The Chicago Park District provides a fun-filled summer for kids in Chicago. Photo courtesy of the Park District
The Chicago Park District provides a fun-filled summer for kids in Chicago. Photo courtesy of the Park District

Free and Affordable Summer Camps for Chicago Kids

School’s almost out, which means it's time for parents to figure out how to keep kids busy, happy, and entertained for the whole summer! Summer camp is a great way to help kids burn off energy, spend time outdoors, and make lifelong friendships ... but you gotta do it without breaking the bank. No need to panic: We've rounded up free and affordable summer camp options throughout Chicagoland. 

Parents and caregivers should sign up for summer camp as early as possible to take advantage of early-bird discounts offered by most organizations. Also, many summer camps award scholarships or help with financial assistance. If there is a camp your child is interested in, it’s worth checking to see if they offer scholarships and/or financial assistance.

Still not sure what camp is the best fit for your kids? Learn more about local and virtual summer camps with our upcoming Online Camp Fair. Visit virtual booths and watch live camp demos.

Editor's Note: Summer camp information for the 2021 season is changing daily. Please click the links to the individual camps for the most up-to-date information.

Places featured in this article:


Cook County Forest Preserve

Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

The Little Gym of Chicago

Camp Invention At-Home Programs
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Camp Invention In-Person Programs
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The Field Museum of Natural History
Paleo Playdates
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - 10:00 AM Pick
Bookworms at Cosley Zoo
Cosley Zoo - 9:30 AM
Lilac Heritage Tours
Lombard Historical Society - 11:00 AM
Get Your Groove On Family Dance Event
Landmark on Main Street (online) - 7:00 PM
Dinos Everywhere!
Brookfield Zoo - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides