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The Ultimate Summer Camp Guide

Summer in Chicagoland might not be here just yet, but the search for the perfect camp experience for your child starts now! Whether you’re looking for a local camp or a specific camp that aligns with your child’s interests, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve compiled an extensive list of summer camps with the best options for your child including everything from sports and theater camps across Chicagoland to the classic overnight camp experiences beyond. Each listing includes info on age range, costs, type and location all in one place.

Finding the best summer camp can be overwhelming. Our guide is crafted to simplify the process, so you can cross that off your to-do list. Plus, once you’ve found the perfect camp, check back for tips to prepare your child for their summer adventure.

Good luck on your search and happy camping!

Check out the map below or jump to one of our camp listing articles!

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Camps Near Me

Finding the right summer camp close to home has never been easier. 

We’ve broken down our summer camp lists by area — including the city of Chicago, North/Northwest Suburbs, South Suburbs and Western Suburbs — making sure you can find the perfect summer camp for your kid without venturing too far.

To enhance the “summer camps near me” experience, we’ve included an interactive map to let you search even faster. We’ve even labeled the type of camp to make sure you find a summer camp nearby and one that your child loves!

Summer Camps for Kids in Chicago

City kids can have fun all summer long at these exciting camps.

Summer Camps for Kids in Western Suburbs

Kids in the Western Suburbs will love these summer camps!

Summer Camps for Kids in South Suburbs

We've rounded up some of the best summer camps for kids in the South Suburbs.

Summer Camps for Kids in North/Northwest Suburbs

Sign up your child at one of these summer camps in the North Suburbs or Northwest Suburbs.
ideal-family-getaway-dad-and-daughter-on-paddleboards-in-waterpark

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort Offers Recreation for the Entire Family!

Looking for family fun you don’t have to plan? Jellystone Park Camp-Resort offers games, theme weekends and activities for every age group. The recreation manager gives us all the details.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY JELLYSTONE PARK CAMP-RESORT

Special Interest Camps

For children with specific passions or interests, a specialized camp can provide an immersive and enriching experience. 

Whether your child is an energetic athlete, a budding scientist, or an artist in the making, our guide to special interest summer camps in Chicagoland and beyond covers a wide range of themes such as:

  • Theater Summer Camps: Perfect for aspiring actors and actresses, these camps nurture creativity and confidence through drama.
  • Sports Summer Camps: Ideal for young athletes, these camps focus on developing skills in a variety of sports, promoting teamwork and discipline.
  • Art Summer Camps: Encouraging artistic expression, these camps offer opportunities in painting, sculpture, digital arts, and more. 
  • STEAM Summer Camps: Combining science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, these camps foster innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking in engaging activities. 
  • Overnight Summer Camps: Offering a classic camp experience, these programs include a range of activities and provide opportunities for personal growth, independence and lifelong friendships in immersive settings.
  • Affordable Summer Camps: Designed to fit a range of budgets, these camps ensure every child has the chance to enjoy a fulfilling summer experience without breaking the bank.

Theater Summer Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Sign your little thespians up for one of these summer camps!

Art Summer Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Your little artists will love any of these summer camps!

STEAM Summer Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Your young scientists can learn all summer long with these camps.

Sports Summer Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Your little athletes will love these summer camps!

Overnight Summer Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Have your child start a new adventure with one of these overnight summer camps.

Affordable Summer Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Summer camps can be pricey, but here are some budget-friendly options.
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Summer Camp Tips

Planning for summer camp involves more than just picking the right location and theme, it’s about ensuring your child is set for an enriching experience. To help navigate this process, we’ve compiled a list of resources and tips that cover everything from readiness and benefits to practical advice on preparation and affordability.

These resources aim to make your summer camp planning a breeze, ensuring both you and your child are prepared and excited for the upcoming camp season:

Your Overnight Camp Survival Kit

Here are some extras to consider for overnight campers.

How to Make Summer Camp Affordable for Your Kid

Here are seven ways to put a summer experience within your child's reach.

Tips for Finding a Special Needs Summer Camp

We’ve broken down the steps to finding the right camp for your kiddo.

Tips on Packing for Summer Camp

Be prepared to lose everything you send to camp (except your kid).

Is Your Child Ready for Overnight Summer Camp?

Here are some ways to gauge their readiness for a new camp experience.

How to Bring the Fun of Day Camp Home

Plus, find great ways to extend the fun after overnight camp ends!

Choose a Camp Checklist for Parents and Kids

Use our checklist to find the best summer camp for your child.

Why Summer Camp Is Great for Today’s Kids

Summer camps provide a place to practice life’s soft skills and make friends.

Questions to Ask Before Sending Kids to Summer Camp

It's time to start thinking about summer camps.

Unexpected Benefits of Summer Camp

"Everything I ever needed to know to succeed in life, I learned at summer camp."

The camps listed here were chosen by the Chicago Parent editorial team to give you the most variety of interest, location and affordability. There are also camps who partner with Chicago Parent who are given priority in listing and a little more information readily available. If you are a camp and would like to be included in this list, reach out to the editorial team. If you are interested in partnering with Chicago Parent for enhanced visibility, reach out to the marketing team.