We have a theory. Start thinking and planning for spring break and it — and the warmer temps  — will get here faster. It’s worth a shot, right? We’ve started doing the research for you. Send them for a week of art, theater, deep sea adventures . . . we could go on, but we’ll let you dig in to find something your spring breaker will fancy. Read on and get booking!

photo: Lincoln Park Zoo

Spring Break Safari to Africa at LPZ

A trip to Africa might not be in the spring break family travel budget, but Lincoln Park Zoo can help you get there . . . kind of. Drop the kids off for camp to explore natural habitats found in Africa and get to know more about the critters that call these environments home. Each camp group will explore the zoo and discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.

Dates: March 26-30; full-day (Grades 1-4), 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; half-day (PreK-K), 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m.; After Care available 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $350 full-day, $175 half-day, $100 After Care
Ages: PreK-4th grade
Lincoln Park Zoo
Judy Keller Education Center
2001 N. Clark St.
Online: lpzoo.org


photo: The Kids' Table

No School’s Cool at The Kids’ Table

Trade in the pencils for cooking utensils at these special all-day classes chock full of hands-on cooking instruction, delicious food & fun with friends. They spend half their day in the kitchen and the other half is reserved for a movie and themed craft or project.

Dates: April 13 & 18; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $90/day
Ages: 4-10
The Kids' Table
2864 N. Lincoln Ave.
Online: kids-table.com

photo: The Field Museum

Go Doze with the Dinos

You might think you’ve had wild slumber parties, but they’re nothing compared to this. Pack up your PJs and flashlights and snuggle up with Sue the T. Rex, the African savannah and ancient Egyptian culture for an overnight adventure at The Field Museum. Families sleep in one of the museum’s exhibit halls after spending the evening exploring, playing games and listening to bedtime stories.

Dates: March 24 & April 6; 5:45 p.m.-9 a.m. (next morning)
Cost: $65/non-members or $60/members
Ages: 6-12
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Museum Campus
Online: fieldmuseum.org

photo: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Spend the Day at Shedd or Sleep with the Fishies at Night

Fall asleep to visions of jellies and fishes in your head as you snuggle up in your sleeping bag for a night out at the Shedd Aquarium. Dive into a marine-filled wonderland through games, hands-on activities and special animal interactions with your favorite Shedd residents.

Dates: April 6; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 a.m. (next morning)
Cost: $75 per person, $60 for members
Ages: 6-12
Online: sheddaquarium.org

Get up close and personal with Shedd's animals, visit behind-the-scenes work areas and travel to local natural areas to learn more about the Shedd animals. Each day, campers will use scientific tools, visit with special animals and get a look at how they are given the best possible care.

Dates: March 26-30; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $295, $275 for members
Ages: Grades 3-5
Shedd Aquarium
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Museum Campus
Online: sheddaquarium.org

photo: Adler Planetarium

Spend the Night Counting Stars

Do you want to go on an out-of-this world adventure AND spend the night at the museum? Now’s your chance! Explore our Solar System, and well beyond, with new hands-on programming that'll help kids understand exactly what they see when they gaze up at the starry sky. Want to hang for the evening but snooze in your own bed? Sign up for the evening activities only and then head on home for your date with the Sandman.

Dates: April 6; 5 p.m.-8 a.m. (next morning)
Cost: $60/non-members; $55/members (overnight); $30/non-members; $27.50/members (evening events only)
Ages: 6-12
Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Museum Campus
Online: adlerplanetarium.org

photo: Chicago Botanic Garden

Play Amongst the Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden

No way kids will suffer from spring 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 plants 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: March 26-30; 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $79/day non-member
Ages: Grades K-5
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd.
Online: chicagobotanic.org

Take to the Stage for Lookingglass’ Springglass Camp

Lookingglass is bringing the fun this spring with their week-long Spring Break Camp. Campers will spend their morning learning physical theatre skills, which may include juggling, tumbling and stage combat. While afternoons are spent sailing away with Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver and a crew of swashbuckling scalawags as Springglass explores Robert Louis Stevenson’s thrilling tale Treasure Island!

Dates: March 26-30; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $325
Ages: Grades K-4
Lookingglass Theatre
821 N. Michigan Ave.
Mag Mile
Online: lookingglasstheatre.org

photo: Second City

Take a Spring Break at Second City

Instead of being couch potatoes this spring break, kids can work on their creative energies at Second City. Kids ages 8-10 will learn the fundamentals of improvisation through exercises that help to develop strong ensemble and character work, as well as develop their stage presence, patience, self confidence and communication skills. Budding comedians between the ages of 11-18 will work on the same fundamentals as the younger campers, but they'll also develop their personal style as stand-up comedians as they focus on original material, stage presence, delivery and honing in on their own unique sense of humor. New this year is a Mini Camp for ages 6-7, which has campers dividing their time between improv, storytelling, clowning, and theater crafts.

Dates: March 26-30 & April 2-6; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $500
Ages: 6-18
Second City
1608 N. Well
Old Town
Online: secondcity.com

photo: Wishcraft

Make a Day of It Camp at Wishcraft

Wishcraft promises that the only thing predictable in their camps is the fun. Each day offers a new theme, new skills and new friends, along with multiple projects a mid-morning snack and games. Activities are planned to consider the enrolled campers who are grouped by age and interests.

Dates: March 26-30. 1; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $85/day; After care $25 (3 p.m.-6 p.m.)
Age: 5-12
3907 N. Damen Ave.
North Center
Online: growartists.com

Where will your kids be spring breaking? We’d love to hear about it in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers