We’re knee-deep into summer and this is the point where the creative juices on keeping the kids moving and learning start to run dry—especially in this wacky Covid-19 scenario. If you haven’t signed them up for camp yet, no worries! There are still quite a few gems—both in-person and virtual camps—that still have space. Whether your little adventurer is into science experiments or exploring nature, you’ll find a spot. Endless summer, here you come!

 

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Codeverse

Codeverse is the first fully interactive classroom for 1st-8th graders that is riddled with state-of-the-art technology. Your kids will learn to code, build apps, program cutting-edge gadgets and create video games, using a kid-friendly coding language, KidScript. They created a week-long virtual coding class for ages 6-13 that runs 2 hours/day that includes virtual field trips. At press time, there were openings remaining Aug. 3-Aug. 31.

Online: codeverse.com/virtualcamps

 

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Wishcraft Workshop: Wonder + Scout

Wonder + Scout is an art camp, nature camp, kindness camp and adventure camp—all rolled up into one—with a focus on creativity and confidence-building. This camp, meant for ages 5-12, offers small in-person class sizes and involves multiple mediums (wood + metal, movement + music, needle + thread, paper + pencil, canvas + clay, spoon + spatula) which deepens experiential learning. Classes available through Sep. 4.

If you prefer a virtual option, Spoolhouse Online has classes through Sep. 4, as well. Each week campers are intro'd to a different textile to practice technique, develop social-emotional skills and explore ways to be a change-maker. Camp includes daily interactive instruction via zoom, noon-1 p.m., digital resources and all materials. 

Online: wishcraftworkshop.com

 

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Digital Media Academy

Digital Media Adventures camps that historically take place at University of Chicago were cancelled for 2020. However, your kids can still take advantage of the programming virtually. If you have a kid that would love to be the next Walt Disney, makes music videos or prefers tinkering on the computer above all else. . . this program is for them. Digital Media Academy's STEAM Learning Lab is for kids ages 7-18 and features 10 online tech courses, broken out by age, and allows them to learn online anytime, anywhere.

Online: digitalmediaacademy.org/steam-learning-lab

photo: Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum

Immerse the kids in nature and unlock their imaginations with interactive outdoor adventures among 1,700 acres of trees or in your own backyard. Morton Arboretum has both virtual and in-person camps through the first week of August that combine science experiments, creative play and art for ages pre-K through 8th grade.

Online: mortonarb.org

 

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The Kids' Table

Now 13 years into their business, The Kids' Table is at pro status with their camps so they were quite comfortable creating online versions along with in-person options. They offer hands-on cooking fun for kids ages 4 & up through Sep. 4. Registration is all week-by-week, 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!).

Online: kids-table.com

 

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C.A.K.E. Village Yoruba Camps

This hidden-gem playspace and cultural center entertains little ones with music programming, pretend play areas and educational events. They typically spread their outreach into the summer months, with camps that focus on the vibrancy and culture of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. Kids can expect fun lessons in geography, history, conversational language, authentic meal cooking, games and more.

With Covid-19 in town, their normal camps are being replaced by virtual Yoruba camps that encourage kids 8-13 to learn conversational Yoruba quickly by combinbine online self-aced learning with instructor-led sessions in the comforts of home.

photo: Steve & Kate's Camp

Steve & Kate's Camp

Things will look a little different this summer at Steve & Kate's camp—typically you can do one-day drop-in classes—but for this summer kids sign up for week-long sessions. They are still, as much as possible, allowing kids to focus on the things that interest them most. Groups will be smaller (10-15) that operate like mini-camps and campers will not interact with other groups.

Online: steveandkatescamp.com

 

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Lillstreet

Kids can dabble in multiple mediums, as Kidstreet Camps at Lillstreet offer a variety of programs for kids ages 3-16, both online and in-person through Sep. 4.

Online: lillstreet.com

Hi-Five Sports Camp

Top priority for this camp that's a dream come true for active kids is FUN! It's a total bonus that the programming keeps your child active, healthy, smiling—and perhaps ready for early bedtimes from happy exhaustion—during week-long camps Jul. 13-Aug. 21. Hi-Five Sports Camp Chicago is about so much more than winning or losing, it's about teamwork, playing hard and fair, making new friends and learning the power of camaraderie. The staff is filled with professional coaches, high school and college athletes, as well as experienced P.E. teachers who are ready to guide your kids through a positive, self-esteem-building experience. 

Online: hifivesportsclubschicago.com

photo: Naper Settlement

Camp Naper

Located at Naper Settlement, a 12-acre living history museum in Naperville, Camp Naper offers kids in grades 1-6 the opportunity to explore, create and imagine. Each week offers a different theme and adventure to embark on. Week-long camps scheduled through the end of July.

Online: napersettlement.org

 

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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. Week-long camps run from Jul. 27-Aug. 21.

Online: chicagobotanic.org

 

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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, with virtual and in-person options available through Sep. 4.

Online: thelaboratorychi.com

 

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Galileo Innovation Camp

This camp is really the perfect combination of learning and fun! This year, take advantage of their creativity with Galileo Anywhere virtual camps running through Aug. 7.

Online: galileo-camps.com

 

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Bubbles Academy

Bubbles Academy is solving summer mornings with their virtual summer camp, through Aug. 28, for ages 3-7. Register by the week for guided virtual classes, art activities and offline outdoor exploration for EVERY weekday morning.

Online: bubblesacademy.com

photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

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. Camps offered virtually through the end of August.

Online: chicago.cervantes.es

 

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Old Town School of Folk Music

Old Town School of Folk Music typically 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. While these camps are cancelled for 2020, they still have a variety of online courses kids newborn-12 yrs. will dig.

Online: oldtownschool.org

photo: Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is hosting in-person camps at The PrivateBank Fire Pitch and in the 'burbs. These camps offer mini soccer fans the opportunity to learn from professional and experienced staff, regardless of their soccer ability in July and August.

Online: chicagofirefc.com

Featured photo: August de Richelieu via Pexels

— Maria Chambers

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