582-6080, latinschool.org). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 6. Days and times vary depending on age of camper. Four-week session $650–$1,400. Ages 3 to 14.
Lincoln Park Zoo Conservation Camps Send your kiddo where the wild things are. Campers explore the inner workings of the zoo while counselors educate them on topics such as why we have zoos, how zoos function and environmentality. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St (312-742-2056, lpzoo.org). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 13, Mon–Fri. One-week session half-day $150; one-week session full-day $300. Ages 4 to 14.
Little Gym Day Camp Interactive themes like space and the sea inspire the three-hour camp day with fitness and fun—think obstacle courses, arts and crafts, and group games. Parents can customize when campers attend: a day, a few days, or several full-week sessions. Little Gym, 3216 N Lincoln Ave (773-525-5750, thelittlegym.com/chicagoil). Camps run Jun 14–Aug 20, Mon, Wed, Fri 9am–noon; Tue, Thu 3pm–6pm. One day $50, two days $90, three days $125, four days $155, five days $180. Ages 3 to 12, kids must be potty trained.
Near North Montessori Specialty camps and day camps encourage journeys of discovery and exploration in a nurturing environment. Campers will have the opportunity to swim each day, explore the city by train and develop new talents. Near North Montessori, 1434 W Division St (773-384-1434, nnms.org/summer/). Camps run Jun 21–Aug 6. Prices TBA. Ages 3 to 14.
Oasis Summer Day Camp Started by a teacher and his wife, Oasis Summer Camp is packed with activities ranging from swimming to sports tournaments to costume contests. Weekly field trips take children to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Lake County Fair and more. Oasis also features the “Tree Fort Challenge,” an optional reading program designed to reward campers who read all summer long. 180 W Ridge Ave, Winnetka (847-858-0415, oasisdaycamp.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 13, Mon–Fri 9am–3:30pm. Six-week session $1,900–$2,050. Ages 5 to 12.
Pump It Up Summer Jump Camp Specially designed curriculum lets children enjoy playtime on inflatables, creative expression with arts and crafts, and unique exercises with theme-focused days, such as rock climbing Mondays. Snacks included. Pump It Up: The Inflatable Party Zone, 821 W Eastman St (312-664-7867, pumpitupparty.com). Camp runs Jun 28–Aug 5. $600; 15% sibling discount. Ages 5–9.
Summer at Sacred Heart School Daily agendas range from classic camp activities—arts and crafts, drama, cooking, sports, beach play—to academic endeavors. (Think language courses, math lessons, etc.) There’s also an overnight option in July. Sacred Heart School, 6250 N. Sheridan Road (773-681-8313, shschicago.org). Camp runs Jun 21–Jul 30, Mon–Fri, 9am–3:30. One-week session half-day $150–$250; full-day $300. Ages 3 to 15.
Smart Love Preschool Summer Program Tiny tots ages six months to four years will bask in the beauty of summer with outdoor activities in the school’s enclosed gardens. They’ll also get (a little) messy creating artistic masterpieces. And a little tuckered out enjoying other play-based activities. Ahh, summer. Smart Love Preschool 800 W Buena Ave (773-665-8052, smartlovepreschool.org. Jun 21–Aug 13; Tue, Wed and Thu 9:15am–10:30am or 11:00–12:15. $23 per class; eight-week session $552. Ages six months to 4, caregivers or parent must attend.
Smarty Party Little smarty pants can join the Smarty Party this summer, a flexible and varied summer camp where moms and dads can pick and choose which time frames work best for them—a few days? A week? The whole summer? It’s up to you. Every senior staffer on the team is a certified teacher, so in addition to the usual summer-camp classics like arts and crafts, sports and story time, this camp also pays attention to reading and literacy. Smarty Party, 1846 W Belmont Ave (773-687-0521, smartyparty.us). Times and prices vary. Ages prekindergarten to 2nd grade.
Summer Lab at the University of Chicago Lab School Whether kids want to stretch their brain cells academically or just run around in a traditional camp setting, U. of C. has it—and everything in between—covered. There are six options: Summer School, Adventure Kids Day Camp, Summer Lab Sports Camps, Fun in the Sun and Summer Lab on Stage. Bonus for non–Hyde Parkers: Summer Lab will operate a courtesy North Side bus this year, with the same lakefront itinerary used during the regular school year. 1362 E 59th St (773-702-9450, ucls.uchicago.edu). Camp runs Jun 21–Jul 23, Mon–Fri; times vary. Prices $360–$1,165. Nursery school to twelfth grade.
YMCA Summer Camps With camps all across the city offering a variety of programs ranging from drama to science, there’s plenty to get those little synapses firing. Discovery camps offer children the opportunity to explore their local areas as well as travel to forest preserves to learn about a wildlife environment. See website for YMCA locations, pricing and dates (312-932-1200, ymcachgo.org).
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Actors Gymnasium Budding performers will flourish at this camp designed to strengthen, stretch and flex creative muscles. Youngsters learn the arts of circus, drama and movement (including tumbling!). They’ll also take several field trips and perform in an end-of-session circus-theater performance. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St, Evanston (847-328-2795, actorsgynmansium.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 6, Mon–Fri 9am–4pm. Four-week session $830; both sessions $1,595. Ages 9 to 15.
Adventure Stage Chicago The children’s theater company offers morning and afternoon sessions of two-week long Theatre Adventure Camp: “Tools for the Journey” (9am–noon), which introduces kids to basic acting with improv, body and voice training; and “Story Explorers” (1–4pm), where campers explore storytelling by performing monologues and scenes from popular plays. 1012 N Noble St (773-342-4141, adventurestage.org). Camps run Aug 2– 13. $225 per session; $400 for both sessions. Ages 8 –14.
ArtReach Educational Theatre Summer Theatre Camps Choose from three-week, six-week or advanced musical-theater camps that get your Broadway baby ready for showtime. Various dance, acting and music styles, plus outdoor activities help round out the day. All campers take their bows with performances at the end of their sessions. ArtReach Educational Theatre (847-372-7798, artreachspotlite.com). Camp held at Bethel Lutheran Church, 3839 W Frontage Rd, Palatine. Six-week camp runs Jun 21–Jul 30, three-week Aug 2–20. $450 for three-week session, $775 for six-week session.
Ballet Chicago Offering several program options at a variety of skill levels, the School of Ballet Chicago is the perfect place for your tiny ballerina to practice her pirouettes. Eligible students ages 11 and up will be evaluated throughout the summer and may be selected to attend the School of Ballet Chicago’s annual program. Past students have even been asked to join the Ballet Chicago Studio Company, the school’s pre-professional ballet company. Auditions required for some programs. Ballet Chicago, 17 N State St, 19th floor (312-251-8838, balletchicago.org). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 6; days and times vary. $225–$1,800 depending on program. Ages 4 to 18.
Beverly Arts Center Students of all ages can participate in art, theater, dance and music activities. There are Glee Club Camp options for ages 8–18 (Sue Sylvester not included), while Broadway-bound preschoolers can spend their time acting, singing, dancing and storytelling at Make Believe Mini-Camp. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W 111th St (773-445-3838, beverlyartcenter.org). Camps run Jun 1–Aug 20. Prices vary by camp, call for info. Ages 3–19.
Chicago Filmmakers Digital Movie Making Youth Summer Camp Mini movie buffs explore every aspect of filmmaking, including storyboarding, digital filming, lighting, sound and editing. Children will work in groups to develop several film projects. Ages 10–14 will focus on fractured fairy tales, and ages 15–18 will work on fictional video blogs. Campers can submit their work to several youth-related film festivals. Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N Clark St (773-293-1447, chicagofilmmakers.org). Camp runs Jun 15–Aug 21, depending on camper’s age. Mon–Fri 10am–3pm, extended hours available for an additional fee. Prices vary. Ages 10 to 18.
Chicago Music Stars Camp From voice to dance to stage presence, pint-size singers learn the ins and outs of the music world and will even get to participate in a real music video. 525 W North Ave (312-664-5437, chicagomusicvideos.com). Camp runs Jun 15–Jul 30, Mon–Thu 9:30am–3pm. Four-day session $375. Ages 9 to 14.
CircEsteem Summer Camp Barnum & Bailey fans will be in heaven thanks to this circus-filled summer. CircEsteem gets little clowns up, moving and imagining: Campers will learn iconic circus skills, including unicycling, stilt walking, gym wheel and more. All campers strut their stuff in an end-of-camp public performance. 4730 N Sheridan Rd (312-731-4242, circesteem.org). Camp runs Jun 22–Aug 14, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. One-week session $250. Ages 8 to 18.
Columbia College Summer Arts Camp Kids develop new skills through activities like painting, creating a short film and staging a play. The camp experience culminates with an end-of-session gallery show, film screening and stage performance. Columbia College Chicago, 600 S Michigan Ave (312-369-7574, colum.edu). Camp runs Jun 21–Jul 30, Mon–Fri 9am–3:35pm. Six-week session $1,740. Grade 3 to grade 9.
Emerald City Theatre Company Summer Camp At these super-popular camps, kids learn the basics of acting, singing and dancing by developing scenes, plays and characters. Mini drama queens and kings will dig tackling themes ranging from superheroes to mystery musicals to the hit TV show Glee. Emerald City Theatre Company, 2933 N Southport Ave (773-529-2690, emeraldcitytheatre.com/summercamp). Camp runs Jun 7–Aug 27, Mon–Fri; times vary. Prices $225–$750, depending on length of session and camper’s age. Ages 3.5 to 12.
The Entertainment Project Kids hone their performing arts skills in small groups focused on singing, dancing and acting. Each session ends with a production that showcases the elements of drama, dance and art that campers learn throughout the session. Gordon Tech High School, 3633 N California Ave (773-243-7729, tepchicago.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 20, Mon–Fri; hours vary. Prices $190 per week plus $38 costume fee. Ages 5 to 17.
Facets Film Camp Young movie buffs can get instruction in the art of filmmaking during pro-run sessions covering everything from storyboarding to acting and writing reviews. Graduates can be a part of the children’s jury for the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival in October and possibly travel as part of the Facets Film Ambassadors program. Facets Multi-Media, 1517 W Fullerton Ave (773-281-9075; cicff.org). Jun 23–Jul 2; ages 11–14, 9am–12:30pm; ages 7–10, 2–5:30pm. Jul 12–16, ages 11–14 only; 9am – 5pm. Jul 19 –23; ages 7–10 only; 9am – 5pm. Half–day session $325; full-day session, $450 (lunch included). Ages 7–14.
Free Street Theater UpSideDownSchool This camp lets little guys dabble in everything, with yoga, voice and dance, visual arts, swimming and book-reading research time. Class size maxes out at 10 students so master teacher Shanel Jackson and her two assistants can ensure each youngster gets what they need. UpSideDownSchool at Free Street Theater in Pulaski Park, 1419 W Blackhawk Ave (773-772-7248, freestreet.org/upsidedown.html). Camp runs Jun 21–Jul 23. $200 per week. Ages 5–9.
The Galaxie Aspiring artists have plenty to choose from at this camp, with tap dancing, theater drama, origami and painting all part of the mix. Each day gives kids something different in music, movement and fine arts. Read: Boredom’s not part of the curriculum. Galaxie Chicago, 2603 W Barry Ave (773-267-6010, galaxiechicago.com). Camps run Jun 21–Aug 27. $140–$235, discounted rates for siblings. Ages 6–11.
Galaxie Art Camp Through classes ranging from martial arts to language studies, it’s all about the fine and performing arts. At this 11,000-square-foot facility, kids will dance, draw and even swing on tires. The field trips are pretty darn cool, too—past campers had the opportunity to watch a Blue Man Group rehearsal. The Galaxie, 2603 W Barry Ave (773-267-6010, galaxiechicago.com). Camp sessions run Jun 21–Aug 27, Mon–Fri 8:30am–4pm. One-week session $235. Ages 5 to 12.
Giordano Dance Center One of the most renowned names in jazz dance, Giordano offers a fun, fast-paced camp. Your tiny dancer will explore the dance styles of hip-hop, Giordano jazz, ballet and modern. Campers will participate in craft projects during their lunch hour. Giordano Dance School, 614 Davis St, Evanston (847-866-9442, giordancodancecenter.com). Camp runs Jun 14–25, Mon–Fri 10am–3pm. One-week session $350; two-week session $650. Ages 6 to 12.
Girls Rock Chicago Learning through music lessons, band practice and upbeat music-related games, girls can unleash their inner–Lady Gaga. Campers get a taste of every aspect of the music world, including band marketing, management and even band logo design. Your daughter will even have the chance to write her own music and perform it at the End-of-Camp Extravaganza, which is open to the public. Location and times TBA (773-704-7491, girlsrockchicago.org). Camp runs Jun 21–27; Aug 2–8. One-week session $400. Ages 8 to 16.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Explorers Summer Camp Kids receive instruction from professional dancers and teaching artists at this dance camp, learning how their bodies move before doing improvisational and choreographic activities. There is even a separate camp for teenier ballerinas. Hubbard Street Dance, 1147 W Jackson Blvd (312-850-9744, ext 149; hubbardstreetdance.com). Camps run Jun 21–Aug 20. $200–$250 per session, several sessions available. Ages 3–grade 6.
Hyde Park Art Center Creativity Camps In the mornings, campers attend visual-arts camp where they paint, draw, sculpt and more. In the afternoons, kids polish stage skills with performance activities such as improvisation, clowning and yoga. Highlights include an end-of-session performance and several field trips to nearby hotspots, such as the Smart Museum of Art. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S Cornell Ave (773-324-5520, hydeparkart.org). Camp runs Jun 15–Sept 4; times vary. One-week session $350–$375; two-week session $650–$675. Ages pre-kindergarten to 5th grade. Camper must be 4 to participate in full-day program.
Irish American Heritage Center Aspiring artists are sure to “braugh” about their talent after they take home masterpieces from this IAHC camp. Kids learn new artistic skills in areas such as public murals, gardens, photography and even blogging. The Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave (773-282-7035, www.irish-american.org). Tue, Wed, Thu Jul 6–Aug 5. $350. Ages 7–15.
Julie Herr & Associates Summer Art Program This pediatric therapy center for special needs kids and their families offers a camp that lets kids use their favorite books to learn about art, color, and shapes, then wraps up the session by having everyone work on a group mural. Julie Herr & Associates Center, 2032 W Grand Ave (312-388-8883; e-mail Elizabeth@julieherr.com to reserve a spot). Jun 19–Jul 24. $300. Ages 4-8.
Lifeline Theatre Drama Camp Put your pint-sized actor’s skills to the test at Lifeline Theatre's Summer Drama Camp. Kids learn and develop the basics of dramatic skills from professional artists, and also work on esteem building, artistry and teamwork. Call to register. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N Glenwood Ave (773-761-4477, lifelinetheatre.com). Camp runs Jul 12–23, 9am-2pm Mon–Fri. $675 per kid; $375 per kid for half-day sessions. Ages 7 to 12.
Lil’ Buds Theater Company Through music, movement, playwriting and performance, mini theatre artists ages 3 and up blossom on the stage. Enrollment for the three-week elite Summer Ensemble is by audition only. The Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave (773-371-1810, lilbudstheatre.org). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 13, Mon–Fri. One-week session $175; two-week session $400; three-week session $650.
Lillstreet Summer Camp One-week art camp sessions are available June through September for kids ages 3.5–18 to try their hands at everything from creating pottery to writing screenplays and making superheroes. Go to lillstreet.com for a full schedule; call 773-769-4226 to register. Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N Ravenswood Ave, (773-769-4226; lillstreet.com). $175-300 per one-week session. Ages 3.5-18.
Lookingglass Theatre Summer Camps This theater company runs camps in the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Hyde Park with four different themes: Zoo Camp in conjunction with Lincoln Park Zoo for animal lovers ages 4-8 (two weeks), Summer Camp on the Lake for ages 8-15 (four weeks), Summerglass Camp for budding stage acrobats ages 7-14 (2 weeks) and Lookingglass Lab for ages 14-18 (2 weeks). Lookingglass Theatre Company, 821 N Michigan Ave, (312-337-0665; lookingglasstheatre.org). $500-680 for two-week sessions, $820 for four-week sessions. Ages 4-18.
Music Institute of Chicago Flutists, pianists and singers alike can participate in one of the many camps offered at this Evanston institution. Led by Music Institute of Chicago faculty, kids will leave one step closer to being ready for the CSO. Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston (847-905-1500, musicinst.org). Classes take place on various MIC campuses, see website for details. Camps run from Jun 10–Aug 6. Prices vary. Ages 5–18.
Old Town School of Folk Music We know, we know—this camp sold out ages ago. But head to the website now to learn how to nab a spot for the summer of 2011. Kids get a taste of everything from songwriting to tai chi to Shakespeare at this half-day camp that focuses on music and dance. 4544 N Lincoln Ave (773-728-6000, oldtownschool.org). Camp runs Jun 21–Jul 16, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. Four-week session $1,200; eight-week session $2,300. New camper registration is by lottery only. Ages 6 to 10.
The Paintbrush Summer Art Camp Monets- and Picassos-in-training join together to improve their artistic skills with art lessons, projects and exploration. Using a combo of art and music, campers perfect their brushstrokes under the tutelage of qualified teachers. The Paintbrush, 2856 N Halsted St (773-636-1968, thepaintbrush.net). Camp runs Jun 21–25, Jul 19–23, Aug 16–20 and Aug 23–27, Mon–Fri 9:30am–12:30pm. One-week session $270; one day $55. Pre-kindergarten to grade 3. Campers must be at least 3 years old and fully potty trained.
Paul Green School of Rock Summer Camp Paul Green’s School of Rock will whip your aspiring Jim Morrison into shape during its summer boot camp, which teaches kids both musical skills and gives them real-life performance experience. Professional musicians teach students how to master their instruments and develop stage presence. Now your only worry is that your little rock star may come home sporting a green Mohawk. 3043 N Ashwood Ave (773-857-3804, schoolofrock.com/chicago). Camp runs Jun 21–Jul 30, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. Two-week session $1,200. Ages 10 and up. Campers must have at least six months of lessons on their chosen instrument.
Provision Theater Company Campers learn about character development, improve their poise and forge new friendships. It’s major life skill stuff, taught via weekly themes (like Disney Mania and Seussical) and with games, dancing, singing and costume contests. Provision Theater, 1001 W Roosevelt Rd (312-455-0065, provisiontheater.org). Camps run Jun 14–Aug 13, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. One-week session $200; four-week session $800. Ages 5 to 16.
Chicago River North Chicago Dance Company Kids will whirl and twirl their way to the next level in dance. This intensive program is designed for intermediate to advanced dancers looking to train with some of the city’s best. The two-day workshop offers three classes per day in styles such as jazz, ballet and acting, style and expression. Ruth Page Center, 1016 N Dearborn St (312-944-2888, rivernorthchicago.com). Camp runs Aug 1, 2 (Sun–Mon), 11am–4pm. Two-day workshop $150. Ages 10 to 17.
Redmoon Summer Camp Young fans of Redmoon theater’s jaw-dropping pageantry can get a peek behind the curtain during two-week camp sessions in Old Town or Roscoe Village. Kids will learn about puppetry and mechanical-object making and get primers in shadow and physical performance technique. Camp ends with a shadow show performed for family and friends. Register at redmoon.tix.com or call 312-850-8440. Camps held at Audubon Elementary School, 3550 N Hoyne Ave, and Franklin Fine Arts Center, 225 W Evergreen Ave; runs July 12-23 and July 19-30. Two-week session $500. Ages 8-11.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago In two-week-long Children’s Workshops, kids ages 6 to 13 explore the Art Institute of Chicago Museum and surrounding parks, monuments and public art. In Multi-Media Camp, middle-schoolers explore drawing, painting, sculpture, digital media and more. Seventh- and eighth-graders can attend Fashion Camp, where they will be introduced to traditional and contemporary approaches to fashion design and explore construction materials and methods. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 280 S Columbus Dr (312-629-6700, saic.edu). Camps run Jun 21–Aug 13. Sessions run full and half day, $191–$850 depending on membership and session. Ages 6 to 13.
Second City Summer CampSNL -bound kids can spend the summer at one of the most renowned improvisation and comedy houses. Little comedians will perfect comedic timing and improve improv techniques thanks to some of the funniest instructors around. Campers perform a show at the end of the session. The Second City, 1616 N Wells St (312-664-4032, secondcitysummers.com). Camps run Jun 14–Aug 20, Mon–Fri 10am–3:30pm. Two-week sessions $725. Ages 11 to 18.
SPACE Summer Art Camp Southport Performing Arts Conservatory (SPACE) brings kids out-of-this-world dance, music and visual-arts activities through two summer sessions that include lessons in hip-hop dancing, painting and sculpture, and musical theater. SPACE, 439 W Wellington Ave, and 3433 W Peterson Ave (773-463-1220, southportarts.com). Camp runs from Jun 21–Jul 16. $390 per student by May 29, $480 after May 31; $30 discount for families registering for both sessions. Ages pre-K through grade 5.
Studio BE It’s like theater-palooza for stage-smitten youngsters: Kids can take morning classes in the Summer Intensive program or spend their afternoons rehearsing for TBA show in the Showtime program. Studio BE, 3110 N Sheffield Ave (773-248-5900, studio-be.org). Camp sessions run Jun 21–Sep 5, Mon–Fri 9am–12pm and 1pm–5pm. One-week summer class sessions $120; 10-week Showtime session $1,200. Ages 10 to 18.
Three Cat Education Summer Theatre Camps Summer camp education sessions run in conjunction with the Skokie Theatre Music Foundation lets kids explore cabaret, theatre, show choir and musicals during one or four week sessions. For session details, times and prices, see threecatproductions.com/education, or call 312.725.6859. Skokie Theatre Music Foundation, 7924 Lincoln Ave, Skokie (847-677-7761). $195 for one-week sessions, $695 for four-week sessions. Ages 7-18.
Unicoi Art Studio Kids can play, make crafts and get dramatic in this studio’s summer camp offerings. Campers are welcome for one day, one week or all summer. Registration is flexible, but space is limited. Unicoi Art Studio, 2059 W Belmont Ave (773-975-6515, unicoistudio.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 27. $35–$75 per day. Ages 4–12.
The Viola Project The non-prof that gives girls a chance to partake in Shakespeare’s meatier male roles offers three weeks of interlocking sessions: Heroes (Jul 12–16), Villians (Jul 19–23) and Fools (Jul 26–30); June and August boot camps focused on single plays are also being offered, see website for details. Classes meet daily from 9am–4pm; budding thespians can sign up for as many as they like. CityLit Theatre, 1020 N Bryn Mawr Ave (312-330-3031, violaproject.com). $275 per week; early registrant discounts available. Ages 10–16.
Wishcraft This crafty camp is high on imagination, and lets kids dabble in everything from recycling to design to how to build inventions that will fend off super-villains. Different themed workshops are offered every week; go to wishcraftworkshop.com for details. Wishcraft, 2312 W Roscoe St (773-348-9474). Jun 14–Sept 3. $295. Ages 5 and up.
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Adler Planetarium Camps Budding scientists will learn about the sun, solar system and the technology used on shuttles with hands-on activities. If you don’t have an astronaut-in-training, take a peek at the website to learn about sessions that explore non-space topics. Adler Planetarium, 1300 S Lake Shore Dr (312-322-0329, adlerplanetarium.org/camp). Camp runs Jun 21–Aug 6, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. One-week session $125–$285. Ages 6 to 13.
Alliance Française Chez Kids Academy Your little monsieur or mademoiselle will say oui oui to all things French at this language-immersion camp. As a part of the Children’s Center division of the Alliance Française, the Chez Kids Academy’s six-week camp is taught by instructors who specialize in early childhood French as a second language. Alliance Francaise, 810 N Dearborn St (312-337-1070, af-chicago.org). Camp sessions run Jun 14–Jul 30, Mon–Fri 9am–4pm. $310–$1,958. Ages 6 to 13.
Camp CBG Children soak up science, art and nature knowledge in the natural surroundings of the garden through a variety of hands-on activities, such as planting an herb garden, solving a CSI-like mystery using forensics and taking photographs of the garden’s wildlife. Chicago Botanic Gardens, 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe (847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org/camp). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 13, Mon–Fri; hours vary. One-week session $150–$335 depending on length of day and membership. Ages 2 to 15.
Destination ImagiNation Accept the Challenge Camp Brainiacs will love immersing themselves in problem solving this summer—and parents will dig the activities designed to help kids grow in the area of teamwork. •Quest Academy, 500 N Benton St, Palatine •Libertyville Sports Complex, 1950 N Hwy 45, Libertyville (847-682-4093, innovationtrainer.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Jun 18 and Jun 21–Jun 25, 8:30am–12:30pm. Five-day session $180–$200, depending on date of registration. Ages 10 to 14.
Digital Media Camp at University of Chicago Tech-savvy kids and teens apply cutting-edge computer and technology techniques in courses such as game modding, 3-D game creation and cartoon creation. Kids also have the opportunity to develop, film and edit their own movie, and can even bring a copy of the finished DVD home. University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave (866-656-332, digitalmediaacademy.org). Camp runs Jul 12–Aug 13, Mon–Fri 9am–5pm unless otherwise noted. One-week session $595–$995 depending on course and camper’s age. Ages 6 to 18.
Field Museum of Natural History Dino Camp Explore the land before time with your little one at this exciting and hands-on two-day camp. Highlights include a dig for dino bones and learning how to spot a dinosaur. The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr (312-665-7400, fieldmuseum.org). Camp runs Jun 16–Jun 26, multiple two-day sessions; 9am–noon. Two-day session $65–$75, depending on membership (one adult included in price for each camper). Ages 3 to 5.
GreenApple Science and Technology With programs available at DePaul University and Loyola University, kids are schooled in science, mathematics, engineering, robotics and more. Campers can build robots, machines, castles and models of cities and sports parks. Also, a new program helps kids design and create their very own amusement park as they learn about the science behind those gravity-defying roller coasters and rides. 1212 S Naper Blvd, suite 119–286, Naperville (877-735-4550, greenapplecamps.com). Dates, times and prices TBA. Ages pre-kindergarten to high school.
iD Gaming Academy This two-week overnight camp at Lake Forest College explores video-game development, including 3-D modeling, game programming and level design. Kids will learn all about creating video games, participate in gaming tournaments and even take a tour of a major game-development studio. Lake Forest College, 555 N Sheridan Rd (888-709- 8324, ext.1; internaldrive.com). Camps run Jul 4–Jul 30; Sun 6pm–Fri 3:30pm. Two-week overnight session $3,224. Ages 13 to 18.
iD Tech Camp Kids and teens will learn the ins and outs of the hottest computer techniques, such as video-game design, Flash animation, programming and video editing. Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston (888-709- 8324, ext.1; internaldrive.com). Camp runs Jun 27–Aug 6; times vary. One-week session $704–$1,174. Ages 7 to 17 (overnight campers must be at least 10).
Language Stars Children will explore languages such as French, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish and German using Language Stars’ “Funimmersion” full-immersion method. Kids actively build language skills through dynamic indoor and outdoor activities—such as cooking, water games and relay races—all completed in the foreign language. Lincoln Park Center, 1741 N Elston Ave (773-772-7877, languagestars.com/summer). Camps run Jun 8–Aug 14; dates, times and prices vary. Ages 3 to 8.Lycée Français de Chicago Parlez-vous français? At the end of the summer, your kid will thanks to the Chicago French International School’s camps. These language immersion classes are offered to Lycée students and non–Lycée students, infusing each day with games, crafts, sports, music and field trips—all en français. If French isn’t enough, the school also has camps in German, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, perfect for all future United Nations members. Non-language camps available. Please consult website. Lycée Français de Chicago, 613 W Bittersweet Place (773-665-0066, lyceechicago.org). Camps run Jun 28–Jul 30. $195–$360 per week. Ages 3–10.
Notebaert Nature Museum With themes such as Nature Detectives, City Critters and Wild Waterways, children delve into the topics of nature, art, music, movement and science during these two-week, six-hour camp sessions. Campers will also enjoy weekly field trips including a canoe trip down the Chicago River. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr (773-755-5100, naturemuseum.org). Jun 21–Jul 16. Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. Two-week session $375–$600 depending on membership and camper’s age. Ages 4 to 10.
Shedd Explorers Summer Camp Tweens and teens explore life deep under the sea by studying the newly renovated Oceanarium. Campers will learn about the changing climate and its effect on the ocean’s animals and ecosystems, and even humans. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore Dr (312-692-3206, sheddaquarium.org). Camp runs Jun 22–Jul 17, depending on camper’s age. Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. One-week session $255–$285. Ages 11 to 14.
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Chicago Bears Football Camps Your pint-sized Walter Payton will learn new skills and gain confidence under the instruction of professional, college and high-school football coaches at this safe, non-contact, station-based training camp. Locations throughout the city; visit website for locations (312-226-7776, prosportexperience.com). Camps run Jun 14–July 26, Mon–Fri 9am–3pm. One-week session $385–$410. Ages 6 to 14.
Chicago Bears Youth Football Camp Kids in 24 Illinois communities will get to hustle with da Bears at these non-contact five-day camps, with teamwork, sportsmanship, self-esteem and nutrition balancing the field time. Led by professional educators with some help from Bear heroes such as Wendell Davis, Robin Earl, Allan Ellis, Kris Haines, Jim Morrissey and Revie Sorey, kids learn to run, throw, catch, defend and compete the Bears way. Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps, 213 N Morgan St, suite 1A (312-226-7776, bearscamps.com). Camps run Jun 14–Jul 30. $410–$385. Ages 6–14.
Chicago Bulls Basketball Camp Little ballers can shoot free throws all day, sprint up and down the driveway and jump rope until their quads burn. But to take it to the next level, they need to learn new skills and practice the fundamentals with talented coaches. Check and check. Locations throughout the city (bullssoxacademy.com). Dates, times and pricing TBA.
Chicago Youth Lacrosse Summer Program Girl and boy beginners or advance lax-ers get to practice, scrimmage and then play games against other campers. Chicago Youth Lacrosse (312-720-4295, chicagoyouthlacrosse.com). Camps run Jun 12–Aug 6. Prices vary by camp, call for info. Grades 1–12.
Doug Bruno Basketball Camp for Girls A slam dunk if your daughter loves basketball, Bruno’s camps focus on hard work, fun, friendship and discipline. Campers choose to improve fundamental skills, such as dribbling and passing, or work on shooting technique. Locations throughout the city (773-281-6057, brunoball.org). Dates and times TBA. Three-day session $335; four-day session $375.
GameBreaker Lacrosse Camp Instructors will help campers improve their offense, defense, shooting and stick skills through practices and scrimmages. Lake Forest College, 555 N Sheridan Rd, Lake Forest (800-944-7112, laxcamps.com). Boys camp runs Jul 6–9, girls camp runs Jul 27–29; times vary. Four-day overnight session $525–$535; four-day extended day session $445. Grades 3 to 12.
GameOn! Sports Camps 4 Girls With a variety of camps ranging from volleyball to horseback riding to basketball to lacrosse, girls spend the summer improving athletic skills, building friendships and boosting confidence. Lake Forest College, 555 N Sheridan Rd, Lake Forest (847-229-9959, gameonsportscamp.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 8, Mon–Fri. Times and prices TBA. Ages pre-kindergarten to 8th grade.
Hidden Knoll Farm These one- to two-week sessions teach campers about riding discipline, the ins and outs of horse shows, and how to clean and care for horses and their equipment. But best of all is that little horse lovers get to ride each day with instruction. Class sizes are limited to six students, so register early to reserve a spot. Three sessions available throughout the summer, deposit required. Hidden Knoll Farm, 41900 N. Delaney Rd, Wadsworth (847-249-9790, hiddenknollfarm.com). Camps run Jun 8–Aug 20. $450–$900. Ages 5-14.
Joakim Noah Basketball Camp Joakim and Bulls Academy coaches have developed a curriculum focusing on the fundamental skills of the game, including free-throw and 3-point shooting, ball handling and defense. All campers receive a T-shirt, basketball and gym bag. Bulls Training Academy, 6200 River Bend Dr, Lisle (630-324-8221, bullssoxacademy.com). Camp runs Jun 14–18. $400. Ages 6–17.
Jump Ahead Academy Fit Flip Camp Off-season sporties can keep moving while school isn’t in session at this camp designed to improve agility, balance and range of motion. Teaching nutritional awareness and making sure kids enjoy the sunshine with frequent workouts outside in Lincoln Park are added perks. Jump Ahead Academy, 2260 N Clark St (773-857-5867, jumpaheadacademy.com). Camp runs Jun 21–Sept 3. $200/week; 20% discount for siblings. Participants must be members ($20 lifetime membership fee). Ages 8–14.
Lakeshore Lacrosse Clinic Lady lax-ers get to work on their skills at this lacrosse camp taught by the Lakeshore Lacrosse professional coaching staff. Enrollment is open to both beginners and seasoned players. Girls can borrow sticks and goggles, and all campers receive a T-shirt. Lakeshore Lacrosse Clinic, located at Montrose and the lakefront (773-456-3362, lakeshorelacrosse.com). Jun 9–Jul 28. $85. Grades 4–10.
Offense-Defense Football Camp Players have the opportunity to participate in one-on-one drills with NFL pro players including Rosevelt Colvin, Jevon Kearse and Ray Lewis. North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville (843-903-1888, o-d.com/camps). Camp runs Jun 20–23, Sun–Wed 8:30am–5pm. Four-day session $399–$760. Ages 7 to 18.
Red Stars Soccer Camp Wannabe Mia Hamms can hone their skills with experienced coaches. Each session will feature appearances by professional players and coaches of the Red Stars Team. Locations throughout Chicagoland (708-496-9511, chicagoredstars.com). Camp runs Jun 14–Aug 12. Mon–Thurs 9am–3pm. Half-day sessions $125; full-day sessions $300. Ages 5 to 19.
TopGolf Junior Golf Camps Instructors introduce kids to the basic fundamentals of swinging, chipping and other skills they’ll need to be the next Phil Mickelson or Natalie Gulbis. Campers compete in mini tournaments and receive personal critiques. TopGolf, 699 W Thorndale Ave, Wood Dale (630-595-4653, topgolf.com). Jun 14–Aug 27. $199 per child. Ages 6–18.
UIC Soccer Camp Here’s an exclusive residential and commuter-friendly training program for boys with World Cup aspirations. Kids lace up their cleats in this professional learning environment, perfect for those athletes serious about perfecting their game. Girls and boys ready to bend it like Beckham can sign up for one of five weekly day camp sessions available too. UIC Soccer Camp (312-996-6755, uicsoccercamp.com). Camps run Jun 13–Jul 23. $115–$290 for day camp; $435–$550 for residential/commuter. Ages 4–18.
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