2023 Summer Camp Guide Highlights: 11 Popular Chicago and North Shore Summer Camps

Another school year is flying by, and it’s again time for parents to choose the best summer camp for their kids. There are a wealth of programs on Chicago and the North Shore, focusing on everything from sports and fitness to arts and crafts, STEM and nature exploration. Here, we have highlighted 11 popular Chicago and suburban summer camps in with programs for a range of ages of interests. We also asked each summer camp: What are you most excited to offer this summer? Here’s what they had to say.

For the complete listing of summer camps, check out our Summer Camp Guide.

Academic Approach

Locations in Chicago & Winnetka

Since 2001, Academic Approach has been the leading test-prep provider in Chicagoland. 

Whether it is ACT, SAT, or Middle School Testing, let us help you find your path to academic and testing success this Summer. Schedule a complimentary diagnostic test and consultation with one of our directors. 

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

We are offering 10% off for all families who start working with us before July 1st. We want to help families who are trying to take advantage of an early summer start. We are also excited about the NEW Digital SAT, which begins in the Spring of 2024.

Apachi Day Camp

9 locations across Chicago & North Suburbs

Apachi Day Camp supports campers’ social emotional growth as they navigate relationships and form friendships, gain independence and build confidence. Camper care is at the center of everything we do, and our top priority is creating an environment where each camper feels safe and supported. Discovering new interests, developing new skills and making memories with camp friends are all hallmarks of an Apachi summer.  Add in rock climbing, sports, science, performing arts, special Shabbat Celebrations, Maccabi Games (camp-wide, team-based events), theme days and spirited song sessions and you’ve got the makings for one incredible summer. 3 years – 7th grade + Counselors in Training (8th-10th grade). 

4 and 8-week sessions available

Apachi Specialty Camps: 

  • Performing Arts Camp at Elaine Frank Apachi 
  • Sports Camp at Apachi Evanston 

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

There’s a lot we’re excited about this summer. Apachi Day Camp builds supportive camp communities allowing campers to thrive and feel as though they belong just the way they are. Our values of Kindness, Respect and Community are reinforced through programs like The Nora Project, an award-winning program that explores empathy, inclusion, and disability awareness. Our dedicated team of Community Care professionals support our campers’ social, emotional, and physical well-being, so they can experience carefree, fun-filled, summer days to the fullest. Our caring camp communities coupled with our huge variety of fun activities and camp traditions truly make summers at Apachi Day Camp unlike any other.

The Art Center Highland Park

Highland Park

The Art Center Highland Park aims to inspire and ignite a passion for the arts through its innovative camps, for ages 6-15, in a variety of mediums: 

  • Young Masters, Ages 6-9
  • Mixed-Media, Ages 9-12
  • Fashion and Sewing, Ages 7-13
  • Fashion and Sewing II, Ages 9-14
  • Metalsmithing & Jewelry, Ages 12-15
  • Murals and Street Art, Ages 9-12
  • Murals and Street Art, Ages 12-15
  • Collage and Assemblage, Ages 9-12
  • Create, Design, Perform! Ages 8-12
  • Clay Camp, Ages 7-11
  • Clay Camp, Ages 12-15
  • Painting Studio, Ages 12-15
  • and more!

TAC 2023 Summer Camps run 6/12-9/4, offering 1-week and 2-week camps! 

Camps run in the Morning and Afternoon, from 9 am-12 pm and 12:30-3:30 pm. All campers will have snack breaks outside (weather permitting), and all-day campers have the option of a monitored lunch break from 12-12:30 pm.

In August, the Summer session will culminate in a Youth Summer Showcase!

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

The Art Center Highland Park is very excited to offer a wide variety of camps this Summer: Young Masters, Mixed-Media, Fashion and Sewing, Metalsmithing, Murals and Street Art, Collage and Assemblage, ‘Create, Design, Perform!’, Clay Camp, Painting Studio, and more!

Camp Chi 

Lake Delton, WI 

For over 100 years, Camp Chi has transformed children’s summers by unplugging them from their daily lives and connecting them to life-changing moments while supporting their personal growth. And long after the last s’more, the best of Camp Chi stays with you. Where else can you sail a boat, fly down a zip line, record an original song, jump in a pool, hit an archery bullseye and sing around a campfire all in one day? With over 50 activities to choose from including athletics, water sports, performing arts, media, and outdoor adventure, campers can discover their passions and uncover new interests. Camp Chi’s 600-acre campus, located in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, provides the perfect setting for campers, ages 8-16, to experience adventure and fun, develop meaningful friendships, gain independence and thrive. 

Learn more at campchi.org

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

This summer, 6th-8th graders can discover why they call it the great outdoors at The Outpost Village, Camp Chi’s outdoor adventure specialty camp. Through wilderness survival skill activities including fire building, outdoor cooking and forging trails, campers grow their independence, confidence, creative thinking and problem-solving skills. We also put a nature-spin on camp-inspired art projects such as tie-dying shirts. Campers select materials found in the forest to create unique designs, and then use the sun’s rays to complete the dying process.  

Nature lovers will experience camping like never before, living in a 30-foot custom designed yurt, complete with bunk beds, cubbies and cozy rugs. Campers enjoy their own dedicated village on Camp Chi’s beautiful 600 acre-campus, and at the heart of the village lies a fire circle, a beautiful wooden pavilion, and a large native flower garden.

Session Dates: June 18 – June 30, 2023

Learn more at campchi.org/outpostvillage

Camp Chippewa for Boys

Cass Lake, MN

In the absence of screens, homework, and social pressures, campers at Camp Chippewa feel a great weight coming off of their shoulders. Freed from their familiar burden, they are enabled to pursue a lifestyle more active, engaging, and growth-oriented than one they experience at home. Without stepping foot into a classroom, 8-year-olds learn to transcend homesickness. 10-year-olds learn to set up a tent and sleep outdoors. 12-year-olds learn to skipper a sailboat through gusty winds. 14-year-olds learn to build a fire and cook a meal for their companions. 16-year-olds learn to exist and thrive within a team as they navigate hundreds of miles of wilderness. And each of them returns home more confident, more resilient, and more prepared for life’s coming challenges.

At Camp Chippewa, life becomes immediate and grounding. Since 1935 our campers have been experiencing remarkable growth that serves them for life.

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

An outdoor haven where boys find belonging, resilience, and confidence.

Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts

Kenosha, WI

The renowned Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts, located on the beautiful campus of Carthage College in Kenosha, presents another summer of theater, fun and friendship. Established in 1955, Harand was one of the first co-ed, residential camps to combine musical theater with traditional camp life. Harand offers quality arts training for ages 7-18, plus fun activities in a supportive environment. Sessions run three or six weeks and culminate with performances in a state-of-the-art theater. 

Harand adheres to a non-competitive philosophy where “no man is an island” and EVERYONE is a star, helping campers develop performance skills while building self-confidence. Campers take classes in singing, dancing, and acting and enroll in three electives per day, choosing from a variety of sports, art and other activities. Evenings feature games, concerts, trips and more! Campers also enjoy modern facilities, residing in dorms overlooking Lake Michigan, and have delicious meals by Parkhurst Dining.

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

We are excited to offer another safe and happy summer for our camp community. Providing performing arts opportunities and LIVE theater is so important for young people – especially after so many things were put on hold for COVID-19. It has been amazing seeing these kids so excited to return to the stage after not having the opportunity for so long. Plus, helping them grow and make connections during these strange times – not just in the performing arts, but socially as well – has always been an important part of what we do. But it’s even more important now. We hope they can take what they learn at camp – from the ideals of “No Man is an Island” to the confidence they gain on stage – back home with them.

L’Alliance Française de Chicago


L’Alliance Française de Chicago offers a French Summer Camp with activities like yoga, cooking, dance, theatre, and more! Our camp is an immersive French experience, but no prior French knowledge is necessary. Campers will develop new skills, make new friends, and above all, have fun! We welcome French learners age 3–12. You can register week-by-week, or save by registering for the full 9-week Summer Camp package! Please note the registration cancellation deadline of May 19, 2023. Refunds cannot be made after this date.

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

You can register week-by-week, or save by registering for the full 9-week Summer Camp package! Please note the registration cancellation deadline of May 19, 2023.

YWCA Flying Fish Swim Camp


The YWCA Evanston/North Shore is offering morning swim camps throughout the upcoming summer. Most of the morning will be spent in the pool learning swim skills for more beginner swimmers and technique drills for swim team level swimmers. There will be some classroom time learning about water safety and watching swim technique videos. Besides having some fun in the pool, there will be trips to the park and beach each week, weather permitting. ‘Flick and Float’ Fridays will come with lunch. Each morning will start at 8:30am and end at noon. The fee is $260 for one week which is discounted the week of June 20th because it will not include Monday. No swim camp the week of July 3rd. Registration began February 11th and is done online through Community Pass.

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

We are expanding to include a wider range of level, age and experience. Instead of competitive swimmers only, we will give the opportunity to all levels of swimmer.

Sacred Heart


Make memories to last a lifetime at Sacred Heart’s Summer Camp! Open to all boys and girls ages 3 through 5th grade, our summer camp, located on the shore of Lake Michigan, combines games, outdoor time, exploration, creative arts and field trips for an amazing summer experience. Three Camp sessions run for two weeks each and begin on June 20. Register here for the best summer yet!

Skyline Children’s Theater

Chicago camp locations: Lincoln Park, Andersonville, Ravenswood
Suburban camp locations: Glenview, Winnetka, Wilmette, Barrington, Denise Sabala Dance, Discovery Day Camp

Skyline Children’s Theater Broadway Summer Camps offer a fun and fulfilling musical theatre experience for ages 3-14. From an exciting first day of getting to know a show, to an exhilarating final performance, an experienced Skyline teaching artist will guide each cast to create a fully-staged musical.

Every actor will be assigned a named role and have a chance to shine onstage as they learn to work together and fall in love with performing. Days will be packed with singing, acting, and dancing rehearsals, creative drama activities, team-building, and fun in the sun!

With multiple locations, age levels, camp lengths, and show titles, new and experienced young actors can enjoy the best of Broadway for one week or all summer long. Register now for a fabulous summer of Broadway Camp!

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

We are launching a brand new camp, a 4-week production of Matilda! Actors ages 10-14, or if younger than 10 and interested, can submit an audition tape.

St John’s Northwestern

Delafield, WI

St John’s Northwestern Academies Summer programs cater to all your summer camp needs. Worried about Summer Slump? Keep your child engaged in learning whilst still having fun with our Summer Academy Plus where they can learn new skills in cyber security, drones or aviation or get ahead in a core subject. It’s not all work and no play with daily outdoor activities like canoeing, hiking, rappelling, sailing and swimming on our beautiful campus as well as off campus excursions. For your younger child, the Lancers Day camp is a fun, active character -building day camp where children are kept busy with a host of sports, activities and extra curriculars. Any endurance fans or athletes should definitely join our Raiders Camp where they will be pushed mentally, physically and emotionally to be the best version of themselves, an excellent preparation for excelling in the Fall sports season. Enroll today!

What are you most excited to offer this summer?

We are most excited to offer our Summer Academy Plus program. One of the common concerns of parents regarding their children going back to school after 3 long summer months is re-entry issues or “Summer Slump”. Our Summer Academy Plus program for children from the 6th to 12th grades solves this problem by offering a variety of fun and interesting STEAM classes whilst still allowing the children to enjoy their summer with after-class activities like hiking, swimming, rappelling, and canoeing to name a few. Excursions include trips to Brewers games, museum trips and much more!

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