Don’t freak out because you haven’t signed up for summer camps yet. There are still a bunch of gems that have space. Whether your little adventurer is into science experiments, movie-making or exploring nature, 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

Imagined by Amy and Dr. Ed, this tag team of super-friendly educators were truly thinking outside the box when they opened The Laboratory. Their goal is to bring books and imaginary worlds to life through science. Your campers will be immersed in magical worlds that follow a storyline that's moved forward by math and science. Themes include everything from Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse to The Robots are Coming camps: No summer slide here.

Dates: Week-long camps Jun. 11-Aug. 24
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: 7-12
Cost: $435-$465/session (discount for members)
The Laboratory
2349 W. North Ave., Bucktown


photo: enerGEEwhizz


This unique newcomer will blow your mind and is so fun, you’ll wish it was for adults too. To tackle the issues that stem from the sedentary lifestyles kids can sometimes lead, enerGEEwhiz created this engaging, thrilling fitness experience focused on ensuring kids have fun while improving their overall health. They offer a variety of summer camps that incorporate their  proprietary fitness program customized to the theme of the camp and include an educational component. Sample themes are Nutrition/Cooking, Sports, Music and Moving On, for tweens transitioning out of the energeewhiz program who want to start exercising safely on their own.

Dates: Various dates all summer long
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-noon
Cost: $250/week; Drop-in options: $300 for 5-pack, $550 for 10-pack
1418 N Kingsbury St., Lincoln Park

photo: Codeverse


This gem opened last year as the first fully interactive, hackable classroom for students with state of the art technology. Your little geniuses will be taught programming using a kid-friendly coding language, KidScript. Camps explore lights & sounds, robotics, game design and more and the teacher to student ratio (1:6) ensures a personalized journey for every camper. Codeverse has great relationships with local businesses, so camp not only includes an hour of outside playtime at a park, but field trips to places like Whole Foods and the Apple Store.

Dates: Week-long camps Jun. 18-Aug. 31
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: Grades 1-8
Cost: $800 weekly
819 W. Eastman St., Lincoln Park

photo: Facets

Facets Film Camp

Don't let the venue fool you, this camp is much more than sitting around watching movies all day. Here, campers learn storytelling, acting, casting, production, directing and all that goes into the art of filmmaking. At the end of each camp, your budding Hitchcock will be celebrated in a small film-festival-like atmosphere at a camp graduation screening open to campers and their families.

Dates: Week-long camps running Jun. 18-Aug. 3
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (9 a.m.-2 p.m. for Alfred Hitchcock camp)
Ages: 7 & up
Cost: $450 (discount for members)
1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Lincoln Park

photo: Galileo Innovation Camp

Galileo Innovation Camp

This camp is really the perfect combination of learning and fun with weekly themes like: Space Explorers, Road Trip Adventures, The Human Body and more. Galileo presents art, science and outdoor activities on a daily basis. They can provide before and after care and have a healthy lunch option if you're not interested in packing your own each day.

Dates: Week-long camps Jun. 11-Aug. 17
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (extended care from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. or 3 p.m.-6 p.m.)
Ages: Pre-K-5th
Cost: $389+
Locations in West Loop, Lincoln Park, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Winnetka, La Grange and River Forest

photo: Banner Day Camp

Banner Day Camp

Much like the kind of summer camps you see in the movies, Banner has it all. There’s a 3 to 1 camper to counselor ratio, which gives your little ones access to extra special attention while participating in all the activities they could ever ask for. Banner offers swimming, yoga, a climbing wall, arts, fishing, archery, dune buggies . . . you name it, they have it. While Banner Day Camp is in Lake Forest, they do offer supervised round trip bus service for city dwellers.

Dates: 8-Week Session, Jun. 18-Aug. 10; Session 1, Jun. 18-Jul. 13; Session 2, Jul. 16-Aug. 10
Hours: Varies
Ages: 3-18
Cost: Varies by age, number of days attending and length of session
1225 Riverwoods Rd., Lake Forest

photo: Steve & Kate's Camp

Steve & Kate's Camp

Perfect for the camper that needs a flexible schedule (pick a day, a week or a month) AND has a wide range of interests. S&K really lets kids just be kids. Your camper can sing, bake, sew, make a movie, dance or even code their own computer game in one of the several studios scattered throughout. Want to get outside? Jump in on a constant game of hockey, basketball or soccer likely happening all day long. Need some fuel? They provide food, most prepared by local vendors just minutes before being served. Sounds amazing — can parents sign up?

Dates: Day camps Jun. 12-Aug. 24
Hours: Pick up and drop off anytime between 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Ages: 4-12
Cost: Varies by location; day passes and memberships available; check website for details
Locations in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Evanston, Oak Park/River Forest

photo: Bubbles Academy

Bubbles Academy

The best thing about this camp is its flexibility. Over 12 sunny weeks, enroll your kids for the whole summer, a week here and there, or just a day whenever you need it. For ages 2.5 to 5 in Camp Bubbles, a typical day is anything but typical; it includes a fun-filled morning with music, art, drama, dancing and creative movement.

Dates: Day camps Jun. 4-Aug. 24
Hours: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Ages: 2.5-5
Cost: $75/day or $285/week
Bubbles Academy
2184 N. Elston, Bucktown

photo: St. Luke Academy

St. Luke Academy

A week of learning and fun culminates in big field trips that will always be remembered. Campers take on many roles as themed weeks include everything from Wild West to Young Chefs. From Monday through Thursday, friendly teachers engage kids with hands-on and interactive projects. On Friday, the city is their oyster with trips to Field Museum, Donley's Wild West, The Kids' Table (and more!) scheduled.

Dates: Jun. 18-Aug. 10
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; extended care available 8 a.m.-9 a.m. & 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
Ages: 3-11 (must be potty trained)
Cost: $325/week for camp only ($275 for Jul. 2-6 session); $400/week for camp with extended care ($320 for Jul. 2-6 session)
St. Luke Academy
1500 W. Belmont Ave., Lakeview

Irons Oaks

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. 

Dates: Jun. 11-Aug. 17
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: 5-12
Cost: $145/week resident; $180/week non-resident
Iron Oaks
20000 Western Ave., Olympia Fields

photo: Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum

Kids get totally immersed in nature as they play the part of plant detective, build a forest fort and wade through wetlands in search of critters that live underwater. The Arboretum's woodlands, ponds and prairie become one big classroom where campers learn about the natural world through science experiments and creative play.

Dates: Jun. 5-Aug. 11
Hours: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., with after-hours activities available
Cost: $165/week for members ($195 for nonmembers) for half-day sessions and $295/week for members ($350 for nonmembers) for full-day sessions.
Ages: K-8th grades
Morton Arboretum
4100 IL Rte. 53, Lisle

photo: The Kids' Table

The Kids' Table

The Kids' Table offers hands-on cooking fun this summer! Guided by chef instructors, kids get to chop, grate and roll their way to different delicious dishes each day. Registration is all week-by-week (full-day or half-day), so kids can join for as many weeks as they'd like. Best of all, these camps will inspire your kiddo to play a more active role in the kitchen (even cleanup!).

Dates: Camps running Jun. 11-Aug. 31
Hours: Part-day, 10 a.m.-noon; full-day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Ranges $90/week for 2-day class schedule to $495/week for big kids in all-day, week-long camps
Ages: Part-day, ages 4-7; Half-day, ages 4-14
The Kids' Table
2337 W. North Ave. (Wicker Park) & 2864 N. Lincoln Ave. (Lakeview)

photo: Instituto Cervantes

Instituto Cervantes

Daily lesson plans are created for campers to achieve linguistic, cultural and educational goals. Children will have the unique opportunity to learn Spanish in a playful and enriching environment through total immersion of language while highlighting each student’s creativity and capacity to learn with projects, songs and activities.

Dates: Week-long camps Jun. 25-Aug. 17
Hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Ages: 4-16
Cost: $301.50
31 W. Ohio, River North

photo: Old Town School of Folk Music

Old Town School of Folk Music

Old Town School of Folk Music offers music, art, theater and dance camps where campers develop new skills, build friendships and explore their creativity while thinking independently, working cooperatively, and discovering their own place in the arts.

Dates: Jun. 25-Aug. 3
Hours: (Ages 4-6) 9 a.m.-noon; (Ages 7-13) 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: 4-13
Cost: $500/1-week fiddle and dance sessions; $700/2-week teen session; $600/2-week 4-6 year old half -day; $800/2-week 7-11 year old full-day
Old Town School of Folk Music
4544-4545 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square

photo: Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

This one will spark the scientific curiosity in the littlest campers as they learn about the skills of science exploration. Circle time, hands-on investigation, free exploration, snack, art and literacy connections are integrated during week-long sessions that introduce kiddos to learning in a museum. They’ll explore scientific topics with an emphasis on Mother Earth.

Dates: Camps running Jun. 18-Aug. 17
Hours and Cost: Dependent upon age of child and camp selected, check website as there are too many options to list
Ages: 3 yrs.-10th grade
Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus

photo: Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

No way kids will suffer from summer break boredom at Chicago Botanic's camp. They'll be one with nature exploring a range of themes including art, cuisine and conservation. Campers will dissect and plant seeds, explore fragrant herbs and flowers, search for birds and early spring plans on hikes, take a trolley ride around the Garden, create take-home, science-themed projects and more! Each day offers a different adventure — register for any or all camps!

Dates: Camps running Jun. 11-Aug. 13
Hours and Cost: Dependent upon age of child and camp selected, check website as there are too many options to list
Ages: Ages 6 mos.-15 yrs.
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

photo: Camp Naper

Camp Naper

Located at Naper Settlement, a 12-acre living history museum in Naperville, Camp Naper offers kids the opportunity to explore, create and imagine. Each week offers a different theme and adventure to embark on.

Dates: Camps running Jun. 4-Aug. 3
Hours: 8 p.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $45/day; $210/week; $170 for 2-day Civil War Camp
Ages: Grades 1-8
Naper Settlement
523 S. Webster St., Naperville

photo: Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is hosting 11 weeks of summer camps at The PrivateBank Fire Pitch. These camps offer mini soccer fans the opportunity to learn from professional and experienced staff, regardless of their soccer ability. Every camper receives a dri-fit jersey, soccer ball, player evaluation and a ticket to their unique Graduation Day event during a Chicago Fire gameday at Toyota Park. If the Fire Pitch isn't convenient, check their website for a camp location near you — they have loads of options all summer long.

Dates: Week-long camps Jun. 11-Aug. 31
Hours: (Ages 2-5) 8 a.m.-9 a.m; (Ages 6-14) 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 9 a.m.-noon & 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Cost per week: (Ages 2-5) $85; (ages 6-14) $350/full-day & $200 half day
Ages: 2-14
The PrivateBank Fire Pitch
3626 N. Talman Ave., North Center

Where are you signing 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!)

— Maria Chambers