Keeping Students Busy All Summer Long 

A list of summer activities for CPS youth

June 24, 2015

With the school year at an end, CPS wants students to have plenty of opportunity for fun, educational experiences during their summer break. The list below provides a wide range of ideas for keeping students busy and engaged this summer.

Digital Divas Camp at DePaul University 
Two Sessions: July 6-17 and July 20-31
Calling all 11-13 year-old girls who love fashion, design and electronics! Two week camps are offered by Digital Divas at DePaul University. There is a $40 registration fee that includes all materials, lunch and snacks every day, and outdoor excursions in downtown Chicago. Learn more and register here or contact Asia Roberson at or 312-362-7001.

Safe Haven 2015
July 6–August 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday-Friday 
CPS offers Safe Haven programs at more than 120 sites throughout Chicago. All activities and meals are provided free for children ages 1-18. For a list of locations and more information, contact the CPS Office of Faith Based Initiatives at 773-553-2500 or visit

Chicago Public Library
A list of free activities, workshops and events for children of all ages is available on the Chicago Public Library website

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 
Find information on scheduled activities, events and summer camps offered by Peggy Notebaert on their website

Garfield Park Conservatory
Visit the Garfield Park Conservatory website for list of free activities for families.
Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier
Now through Labor Day; Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10:15 p.m.
Navy Pier is the destination for spectacular fireworks synchronized to music on Lake Michigan. Catch the twice weekly fireworks shows all summer long, now through Labor Day! Be sure to check the schedule for additional shows added throughout the year.

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier
The Chicago Children's Museum hosts the Target Free Family Night on Thursday evenings from 5-8 p.m. Admission is free for everyone. The museum also offers free admission all day for children ages 15 and under on the first Sunday of every month. Visit the museum's website for details.

Free Evenings at The Art Institute of Chicago 
General admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. 

Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art is FREE for Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round. The MCA is open until 8 p.m. every Tuesday, when the museum hosts special evening programs. These unique experiences range from live performances to film screenings and participatory projects. Programs are free with museum admission and all ages are welcome.

Teen Learning Lab at Shedd Aquarium
The Teen Learning Lab runs June 28-September 5 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1-6 p.m. Teens can explore science and the natural world in a free, high-tech space. Visit the Shedd Aquarium website for details.
Great Lake Action Days at Shedd Aquarium
On various dates throughout the summer, children can get their hands dirty cleaning beaches, removing invasive plants and collecting important data through citizen science projects. Events are scheduled from April through October and are held at natural areas along Lake Michigan. For more information, visit the Shedd Aquarium website.

Chicago Park District
Explore free or low-cost activities and sports leagues for youth and teens during the summer. A full list of options is available here

Movies in the Park
The 15th annual Movies in the Parks series features more than 240 outdoor screenings of current and classic movies in parks across the city. Bring a picnic basket, blanket and your friends and family and enjoy a movie in the parks. All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. Call (312) 742-1134 for daily listings and weather-related cancellations, or visit the Chicago Park District website.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, June 25, 2015