Photo by Eric Young Smith.
Next week, thousands of CPS students will take their annual week-long vacation from school to relax, revamp, and mentally prepare for the rest of the academic school year.
But if you don’t want your child sitting in front of a television set all day or being glued to his or her FaceBook or MySpace page online, then we have a few suggestions for you.
The City of Chicago offers a wealth of activities and events for students of all ages every single day. Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, athletic events or book clubs, there’s an organization around town that will suit both you and your child’s needs.
Here are just a few places that can help you find activities for your child to participate in during spring break.
The After-School Chicago website puts information about thousands of youth programs at your fingertips. The website is designed to give parents the ability to search for a wide range of before and after school activities by address, zip code, and interests. Parents can choose from eight program interest areas, including: academic, career, creative, health, life skills, religious, community and sports. The site includes a diverse variety of afternoon, evening and weekend program options that span organizations including the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services, After School Matters, the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Libraries. Learn more about Afterschoolchicago.org.
Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District offers hundreds of both indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages. During spring break, the Park District is offering several activities including a teen basketball league, a gym showcase, and a variety of workshops. Learn more about the Park District’s events .
Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library offers events for children and teenagers. Check out the events and programs section of its website to learn about the different activities occurring in a library near you. You can search for events by keyword, program type, program name, library location and zip code. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on the events page, the website also features resource sections for both children and teenagers. Here you can get ideas, tips and learn about programs aimed at helping your child improve his or her reading skills. Visit the Chicago Public Library for more details.
Lincoln Park Zoo
When the weather is nice, everyone wants to be outside. Why not use the warm weather to your advantage and spend a day with your children at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The zoo is always free and is open to the public every day. Learn more about the
Lincoln Park Zoo.
Take a trip through history, see the world’s most exotic plants and animals, and journey through time…all without ever leaving the city. Chicago is home to some of the world’s most famous and unique museums. Students from all ages can enjoy learning about history, technology, astronomy and much, much more. Several museums are also having free days during the week of spring break. Learn more about Chicago’s array of museums at ExploreChicago.com.
Play Ball, Chicago!
In April, the City of Chicago is gearing up for another great baseball season. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 8 at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., students are welcome to join the 2nd annual Play Ball, Chicago! celebration. Meet fans of both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, and learn about other baseball teams in the city such as the Kane County Cougars, Windy City Thunderbolts, Joliet Jackhammers and Schaumburg Flyers. Learn more about Play Ball, Chicago!
Spring into Sports
Middle school and high school students from 16 select neighborhoods are invited to attend Spring into Sports, a free week-long sports program taking place April 4 – April 10. Students can participate in sports competitions, demonstrations and recreational activities including archery, badminton, basketball, and track and field. The program takes place at four high schools: Crane Tech Prep School, 2245 W. Jackson, Little Village/Lawndale High School, 3120 S. Kostner, Orr High School, 730 N. Pulaski and Englewood High School, 6201 S. Stewart. Only students who live in the following neighborhoods can attend:
- Auburn Gresham
- Chicago Lawn
- Douglas, Grand Boulevard, North Kenwood-Oakland
- East Garfield
- Humboldt Park
- Little Village (South Lawndale)
- Logan Square
- North Lawndale
- Pilsen (Lower West Side)
- South Chicago
- Washington Park
- West Haven
If you’re interested in volunteering or signing your child up for the event, you must register in advance. There are a few different ways to register. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call one of the four host community coordinators:
- Near the Westside neighborhood: Call Oji Eggleston at 312-738-2280 or 773-677-6688.
- Near the Little Village/Lawndale neighborhood: Call Jaime deLeon at 773-542-9233 extension 19.
- Near the Orr High School neighborhood: Call Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. at 773-278-5569.
- Near the Englewood neighborhood: Call Reverend Rodney Walker at 773-602-4508.
All registration must be complete by April 4.
Learn more about the Spring into Sports program.
Read more of our spring break 2009 stories: