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 on spring break camps for you. Send them for a week of cooking, digging in the dirt, 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 Lincoln Park Zoo

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.

Apr. 1-3 & 6-10; Lincoln Park Zoo, Judy Keller Education Center, 2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park. More details

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photo: The Laboratory

LEGO Fun at The Laboratory

Have fun. Make friends. Create a moving LEGO robot.

Spend a day dabbling in Robotic Engineering with The Laboratory's popular 1-day program. Design and build a cutting-edge robot and teach it to spin, slither, walk or drive in a Brickworld of your own creation.  

Mar. 30-Apr. 3 & Apr. 6-10; The Laboratory Collective, 2349 W. North Ave., Wicker Park. More details

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 and fun with friends. Kids will not only participate in tasty kitchen experiments, but they will play field games in the park, work on building projects, make crafty creations and strut their stuff at dance parties. 

Mar. 23-27 & Apr. 6-10; The Kids Table, 2864 N. Lincoln, Lakeview & 2337 W. North, Wicker Park. More details.

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 one. Pack up your jammies and flashlights and snuggle up with SUE the T. Rex, Maximo the Titanosaur, the African savannah and ancient Egyptian culture for an overnight adventure at The Field Museum. Families sleep in one of the museum’s amazing exhibit halls after spending the evening exploring, playing games and listening to bedtime stories. 

Mar. 27 & Apr. 3; The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus. More details.

photo: Shedd Aquarium

Sleep with the Fishes

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.

Mar. 27; Shedd Aquarium, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus. More details

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!

March 23-27; Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. More details

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. They will study the fundamentals of improv that help develop stage presence as well as patience, self confidence good communication skills and respect for other performers. Campers will also develop their personal stand-up style and hone in on their sense of humor. 

Mar. 23-27; Mar. 30-Apr. 3 & Apr. 6-10; Second City, 1608 N. Well, Old Town. More details.

photo: Maria Chambers

Go Wild at Brookfield Zoo

Kids can spend their spring break on the wild side with Brookfield Zoo. Sign your camper up for a day or the whole week of new adventures connecting with animals, nature and making new friends.

Mar. 23-27; Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Broofield. More details

— Maria Chambers

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