9 Great Sports and Music Summer Camps Around Chicago

Nike Soccer Camps

It’s hard to find the right activities for kids with ever-evolving interests. Fortunately, there are great camps nearby that appeal to a variety of passions. From rock ‘n’ roll to classical, let your kid channel their inner-musician at one of these music camps. Have an athletic thrill-seeker? Check out these sports camps that range from traditional to adventurous.

Music Camps

Chicago Center for Music Education Glee Camp

Whether your child is hoping to star in the next “Pitch Perfect” movie or is just looking to carry a Happy Birthday tune, the Chicago Center for Music Education (ChiMe) “Glee Camp” can help. During the week-long day camp, kids will learn vocal and sight-reading techniques as well as improve performance skills such as self-confidence and self-expression. The city-based camp will close with an exciting performance by the campers. Due to popularity, ChiMe will offer two separate week-long camps during early July.

Ages: 6 and up
Cost: $195
Dates: Early July
Location: 1148 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago
For more information, visit ChiMe’s website or call 312-738-2646

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Center for the Arts
Photo courtesy of Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Nestled in the northwest Michigan woods, the Interlochen Center for the Arts has been honing young musicians’ skills for nearly 80 years. The elite conservatory offers both summer-long as well as week-long “Instrumental Institutes.” Brass, percussion, string and woodwind musicians will receive direction from exceptional faculty and participate in several performances over the summer. With no classes on Mondays, campers may enjoy off-campus field trips to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Peterson Beach on Lake Michigan. Financial aid is available.

Ages: 8-18
Cost: Starting at $1,150
Dates: Mid-June through early August
Location: Interlochen, Michigan
For more information, visit Interlochen’s website or call 800-681-5912

School of Rock Songwriting Camp

Let your kids channel their inner rock star at the School of Rock Songwriting Camp. Students will learn song form, song arrangement, groove creation and mood development during staff-led clinics. At the end of the camp, your rocker-in-training will get to lay down original tracks in a professional recording studio. School of Rock will offer two camps, one in late June at the Highwood location and one in late July at the Evanston location.

Ages: 12-17
Cost: $450
Highwood: 6/20-6/24
Evanston: 7/25-7/29
For more information, visit School of Rock’s website or call 847-433-7625

Sports Camps

Bulls/Sox Academy Basketball Camp

Who better to teach basketball than the Chicago Bulls? Since 1999, the Bulls have offered exceptional camps to Chicago’s boys and girls, ages 6-12. Younger players will learn the basics of the sport through fun games and drills while “soon-to-be serious” players refine their skills through advanced instruction. At the end of the camp, coaches will provide an evaluation report to highlight players’ progress and room for improvement.

Ages: 6-8 (Rookie Camp), 9-12 (Veteran Camp)
Cost: $215
Dates: TBD
Location: Lisle
For more information, visit the Bulls/Sox Academy website or call 630-324-0865

Nike Soccer Camps

Learn from some of the country’s most respected and accomplished coaches when Nike Soccer Camps comes to Elmhurst College this summer. Players will receive instruction on functional training, attacking, supporting play, decision making, shooting and defending. Standing apart from other soccer camps, the Nike camp also provides specialized goalkeeping and striker training. The acclaimed camp is open to players of all levels, ages 8-18.

Ages: 8-18
Cost: $340 (Day), $420 (Overnight)
Dates: June 24-26
Location: Elmhurst College
For more information, visit the US Sports Camps website or call 800-645-3226

Big Blue Swim School

Watch your waterbug splash with joy at one of the North Shore’s most popular swim programs. A three-time Make It Better Best Of winner, Big Blue Swim School offers four-day camps of 30 minute lessons. The “Super Improver” camps combine quality instruction with fun activities, encouraging kids to advance their swim skills.

Ages: 6 months-12 years old
Cost: $88 per camp
Dates: June-August
Location: Buffalo Grove, Wilmette
For more information, visit Big Blue Swim School’s website or call 847-729-7665

Chicago Rowing Foundation 

Thrilling, fast-paced and intense, rowing provides the perfect outlet for the energetic kid. Tucked up against the Chicago River, The Chicago Rowing Foundation (CRF) offers entry-level day camps during July and August. During the two-week camp, teens will learn the essentials of sweep rowing (one oar per person) and dynamic teamwork. Comprised of current and former collegiate athletes, CRF’s coaching staff provides excellent instruction on how to row as a crew of eight. Additionally, CRF provides an adaptive program for teens and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Ages: 11-16
Cost: $525
Dates: July 5-15, July 25-Aug. 4
Location: 3400 N. Rockwell, Chicago
For more information, visit the Chicago Rowing Foundation website or call 312-636-1239

Lake Forest Sailing

Lake Forest Sailing
Photo courtesy of Lake Forest Sailing.

With Lake Michigan lapping nearly at your toes, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to enjoy the water. As a nationally recognized and accredited training center, Lake Forest Sailing offers top-line instruction for kids ages 8 and up. Providing prams and 420 sailboats, the program separates campers based on age and experience. In addition to on-the-water coaching, sailors will receive seamanship instruction, including knot-tying and basic boat maintenance. Whether your child is learning to sail or is already an avid seafarer, the two-week-long camps are a perfect summer activity.

Ages: 8-18
Dates: June 13-Aug 26
Location: Forest Park Beach, Lake Forest
For more information, visit the City of Lake Forest website or call 847-615-4592

New Vision Athletics Summer Sports Camp

Do you have an adventurous son or daughter? Since 1999, New Vision Athletics has satisfied the elementary-aged thrillseekers of the North Shore. At the beginning of the week-long Lake Forest camp, coaches will follow a lesson-plan of athletic activities including baseball, whiffle ball, soccer, flag football and floor hockey. By mid-week, kids will get to craft their own days with the sports and activities they enjoy most. To promote good sportsmanship, kids are awarded “NVA Dollars” that can be used to buy souvenirs/treats at the “NVA Store.” For 3rd graders and up, NVA offers special elective options such as an overnight “lock-in” at Lake Forest College and one-day scuba diving classes in the pool.

Ages: 8-13
Cost: $420/week
Dates: Late June through July
Location: Lake Forest College, Lake Forest
For more information, visit New Vision Athletics’ website or call 847-295-0682

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