Summer Camp Guide 2021

Start Planning for a Summer of Fun

By Sara Yaniga, Macaroni Kid Chicago (Midtown) May 30, 2021

We have rounded up the best of the best for kids this summer and are honored to share our featured camps below.  To see more programs, please check our Summer Camp Directory for additional options in the city.  We continue to add camps and programs for kids of all ages, so be sure to check back regularly.

Summer camps can fill quickly, especially given CDC and State guidelines surrounding COVID-19,  so be sure to register as soon as possible. 

Don't forget to tell them Macaroni Kid Chicago sent you! 

Filament Theatre

Filament is delighted to offer 3 in-person camps this summer. Campers will explore new styles of outdoor theatre while growing their skills in creative problem solving, teamwork, confident public speaking, analysis of text, speaking directly to the audience, community engagement and more. All camps culminate in a final performance project!

Each 2-week camp costs $275 per child

Puppets on Parade

July 12th - July 23rd, 2021

9 AM - 12 PM

Ages 5 - 8

Dazzle and delight with larger-than-life puppets!  Join the parade as you learn to craft 2D and 3D puppets and bring them to live with movement, breath, and original stories.  From small hand-held puppets to the giant creations of street pageants and Lunar New Year celebrations, campers will use storytelling traditions from around the world to build a procession of puppets!  Campers will learn the fundamentals of Filament Theatre’s playmaking techniques, explore design and story structure, and use circus skills and movement to tell a story.  By the end of the session, you’ll be ready to march in a puppet parade!

The Mysterious Society of the Fourth Swing

July 26th - August 6th, 2021

9 AM - 12 PM

Ages 7 - 12

A mysterious letter arrives in your mailbox. The Mysterious Society of the Fourth Swing needs you!  Report to the park for an adventure demanding all your creativity and daring-do!  In this scavenger hunt camp, participants will learn the fundamentals of Filament Theatre’s playmaking techniques, analyze choose-your-own-adventure stories, search for clues and work with Filament teaching artists to create an original scavenger hunt play they can share with friends and family in their favorite park.  Make something special you can re-play all summer long!

Take A Hike!

August 9th - 20th, 2021

9 AM – 12 PM

Ages 7 – 12

Grab your walkin’ shoes and some earbuds as we travel around the world without leaving Chicago.  In this camp, explore themes of travel, freedom, and adventure as we connect with the natural world and make a podcast play for others to enjoy on their favorite walks!  Campers will learn the fundamentals of Filament Theatre’s playmaking techniques, and work with Filament teaching artists to create original stories featuring big questions about caring for nature, longing for travel and finding our independence in everyday adventures.  By the end of the week, you’ll be ready to share original podcasts with friends and family far and near!

Reserve Your Spot at Filament Summer Camp HERE

Questions? Email boxoffice@filamenttheatre

Porchlight Music Theatre Camp

Get on stage with Porchlight Music Theatre’s jam packed summer camps! Campers will spend time acting, singing and dancing while they make new friends and learn about theatre fundamentals. Families and friends are welcome to join us for a virtual final performance and celebration of all your young actor’s hard work! 

Students aged 7-17 years can join us for small in-person camps or virtually via zoom.  Scholarships, financial aid, and payment plans are available, as well as aftercare each day.  We'll see you center stage!

Broadway Basics for ages 7 to 10 years - Monday, July 12 - Friday, July 23

Music Theatre Bootcamp for ages 11 to 13 years - Monday, July 26 - Friday, August 6

Advanced Music Theatre Performance for ages 14 to 17 years - Monday, August 9 - Friday, August 20

Click HERE to learn more and Register for Porchlight Music Theatre Camps

Stages Chicago

What do you get when you combine the magic of Broadway with the fun and freedom of Summer?  The ultimate Summer Camp experience!

Stages is dedicated to to making this Summer both fun and safe. In addition to complying with all city and state restrictions, we are taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Teachers and camp staff will been fully vaccinated.
  • Small camp sizes.
  • Regular sanitization of camp spaces and materials.

Broadway Mini-Stars (ages 2.25-3)

The ultimate mini-camp experience for your little one! Each week, our littlest campers are introduced to the world of a new Broadway Musical as Stages Mini-Camp Counselors bring the show to life through music, dance, dramatic play, and process art. Snack time, sensory play, outdoor adventures (weather permitting) and of course, Bubble Intermission round out the daily routine. Whether your child has taken performing arts classes in the past or you’re simply looking for something new to try this summer, Stages is for you!

Broadway Little Stars (ages 3-5)

Each week, Little Stars are introduced to the world of a new musical as Stages Camp Counselors bring the show to life through music, dance, dramatic play, and process art activities. Snack time, sensory play, outdoor adventures (weather permitting), and of course, Bubble Intermission, round out the daily routine. Best of all? Little Stars get to take center stage and show off what they’ve been learning at the end of each week in an Open House Performance for family. Whether your child has taken performing arts classes in the past or you’re simply looking for something new to try this summer, Stages is for you!

Broadway Mini-Stars and Little Stars Camps also offer:
✔️ Small Camp Sizes (No more than 16 Mini-Campers/Day)
✔️ Low Counselor : Mini-Camper Ratio (1:4)
✔️ Professional Teaching Artists as Counselors
✔️ New Broadway Show & Theme each week!
✔️ Play-Based Arts Curriculum developed by a professional performer turned child development specialist
✔️ Great Location with access to secure outdoor space and playground.
✔️ Part Time Schedules Available

Half-Day Broadway Camps (ages 3-5)

What do you get when you combine the magic of Broadway with the fun and freedom of summer? The ultimate summer camp experience for your preschooler! Each week, Little Stars are introduced to the world of a new musical as Stages Camp Counselors bring the show to life through music, dance, dramatic play, and process art activities. Snack time, sensory play, outdoor adventures (weather permitting), and of course, Bubble Intermission, round out the daily routine.
Best of all? Little Stars get to take center stage at the end of the week in a Final Performance for family (we’ll be sure to film so you can share with friends). Whether your child has taken performing arts classes in the past or you’re simply looking for something new to try this summer, Stages is for you!

Full-Day Broadway Camps (grades K-8) 

Stages' week-long musical theater camps use your child’s favorite songs, stories, and characters to help them develop the skills every performer needs to perform on a Broadway Stage. Campers will spend the week singing, dancing, acting, and rehearsing for their Final Performance which will take place on the last day of camp and is open to family and friends! They’ll also be given the chance to discover what goes on “behind the scenes,” helping to create costumes pieces, sets, and props! 
Don’t worry – it’s not all work and no play here at Stages! We take advantage of the fun and freedom of summer, ensuring campers have time each day for free play (and rest). Best of all? Our camps are run by professional teaching artists with years of experience on professional stages as well as in the classroom, so you can drop-off feeling confident that your child will be in good hands all week long. Whether your child has taken performing arts classes in the past or you’re simply looking for something new to try this summer, Stages is for you!

Click HERE for all of the details and to reserve your spot now!

Stages is committed to making our classes available and affordable for all families. 

For information about tuition assistance and free classes, please contact

Recess Youth Improv

Come learn to improvise with RECESS Youth this summer! Ages 4-18

RECESS Youth Improv is hosting free, virtual drop-in classes in July! Participants will engage in the art of play, honing skills like listening, collaboration, teamwork, and creativity. 

RECESS is also offering an August Summer Series (virtually) that will give participants an opportunity to build their improv skills, make friends, and hone their creativity.  

Learn more about the July Drop-In classes

Learn more about the August Summer Series or register today for Recess Improv

ChiArts Virtual Summer Camp

Join ChiArts online this summer for our 2nd-8th grade arts camps taught be professional working artists!  Scholarships are available. 

Learn more or register today for ChiArts Virtual Summer Camp

Infinity Arts Academy

Performing Arts Summer Camp at IAA! Drama, Film, Music, and Dance!

Learn more or register today for Infinity Arts Academy

Kidstreet Art Camps

Welcome to Kidstreet: a unique program designed to foster the creativity of our youngest artists at Lillstreet Art Center. Here, children become a valued part of our lively, welcoming, and supportive community of working artists. In addition to year-round classes, we offer over 200 week-long multimedia camps each summer. Campers explore topics in pottery, painting, sewing, photography, and more in a relaxed, non-competitive environment. Our instructors focus on the process rather than the end result—the goal is to learn new skills, gain confidence, make friends, and most importantly, have fun!

New week-long camps begin every week, this June–August, 2021

Save $10 per camp with our Early Registration Discount when you register by March 29

Click HERE to learn more and Register for Kidstreet Camp

SAIC Summer Camp

SAIC is excited to offer summer camps for kids ages 4-9!  Combining creativity with fun, SAIC's camps offer exciting projects and include daily visits to the Art Institute of Chicago museum. 

Kids learn to discover, explore, and imagine in their own unique ways, experimenting with a variety of art materials and methods that encourage the development of creative thinking and problem solving skills.

One week sessions for ages 4-6 (with adult supervision)

Themes include: Art & Stories, STEM to STEAM, Upcycled Artists, World Builders and Virtual Museum Explorers

Three week sessions for ages 7-9

Themes include: World Builders, Afternoon Drawing Club, Digital Artists and more!

Family Camp for kids ages 4-10 (with at least one parent/guardian)

Campers work together on a variety of fun projects and experience the joys of making art with old and new friends. Projects may include painting, drawing, mixed-media, sculpture, printmaking, performance, digital art, and more. 

Click HERE to learn more and register today!

(Online programs for ages 4-9 and Families also available)

CircEsteem Summer Camp

There's no need to run away to join the circus this summer! CircEsteem's summer camp is right in your own back yard.

Learn more or register today for CircEsteem Summer Camp

Trinity Irish Dance Intro Camps & Courses

Trinity invites your child to sample a bit of their award-winning instruction. Our seasonal intro days are perfect for your future Irish dancer- now enrolling for Spring & Summer! 

Learn more or register today for Intro to Irish Dance Camps & Courses

Camp Bubbles at Bubbles Academy 

A one of a kind small group STEAM summer camp, powered by PLAY! We'll run, we'll play, we'll create and get messy as we explore all of the interdisciplinary magic in science, tech, engineering, art and math.  Children entering 1st and 2nd grade next school year will dive into daily STEAM exploration, along with opening and closing camp circles, mindfulness, and recess on the nature playground.

June 7th to August 27th

9 AM to 12 PM (*after care available until 5 PM)

Monday through Friday

Small group class capped at 12 children, masks required

Register by the week, with a 10% discount for advance enrollment 6+ weeks

Click Here for More Information or to Reserve your Spot 

Intercultural Montessori Summer Camp
Green Explorers Club

Experience all Summer has to offer in our unique multicultural, multilingual environment!

Intercultural Montessori Language School and Green Explorers Club have teamed up to provide campers with daily summer adventures learning about animals, nature, and sustainability while also practicing new languages from around the world.

Learn more or register today for Intercultural Montessori Summer Camp

Camp Shedd: Summer Splash

Camp is back! Are you ready to make a splash?

Join us this summer at Shedd Aquarium for one of our week-long camps for kids grades K–5. Campers will explore the impressive world of aquatic animals and uncover amazing adaptations that will make them say “WOW”! Your camper will look nature in the eye as they meet animals up-close, explore Shedd Aquarium habitats, and participate in hands-on activities, outdoor games, crafts and more.

We hope you’ll join us and make a SPLASH!

Click HERE to Learn More and Register for Camp Shedd

Snapology Chicago Summer Camp

Educational, Fun and Affordable STEM Camps!

Snapology offers the best S.T.E.A.M. camps in the area. We offer camps and workshops year-round, including spring break camps, summer camps, holiday break camp and camps during teacher in-service days. Your kids will love our fun camp topics and themes. Shh, don’t tell them it’s educational!

Themes for Summer 2021 include: Minecraft, Ninjas, Jedis, Harry Potter, Lego and Dinosaurs (and so much more!) Sessions are offered Half- and Full-Day with optional before/after care available.

Ages: 3-5 & 5-14

Locations Available: The Loop, Lakeview and Oak Park

Take advantage of this special discount for Macaroni KID and CertifiKID subscribers!

Snapology S.T.E.A.M. Camp 
Ages 3-14

View deal on CertifiKID

Click HERE to Learn More and Register Today!

Steve & Kate's Camp

At Steve & Kate’s Camp, kids take chances and take charge, shaping their day, their way. More choices and fewer expectations creates more possibilities, more self-trust, and less self-doubt.

Campers will choose an interest-based, pod-like group, called a Squad. At camp, children will gather with their fellow enthusiasts to immerse themselves in activities, or pursue projects with an emphasis that speaks to their tastes. Squad specialties include sewing, building, performing arts, coding and gaming, sports & recreation, or a mix of everything!

Within squads, campers decide what they want to do, with whom, and for and how long. Whether one is spending the day sampling all activities, or honing in on sewing skills to redesign their entire wardrobe, one thing is for sure: kids are in control.

Campers will also have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor classes, socially distanced indoor and outdoor recreation, performances, fan-favorites like Gameshow, gaga, and wacky or wet inflatables, and a circuit of rotating activities featuring race cars, arcade games, clay, and more.

We’ve also got plenty of perks for parents. Lunch and snacks are included daily, and there’s no risk if your plans change. At the end of the summer, if you have any leftover Day Passes, we’ll refund them in full, automatically.

Click HERE to learn more and Register for Steve & Kate's Camp


Featuring structured indoor learning opportunities and fun outdoor activities including walking trips, water play, sports, and free play on our onsite secure playground. Plus weekly music with Ms. Elisa of Wee Groove, Yoga sessions with Ms. Cassi, and dance classes with All About Dance! Our summer camp program is an extension of our top rated and exceptionally reliable Kids' Work Chicago children's learning center. Located in Chicago's North Center neighborhood, our program is available for your convenience all summer without interruption! For families that need a full day of care, we also offer high quality full day options. 

Offering two three-week sessions, our program is the complete camp experience your family is looking for! 

Session One: July 12 -31 

Session Two: August 2 -20 

Full Day 8:00 - 4:30 / After Care 4:30 - 6:30 

Mention that you heard about us from Mac Kid, enroll by April 23, and receive our EARLY BIRD discount of 10% off 1st Week of each Full Camp Session! 

Click Here for More Information

Lincoln Park Baseball Academy

Chicago’s largest summer camp program!
Lincoln Park Baseball Academy (LPBA) is a Chicago based organization focused on baseball and softball instruction for all ages. 

Over 3000 youth baseball players have attended our baseball camps since 2011. LPBA’s expert training covers all key skills from hitting and pitching to defense and team dynamics through both individual and group coaching programs. 

Whether you are new to the game of baseball or experienced, LPBA’s professional staff will provide players with a camp experience that is challenging, fun, and educational. Our year-around programs will help each player acquire the skills they need to be successful and bring their game to the next level.

Click HERE to learn more and Register for LPBA

Challenger Soccer Camp

$10 Off Challenger Soccer Camp 
Ages 3-16

View deal on CertifiKID

This summer, learn new skills from an international team of soccer coaches - at Challenger International Soccer Camp!

Challenger weaves together the best soccer coaching methodologies and practices from England, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands and France to create a multi-faceted on and off-field summer camp experience. With over 2,000 soccer camps in every state nationwide, camps include:

  • Tiny Tykes Soccer Camp for Ages 2 - 5: A fun introduction to soccer including games, activities, and adventures develop coordination, balance, running, stopping, turning, kicking, dribbling, throwing and catching.
  • Half-Day Soccer Camp for Ages 5 - 16: Great for new and experienced players! Each camp day includes individual foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, small-sided games and coached scrimmages.
  • Full-Day Soccer Camp for Ages 8 - 18: A combination of the half-day camp program, along with additional developmental soccer practices, games, competitions, challenges and fun activities.

Use Promo Code "KID2021" to receive $10 Off your camp session PLUS a free soccer ball and t-shirt and more! BONUS! Register 30 days prior to camp and score a bonus international Jersey!

For those in or around the Hyde Park area they are offering a camp right at Midway Plaisance for kids ages 4 to 14! 

Move Your Feet Sports Tennis & Golf Camps

Our program is high energy, focused, intensive, entertaining, competitive, hilarious, technical, and once again memorable. During the course of coaching, the players will be grouped with players of similar skill and age levels.  Our camp numbers are relatively small so it is easy for us to group friends and siblings together.  

Our camps are full instructional camps and we use very creative games and exercises to fully engage the players in learning while they have a great time playing and enjoying Golf and Tennis.  

The suitable ages for our camps is between 5yrs and 13yrs.  

Learn more or register today for Move Your Feet Sports Tennis & Golf Camps

Chicago Fire Soccer Camp

Chicago Fire FC has is committed to helping kids return to the soccer field to safely play and learn this summer!  Camps will vary by age and location, so please check back for updates!  

Ultimate Ninja Camps

Ultimate Ninjas Camps 
Ages 6-14 — View deal on CertifiKID

Have your kids been watching NBC's American Ninja Warriors and dreaming of becoming one, too? Building obstacle courses throughout the house and in your backyard? Sounds like it may be time to head over to Ultimate Ninjas for Summer Ninja Camp so they can act on those American Ninja Warrior dreams!

Ultimate Ninjas believes that EVERYBODY - no matter your age or fitness ability - can actually have a good time while working out. Imagine that! This camp is designed to teach techniques used to conquer any obstacle. Your kids will have plenty of obstacles to practice on and learn, including an agility course, swinging ropes, monkey bars, quintuple steps, climbing, warped walls and more! 

Ultimate Ninjas friendly, helpful and energetic instructors will show you the most effective ways to get in shape involve doing things your body was meant to do, and doing it in a way that’s actually FUN.

More Camp Resources

It's not too late to list your summer camp in this guide! 

Thousands of families in Chicago, from Lincoln Park to Hyde Park, use Macaroni Kid as their go-to guide for finding family fun - don't let them miss out on your summer camp! 

Contact to get your camp listed TODAY!