So, your child’s not the kickball type? No sweat. These three artistic options will enrich, inspire and cultivate the heck out of your Chi-town kid come summer.
File this one under “Things Every Grownup Chicagoan Would Love to Do”: SAIC’s summer camps are the stuff of creative dreams. Utilizing a variety of artistic materials and methods, your smallish artists (ages 4-9) will become adept at crafting, problem-solving and exploring the Art Institute’s extensive collections. And with experimentation in painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, printmaking, digital art and more in one- and two-week camps, you’ll be ensuring they grow up knowing there’s so much more to “art” than just oil on canvas.
Chicago kids really don’t know how marvelously they have it; the beloved (and prestigious) Old Town School of Folk Music manages to combine skill and whimsy in arts camps for ages 4-15. Kids 4-6 will become well-versed in opera and Elvis, to name a few, and kids 7-11 will find their tween footing with everything from DIY design to punk rock, playwriting and mythology. As for those hard-to-impress teens? The new skills learned from stage combat, musical theater and scoring for films will provide terrific material for “What I did on my summer vacation.”
If you have a child seriously in love with dance (and you’re serious about a childhood summer full of fun, growth in a physical and artistic discipline, and loads of fresh air), look no further than one of the country’s most celebrated dance troupes. Hubbard Street’s camps for newbies and not-so newbies offer choices for the footloose and fancy free in your household; Dance Explorers (ages 5-9) camps are week-long forays into a choice of ballet, musical theater, contemporary jazz, hip-hop and West African dance. The Junior Intensive (ages 9-13) offers a more comprehensive blend of the elements involved in contemporary dance, namely ballet, jazz and modern. An energetic outlet and formal training with a ridiculously impressive company? Now that’s raising the barre.