Don’t freak out because you haven’t signed up for summer camps yet. There are still a bunch of gems that have space open. Whether your little adventurer is into science experiments, exploring nature or getting dolled up like a princess, you’ll find a spot in one of these fun, out-of-the-ordinary camps. Scroll down for our picks. Endless summer, here you come!
photo: The Laboratory
The Laboratory’s Harry Potter Camp
Hogwarts has a satellite campus in Wicker Park, it seems. Students will be sorted into houses, make magic wands and design their own potions journals to prepare for classes. Expect a week full of hands-on activities on topics like Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, Arithmancy, Potions and Defense against the Dark Arts. You might learn to create snow on a summer’s day, turn ordinary pennies into gold, and make messages appear and disappear. Even do a little detective work to stop a contagion when a spell goes wrong. How fun! For ages 6-12.
2349 W. North Ave.
Bubbles Academy “Camp Bubbles”
The best thing about this camp is its flexibility. Over 14 sunny weeks, enroll your kids for the whole summer, a week here and there, or just a day whenever you need it. For ages 3-5 in Camp Bubbles, themes change every week and range from superheroes to sea life to Chicago classics. A typical day is anything but typical; it includes a dance party, story and snack, sports time and more. For younger kids (ages 30-42 months), Camp Bubbles Jr. has circle time, art and a sweet way of introducing kids to the concept of gentle separation from their parent or caregiver.
1504 N. Fremont St.
photo: Beauty & Braun
Beauty & Brawn Super Summer Camp
Things are artsy-awesome at the Logan Square gallery/workshop space. Choose from a summer’s worth of full- or half-day camps that introduce kids to a variety of mediums — with fun field trips scheduled along the way. Imagine mixed-media work, photography, theater, music exploration, dance/hip hop, painting, comicing, bookmaking, yoga/meditation, clay work, screen-printing, drawing, beading, mobile making, outdoor playtime and more. Past field trips have included jaunts to the MCA, Chinatown on the water taxi, the Air & Water show, a walking food tour of Logan Square, the Nature Museum and other hotspots. For ages 4-12.
3501 W. Fullerton Ave.
St. Luke Adventure Camp
A week of learning and fun culminates in big field trips that will always be remembered. Campers take on many roles in the themed weeks, becoming immigrants, astronauts, fire fighters, meteorologists, artists, explorers, historians and more. From Monday through Thursday, friendly teachers engage kids with hands-on and interactive science experiments, arts and crafts, photography, music, creative cooking, technological scrap-booking and literacy activities. On Friday, the city is your oyster and this summer trips to Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry and Chicago Children’s Museum are scheduled. For ages 3-11
1500 W. Belmont Ave.
photo: Mads Boker via flickr
Irons Oaks Nature Camp
Mother Nature will be your kid’s new BFF after a week of these outdoorsy camps. Each weeklong camp brings a new themed adventure, and activities include art projects, science discoveries, nature play, hikes and more. Even if you don’t live near Irons Oaks, a environmental learning center in southwest suburban Olympia Fields, these are worth the road trip. The 40-acre nature preserve has trails through beautiful woods where you can spot wildflowers, birds and lots of furry friends. For ages 5-12.
20000 Western Ave.
The Performer’s School Princess Mini Camps
This North Shore school works and trains with the top actors, directors, casting directors, choreographers, singers, dances, improvers, voiceover talents and musical theatre artistic directors in the Chicago area. And now, it’s ready to put the spotlight on your kids. Its Princess Mini Camps, held June 1-12, let them slip into the shoes of Cinderella, Snow White, Elsa, Belle and more — put on your fancy clothes and join in! But it’s not all about getting gussied up; your little one is here to enjoy tumbling, acting, dance, singing and crafts. Psst … boys (aka: princes) are welcome, too!
Highwood Rec Center
432 Green Bay Rd.
Where are you singing your kids up for camp this summer? Share with us in the Comments! And, please note: At press time, these camps still had space, but due to their awesomeness we can’t guarantee that by the time you read this they still will! (Act fast!)
— Kelly Aiglon