By Sara Lugardo

With summer around the corner, parents of teens can wonder what day activities might be in store for those living in and around the Chicago area. While there is never a shortage of Chicago festivals and outdoor activities, many parents want to capitalize on the freedom of school hours to enroll their teens in camps or workshops that will help to further their education and creativity during the summer. The break from school doesn’t necessarily have to mean a break from learning or stimulation. Take advantage of some of the great activities offered in the Chicago area and keep your teen active both in mind and body this summer. Not only will your teen have a wide variety of interests to choose from, but parents will enjoy having their time be well spent during the summer break.



Acting Studio Chicago
10 W. Hubbard St., Suite 2E
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 527-4566

Founded in 1981, Acting Studio Chicago offers premiere training from professional working actors and those who have studied at the prestigious Julliard and American Conservatory Theatre. It offers both summer programs and workshops for teens with a variety of different classes to choose from. The studio recently added a monologue workshop for ages 12 and up and a stage make-up workshop for ages 10 and up. The summer audition clinic for teens is geared towards grades eight through 12 and is recommended by agents and casting directors to build skills on how to approach auditions. While camp and workshop prices can vary, the Summer Program for Teens is a five-day camp for $600. Check out this great program for summer workshops and camps for the creative budding actor in your family.



Digital Media Academy
The University of Chicago
5801 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
(866) 656-3342

Digital Media Academy offers some great summer computer camps geared towards teens. With camps all over the nation, the program offered at The University of Chicago offers teens the chance to enjoy a pre-college experience while delving into production and digital projects. Whether it’s 3D game development, digital filmmaking or even comic creation; there are courses to suit any tech-savvy teen. For those looking for a more in-depth summer camp experience, there are overnight camps that include all meals and dorm lodging in the tuition. The Teen One-Week Course starts at $1,065 and the Teen Two-Week Academy starts at $1,995.

The Art Institute Of Chicago
111 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 857-7142

The Art Institute of Chicago offers classes, workshops, week-long summer camps and drop-in programs specifically geared towards teens. With the entire institute at its disposal, high school students will be able to explore art in the museum’s galleries. There are conservation labs, lectures, scientific experiments and even hands-on art-making projects. The Art and Stories summer class offers seventh and eighth graders the experience of storytelling through art and writing. Teen Studio is a free, drop-in program that is geared towards teens and their families. Last year’s Kaleidoscope Family Day at the Teen Studio was on July 28th. For more information about Kaleidoscope or upcoming summer classes and workshops, you can register online or call for details.

(Credit: Kris Wade Matthews/Columbia College Chicago)

(Credit: Kris Wade Matthews/Columbia College Chicago)

The Summer Arts Camp
Columbia College Chicago
72 E. 11th St.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 369-7574

The Summer Arts Camp at Columbia College Chicago offers opportunities for teens 13, 14 and 15 years of age. It is a visual, media and performing arts camp and is $1,800 for the six-week session. The camp offers a $250 discount for each additional sibling that is enrolled and offers classes for kids grades three through nine, which helps with siblings of greatly differing ages. Tuition must be paid in full by June 1st, 2013 and the program offers financial aid for those in need. This is an all-encompassing camp that features everything from visual arts, performing arts, media arts and even outdoor fun. It is perfect for the creative teen that likes to dabble in different genres of creativity.

Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 742-7529

The Chicago Park District has a myriad of different camps and courses during the summer for teens. From ballet to basketball, the park district offers a variety of different programs with the convenience of your local park. The Day Camp offers water fun, field trips, athletic activities and cultural experiences with over 200 parks to choose from. Camp hours vary but individual park program hours can be viewed online and run no less than six hours per day. The camp sessions also vary but generally begin the week of July 1 and start dates can also be viewed online for individual programs. You can register and pay online but registration for popular camps can go quickly.

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on