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  1. NPN Sitaara

    Making Staycations Magical

    Fairytales Can Come True – The Princess and the Frog We all know our family would have a great time on vacation at The Most Magical Place on Earth, but does a STAYcation have the same spellbinding appeal? With a few simple tricks, you too can enchant the kids and keep everyone’s spirits high. A Little Thought for Others Makes all the Difference – Winnie the Pooh The first rule of thumb for any time off is to plan ahead. Enlisting suggestions from everyone in the family helps create a schedule that makes all feel included. Then have choices in the event you need to switch up your plans. And don’t forget to note transportation options and remember your Ventra card! What… are you eating? - Ratatouille Have a good supply of snacks on hand and do your restaurant research. Modern-style food courts like Aster Hall at 900 North Michigan Shops offer something to suit all palates. Alternately, head over to Hamburger University on West Randolph and sample some of McDonald’s global menu items for the surprise factor. Or combine neighborhood exploration with cuisine sampling, such as traveling to Chinatown and taking in a post-lunch stroll in Ping Pong Memorial Park. Have a Nice Day - Hercules Do you have an actor-in-the-making or a budding scientist? Be sure to focus on their interests when looking for activities. There are plenty of children’s show venues in Chicago such as Apollo Theater or Chicago Children’s Theater. For artists or engineers, check out the Free Museum Days for Illinois residents or reserve a Digital Museum Pass online through Chicago Public Library. Don’t forget that the staycation is your vacation too! The current immersive experience craze can be enjoyed by littles dancing to the music and grown-ups appreciating the graphic interpretation. You’re Never too Old to be Young - Snow White Sloomoo Institute offers slime making for all (surprisingly therapeutic), while a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo (free) will always bring out the child in you. Haven’t yet ridden the Ferris Wheel? Head over to Navy Pier and act like a tourist. Just strolling and watching the boats alone is a relaxing activity. Our lakefront should never be underestimated as an inexpensive destination. The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway - Frozen Don’t let the weather get you down during a winter staycation. Chicago has two beautiful conservatories where you can warm up: Garfield Conservatory and Lincoln Park Conservatory, both with inspiring exhibits that would appeal to the whole family. Movies are another good option for snuggling up inside. Check out the free screenings at Chicago Public Libraries, or the Kid Flix series at Gene Siskel Film Center. And if the icy climes don’t bother you, there is ample ice-skating to be had both indoors (at McFetridge Sports Center) and outdoors (at venues throughout the city). Fill the World with Sunshine - Snow White Who cannot take pleasure in a sunny day in Chicago? During the summer months the beaches are a treat. Favorites include the child-friendly Montrose Beach with its good parking, bathrooms, and proximity to Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. At sunset, grab your lawn chairs and take in something on the schedule with Movies in the Parks. Another firm favorite is Millennium Park with the Crown Fountain ‘splash pad’ and the neighboring Maggie Daley Park, providing everything from mini golf to a play garden. Adventure is Out There - Up Isn’t a traditional vacation all about going and trying something new? So, seek out somewhere you’ve never been before or something you’ve never tried. Have you camped out in a Chicago park? You can do that through the Chicago Park District! What about trying your hand at fishing? You can do that with them too! Or how about hopping on a water taxi and following your nose? The Only Limit is Your Imagination - Big Hero 6 So, never feel like a staycation is second best to a vacation. It can truly be the best of both worlds; you get out and about while having home comforts greet you at the end of the day. In the words of Merida, in Brave: “you control your destiny – you don’t need magic to do it.”
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  3. NPN Jana

    Female Strong Camp

    You are invited to a FREE entrepreneurship camp for girls 8-12 years old with Female Strong sponsored by Forward Space! Female Strong Camp is an empowering experience that engages participants in meaningful discussions about confidence, passions, goals, and innovative solutions to real-world challenges. It's a unique opportunity for young girls to connect with peers, hear from inspiring Chicagoland professionals, and focus on personal growth in a supportive environment. What to expect: Engage with peers about each other’s unique selves, confidence journeys, passions, and goals! Hear from Forward Space employees with different roles about how to achieve goals, take risks, mess up, and stay true to yourself in the process! Reflect on your dreams & ideas and develop an action plan to make them happen! This is a free camp, but RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Free parking is available in the side lots. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: sabrina@femalestrong.org.
  4. NPN Jana


    Snapology offers the best S.T.E.A.M. camps in the area. Our camps are made for both FUN and learning, utilizing one of the world's most exciting toys, LEGO®. We have camps inspired and associated with many of the top games, activities, movies, and more. We have robotics camps, technical camps, and even camps for the Pre-K kiddos. Your kids will love our fun camp topics and themes, but Shh, don’t tell them it’s educational! We accept children ages ages 5 -12.
  5. Our Summer camp is a continuation of Montessori classroom experience with additional opportunities for several rich outdoor activities. Within the comfortable parameters of Montessori Environment, we take the children on a journey of Spanish Camp during June, Art and Craft in July , Music and Scavenger Hunt in August. Also, we offer random tennis classes throughout the 3 summer months.
  6. As soon as we arrived at Family Camp in Michigan last summer I started to lose track of time. We had decided to take a family vacation at a kids sleep away summer camp for a few days. Ostensibly it was to introduce our two kids to camp. But I was also curious to experience the classic American summer camp that I had seen in movies like “The Parent Trap” for myself—the kind with cabins and scenic ponds and bonfires around which we’d roast marshmallows and sing camp songs. We arrived at camp a bit late and so we dropped our stuff off in our cabin and headed to dinner at an array of outdoor picnic tables. As we started talking about the next few days and all the activities we wanted to try, I instinctively reached for my phone to check the time. And, I realized I’d left it at the cabin—something that I would do for the rest of family camp. How relatively easy it was for all of us to disconnect from our devices was one of the happy surprises from camp. At home, my boys typically default to watching screens or playing video games during down time. We set screen time limits but then find ourselves having to play screen time police, a role we do not relish. At family camp, the only devices available were the phones my husband and I had brought with us. And, because all meals and activities were already arranged and on-site it was easy to break the habit of constantly checking them. No need to look up directions, make dinner reservations, text the babysitter, or even keep track of time—our days revolved around a loose schedule of participating in various sporty activities, eating meals and, yes, roasting marshmallows around a bonfire! For the boys, the chance to try new things made them forget their devices quickly. When I asked my kids recently whether they had missed their screens at camp my older son replied “it just wasn’t on my mind.” And, it’s true. With so many activities within walking distance of our cabin, we all discovered newfound interests. My younger son discovered his love of archery and spent hours trying to hit a bullseye. And, the boys and I all tried water skiing for the first time– an exhilarating and slightly terrifying experience. At night, we’d all fall into our twin beds exhausted from our active days. We also quickly learned that the best way to discover things at camp was to explore. One night, we emerged from our cabin and noticed a number of families heading through a path in the woods that we hadn’t seen before. We decided to follow these families and discovered a shortcut to dinner! This tiny discovery felt huge, like we’d gained inside camper knowledge. And the fact that we’d gained it through our own powers of observation—not our phones—felt so satisfying. With more space from our screens, we all surprised ourselves and each other. My boys invented an imaginary game, incomprehensible to adults, that completely absorbed them for long stretches (and which they continue to play to this day). And, I slowly gained confidence that I was ready to re-enter the paid workforce after five-and-a-half years as a stay-at-home mom. Something about radically changing the scenery and rhythms of our day, and finding out we could adapt, made me feel confident that I could do this in other areas of my life too. For families looking to plan an unplugged vacation, the best advice that I have is to approach it with a sense of adventure. Embrace getting out of your comfort zone and try to find somewhere with lots of things to keep you occupied during the day. We loved attending family camp at Lake of the Woods and Greenwoods Camp. But there are plenty of other places that offer family camp including the YMCA Family Camp Nawakwa in Wisconsin and YMCA Family Camp Pinewood in Michigan. For those families wanting a true camping in a tent experience, the Chicago Park District offers a Family Camping program with campfires and s’mores of course!
  7. Chicago Fire FC Camps are the perfect way to introduce your child to the world’s fastest-growing youth sport and develop their soccer skills. In addition to small group instruction centered around technical themes and Social and Emotional Learning traits, participants receive a Chicago Fire camp t-shirt, and a ticket to a Chicago Fire match. Along with the ticket comes a special matchday experience including the opportunity to play at Soldier Field pre-match, player autographs, an appearance by lovable Fire mascot, Sparky, and discounted tickets for the whole family. We accept children ages 6-14.
  8. NPN Admin

    Tutu Camp

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  10. NPN Admin

    Camp Barnabas

  11. NPN Admin

    Camp Sonnets

  12. NPN Jana


    At GEMS World Academy Chicago, we use an inquiry based approach to develop creative, adaptable thinkers. We welcome you to visit our learning community to experience our core International Baccalaureate framework, Field Studies program, daily world language classes, and arts instruction. We also host summer camp which will be offered for 7 weeks, from 6/17-8/2, with weekly themed sessions for grades PS-G5. There will be a variety of camps–cooking, arts, sports, and more–offered where we will be taking advantage of our location in the city to learn locally and think globally.
  13. NPN Admin

    Camp GEMS

  14. NPN Admin

    Camp Riley

  15. NPN Admin

    Camp Newaygo

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