For parents who’ve been strapped for child care during the coronavirus shutdown, relief is in sight.
The Chicago Park District will run modified summer day camps at 148 parks from July 6 through Aug. 14 for children who are, as of Sept. 1, 2020, ages 6-12. Camp hours are either 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Families will also have the option of registering for a two-week extended camp that runs from Aug. 17-28.
Online registration for camps opens at 9 a.m. Thursday for parks west of California Avenue, and 9 a.m. Friday for parks east of California.
Online registration for programs held at McFetridge and Morgan Park Sports Centers opens at noon on Friday. Take your chances with in-person registration for camps and programs on Saturday. These dates also apply to registration for limited summer Park District programming for people of all ages.
New to the “Hunger Games”-style process of summer camp registration? Here are a couple of tips: Check out camp listings now — don’t wait until Thursday or Friday. Create an account now. Select your desired camp or program and click the “wish list” button. This will speed the checkout process on the day of registration, when, trust us, seconds count.
Like pretty much every thing else these days, summer camp routines are being adjusted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Smaller groups will be registered to allow for social distancing. A staff-to-camper ratio of 1-to-9 will be in effect. Due to limited capacities at each location, the Park District asks that only families in need secure a space.
Children will have to wear masks and bring their own water, as drinking fountains won’t be turned on. There will be no field trips or swimming, and park playgrounds remain closed. Activities will include arts and crafts, non-contact sports and nature-based programs.
Free lunch and snacks will be provided.
“While this summer will look a lot different than years past, we are eager to welcome youth back to summer camp and all Chicagoans to our new reimagined programs so that we can safely enjoy our outdoor spaces,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent Mike Kelly.