Where to take kids during CPS teachers strike

The Chicago Public School teachers are currently on strike and since we don’t know when both sides will come to an agreement, your little buggers will be your responsibility all day long until the strike ends. There are options, but if the CPS teachers strike continues, we recommend that you book these as soon as possible.

CPS Strike Plan

When: Varies (each individual location’s regular bell schedule)

Where: CPS school buildings, Chicago Park District sites and Chicago Public Libraries

Ages: PreK-High School

Cost: Free

Schools will serve breakfast and lunch and care will be administered by non-union personnel. Registration is recommended, but not required. Find the site closest to you here.

Shedd Day Camp 

When: 8 a.m.-3 p.m., aftercare to 5 p.m. 

Where: Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Ages: K-5th grade

Cost: $100, $90 members

Camp participants will have the opportunity to make scientific observations, learn about incredible animal adaptations, discover the diversity of aquatic life, and so much more. Whether they’re looking through a microscope or coming face-to-face with an animal at the aquarium, learners will walk away with a greater appreciation for nature.

IF CPS Strikes “We have your BACk” Strike Camp

When: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., pre-camp 7:30-8:30 a.m., after care 4-6 p.m.

Where: Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago

Ages: 5-12. High school students can work as camp counselors for volunteer hours.

Cost: $42 per day for camp, $6 pre-camp, $12 after care. Scholarships available.

Enjoy a fun day filled with a different activity every hour including visual arts, theater, music, dance, a movie on the big screen. Bring a nut-free lunch and snack.

Chicago Children’s Theatre

When: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., before and after care provided if necessary.

Where: The Station, 100 S. Racine, Chicago

Ages: K-5th grade

Cost: $75 per day, limited scholarships available

Students will take a variety of classes exploring acting, singing, puppet making and performance, choreography, design, and collaborative storytelling. 

CircEsteem Safe Space Circus Camp

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: 4730 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago

Ages: 6-16

Cost: $66 per day. Financial assistance available

For beginner students who are trying circus for the first time and Intermediate to Advanced students wanting to work on skills. Activities may include trapeze, clowning, juggling, stilt walking, aerial arts, acrobatics and gym wheel. Bring lunch.

Codeverse Coding Camp

When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Where: 819 W. Eastman St., Chicago

Ages: 6-12

Cost: $100 per day (lunch and snacks included)

Kids can spend the day in the fully interactive studio and experience fun and educational coding activities. They can experiment with a 3D printer, design the next hit video game or teach futuristic robots how to boogie-woogie.

The Wishcraft Workshop

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. plus aftercare from 3-6 p.m.

Where: 3907 N. Damen Ave., Chicago

Ages: 5-12

Cost: $90, $10 aftercare

Kids will complete multiple art, craft, sewing and building projects. Snack provided, bring lunch.

The Laboratory Chicago

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Where: 2349 W. North Ave., Chicago

Cost: $90 per day

Ages: 6-12

Kids will choose their own adventures or take part in a Lego Camp during the popular Day-off Camps.

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club Teachers Strike Camp

When: 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Where: 5480 S. Kenwood Avenue, Chicago

Ages: 5-14 years old

Cost: $55+ including $10 non-refundable registration fee

Sports, crafts and activities will be available. Snacks in the morning and afternoon will be provided, but students must bring their own lunch.

Lillestreet Art Center

When: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Where: 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago

Ages: 5-8

Cost: $55, $50 members

Campers will spend the day painting, drawing, printing, learning to build with clay and sculpting colorful works of art.

CPS Strike Camp at Kids Science Labs

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: 1500 N. Kingsbury, Chicago, and 1801 S. Indiana, third floor, Chicago

Ages: 4-12

Cost: $65 half day, $90 full day, $110 extended day

Kids will complete hands-on projects filled with science, fun and learning.

CIBC Fire Pitch Camps

When: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Where: 3626 N. Talman Ave., Chicago

Ages: 6-14

Cost: $40 for half-day sessions, $75 all day

Practice soccer skills, play soccer matches, have fun while learning to love the game, and enjoy playing electronic gaming inside. If interested, please email youth@chicago-fire.com.

Music House School of Performing Arts

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Where: 2925-2927 W. Devon, Chicago & 1018 N. California, Chicago

Ages: 3 1/2-13

Cost: $85 per day plus $65 per sibling. Early drop-off and/or late pick-up is $10 for each additional hour

The day will be filled with theater, instrumental music lessons, visual art, dance class and creative art projects. 


When: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Offered at YMCA locations throughout Chicago. Y members are given priority registration.

Ages: 5-12

Cost: Varies by location. Call (773) 905-5115 to register.

Kids will do this: Sports, arts and crafts, games. 

Green Explorers Club 

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., before & after care available.

Where: 2150 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago

Ages: 4-10

Cost: $85, $65 half day, $10 before care, $30 after care, (discount code available for Chicago Parent readers, email kelly@greenexplorersclub.com)

Kids will explore sustainability through hands-on activities that demonstrate the importance of taking care of our planet. Each day of camp is tailored to provide students with a growing curiosity about the environment so that they grow into future engineers, artists, doctors, farmers, clothing designers, presidents, or whatever they want to be, they will have the basic tools they need to incorporate sustainability practices into their initiatives.

Easel Art Studio

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with early bird drop-off starting at 8 a.m.

Where: 1911 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Ages: 5-10 years

Cost: $80, $30 before/after care

There will be an art project daily focused on a specific theme. Kids will also have their own creative time, reading space and free play. They will go to the park if the weather permits.

Windy City Fieldhouse

When: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Where: 2367 W. Logan Blvd., Chicago

Ages: 4-10

Cost: $50, $35 half day.

There will be a supervised sports camp with all sorts of games.

POW! Kids 

When: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Where: 310 S. Racine Ave., Chicago

Ages: 4-15

Cost: $85 plus 10 percent sibling discount

POW! Kids will provide agility course, dance freeze party, charades, boxing, group story writing, relay training and more.

School’s Out: Film Day Camp

When: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 

Where: Facets Cinema, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

Ages: 9-13

Cost: $20 general, $15 for Facets members

Facets will be hosting a day-long camp where kids can watch films from the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. The day will include lessons about filmmaking and film review, a mid-morning snack and afternoon popcorn. Bring lunch.

Kids’ Table Strike Camps

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 (Wicker Park only), Tuesday, Oct. 22 (Lakeview only)

Where: 2337 W. North Ave. and 2864 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

Cost: $90, lunch included. Early drop-off is $12, extended day is $25

Ages: 4-10

Kids get a perfect mix of cooking, eating and playing, with half the day learning in the kitchen and the rest of the day reserved for crafts, movies or old-fashioned playtime. Thursday is build your own pizza and spiced apple sundaes, then make teacher appreciation cards. Friday is Mac n’ Cheese and build your own cookies.

Digital Adventure

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 17-25

Where: 701 W Armitage Ave., Chicago

Cost: $149 per day, $399 half day full week, $699 full day full week

Ages: 1st-12th grades

During the Ultimate Adventure camp, topics include 3D modeling/printing, video game design, Minecraft Modding, Movie-making, Animation and Robotics.

Emerald City Theatre

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Where: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport Ave., Chicago

Cost: $50 per day

Ages: 6-10

Campers with huge imaginations and a constant song in their heads will love this camp focusing on all the basics of musical theater. This camp focuses on acting, singing, and dancing — everyone will leave with even more songs to sing.

Hi-Five Sports Chicago

When: Oct. 21-25

Where: Mercy Soccer Center, 226 S. Aberdeen St., Chicago

Cost: $75 per day includes lunch, snacks, water and a T-shirt

Ages: K-8th grade

Campers will participate in a wide-range of team sports and fun camp activities, such as baseball, kickball, soccer, floor hockey, flag football, capture the flag, and more.

Facets Film Day Camp

When: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18

Where: Facets Cinema, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

Cost: $20, $15 members

Ages: 9-13

At this day-long camp, kids will watch films from Facets’ Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and learn about filmmaking and film review. The camp includes a mid-morning snack and afternoon popcorn, bring a packed lunch.

Day Off Camp at Old Town School

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., before care available

Where: Old Town School, 4544 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

Cost: $90, $80 members

Ages: 6-12

Experience a mix of art, music, and dance as students will rotate classrooms during the day, go outside to play at the park, and get to know each other at this day-long camp.

CPS Strike Sports Camp

When: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Where: Menomonee Club, 1535 N. Dayton St.

Cost: $75

Ages: 6-14

Campers will go through a full day of sports, games and activities to help keep their skills sharp and athletic activity at a high level. Space is limited to 40 campers.

CPS Strike Day Camp @ Gus

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Gus Giordano Dance School, 5230 N. Clark St., Chicago

Cost: $85 per day per child

Ages: Kindergarten-sixth grade

Campers will learn hip hop and jazz, play games, get park time and do crafts. Bring sack lunch/water and wear comfortable clothes.

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This story originally published in September 2016. It has been updated with the most recent information. 

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