Friday, April 19, 2019

Online Registration for Park District Day Camp, Summer Programs Starts Soon

The Chicago Park District’s online registration for its popular
summer day camp and park programs opens April 22 at 9 a.m.

This year, the summer day camp curriculum will celebrate the Chicago Park District's 85th anniversary and its commitment to enhance the quality of life in Chicago by becoming the leading provider of recreation and leisure opportunities for children and families of all abilities and interests.

The Chicago Park District’s new camp theme ‘PLAY: Every Day, Every Way’  will enhance the summer day camp experience by engaging campers in inclusive activities and education programs, as well as weekly physical fitness routines that encourage campers to interact with one another.

“Building on our theme, the Chicago Park District is excited to invite Chicagoans of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life to celebrate our 85th anniversary by playing and engaging in our parks citywide,” said Michael P. Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO. “The Chicago Park District offers a menu of camps and programs at parks throughout the city and ensures that we are able to accommodate everyone who wishes to participate in all our programs, from recreational to cultural.”

The Chicago Park District experienced record numbers again in 2018 for program registration. Compared to 2012, park program enrollments increased by 47 percent. Since 2014, the Park District has surpassed 100,000 registrations in nine separate sessions. Last summer, the Park District recorded a four percent increase in enrollments in summer programs, and summer camps reached 99 percent of its capacity with over 50,000 enrollments.

Day camp will provide participants with the opportunity to participate in energetic team building and cooperative games, visual arts and writing activities, outdoor and environmental education, performing arts and imaginative play, and active games and fitness activities.

Online registration begins Monday, April 22, at 9 a.m. for parks located west of California Avenue, and on Tuesday, April 23, at 9 a.m. for parks located east of California.

In-person registration for summer programs will begin either Saturday, April 27 or Monday, April 29, depending upon the park.

Standard day camps, for ages 6 to 12 years old, run six weeks, from June 24-August 2, typically from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Play Camp offers options for children ages 3 to 5 years old, and Teen Camp for participants ages 13 to 15 year olds. Numerous specialty camps are also available, including Sports Camps. Late Summer Camps offer extended opportunities to engage in park activities from August 5 to 9 or 16; date varies by park. Early bird and extended options offer convenient hours to cover the full day (eight to ten hours, varies by park).

Gymnastics centers, one of the Park District’s most popular programs, will open online registration for the summer season on Tuesday, April 23, at 12 p.m. Summer program registration for McFetridge Sports Center & Morgan Park Sports Center opens Tuesday, May 28.

Fees vary depending on location, offerings and hours.  No child will be turned away for inability to pay.

Given the popularity of programs, patrons are encouraged to browse through the list of programs for 2019 and create wish lists in advance here.

Financial Assistance

The Chicago Park District has limited funds available to provide financial assistance for families who wish to enroll in the 2019 summer day camp program. Financial assistance and family discounts are available.  Financial assistance is only available to City of Chicago residents. Eligibility for financial assistance does not guarantee a slot for day camp and cannot be used in conjunction with any other reduced/voucher programs. Applicants that do not qualify for financial assistance may inquire about the payment plan option at their local park.

For more information on how to solicit the scholarship, please visit the day camp page.

The Chicago Park District aims to provide summer camp financial assistance to thousands of children each year, requiring more than $2 million. Tax-deductible gifts of any size may be made to the Summer Day Camp Assistance Fund to help support children and families across the city through this financial assistance program here.

NEW FOR 2019:

In order to facilitate patrons being able to receive the financial assistance discount (50%) at the time of summer online registration, financial assistance documentation is being accepted in-person at parks now.  Once completed and approved, the related registration (ActiveNet) account will be updated to include this financial assistance pre-requisite. When registering for summer camp, an account holder with the pre-requisite will automatically be charged 50% of the camp cost. 

If this step isn't completed prior to summer online registration, patrons still have the option to register for summer camp online by paying 100% at the time or registration and then presenting the documentation at the park to receive the 50% refund.

Family Discount

When patrons register for two or more programs for family members less than 18 years of age in one transaction, the order qualifies for a 10% discount on the less expensive program(s).

Discount is available for online and in-person orders, but cannot be combined with the CHA or DCFS discount programs.  All family members should be entered into one account on the Chicago Park District’s registration system.

Summer Food Service Program

In accordance with the Illinois State Board of Education’s Summer Food Service Program and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) federal regulations, the Chicago Park District will participate in the Summer Food Service Program in conjunction with summer day camp.  Lunches and/or snacks will be provided for enrolled children at most camps.

Meals are made available to all eligible participants without regard to race color, national origin, disability, sex or age.  Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should write immediately to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202/720-5964 (voice and TTD).

For more information, contact your local park, visit or call 312-742-PLAY.

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