Kids Summer Camps

A group of Adler summer campers playing in the "Planet Explorers" exhibition.

Do Science at Adler Summer Camps!

Your campers won’t ride any horses or capture any flags at the Adler, but they will have the whole universe at their fingertips. With tools like telescopes, programmable robots, and high-altitude balloons—and new friends around every corner—Adler summer campers share adventures of cosmic proportions. Looking for camps for teens? Check out our Teen Summer Camp offerings!

The Adler Planetarium offers a variety of unique summer day-camp experiences for campers entering preschool through 9th grade. Young space and technology enthusiasts can use their imaginations, get creative, and explore their universe together just like scientists do.

COVID-19 Impact on 2021 Summer Camps

As we continue to monitor the pandemic situation as we have over the last year, we are taking all necessary precautions, following the science, and basing our decisions on guidance from local and state officials; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The safety of our campers, camp families, and staff is our highest priority and given the ongoing situation, the Adler will not be offering summer camp programs this year. We love that so many families have made Adler Summer Camp a yearly tradition, and we miss exploring the universe with you.

Until we are able to welcome you back to the museum, stay connected with us! Join our bi-monthly Sky Observers Hangout interactive program where you can learn about your night sky from Adler educators and friends and get your questions answered! Color the celestial zoo in our one-of-a-kind collections coloring book, or roll up your sleeves and dive into a science activity using materials you can likely find laying around the house. Our resources page has you covered. 

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Astro Camps

Astro Half-Day Camps (Ages 3–5)

Preschool-aged children learn about the skills of scientific exploration through participation in this fun, engaging summer camp designed to spark scientific curiosity. Activities during the week-long sessions integrate circle time, hands-on investigations, free exploration, snack, art and literacy connections while introducing young children to learning in a museum.

Is my child ready for camp? Reference this document to find out.

Camp Length

½ day, full week sessions
Monday–Friday, 9:00 am–11:30 am
Sign in begins at 8:45 am and sign out ends at 11:45 am.

Astro Full-Day Camps (Entering Grades 1–4)

Do you have what it takes to travel through space? Join us as we explore the engineering challenges humans must face when traveling, working, and living in space. What do our bodies need to live? How do we protect ourselves from the dangers of space? How do we communicate? Do hands-on experiments and activities from the perspective of an astronaut, experience Planet Explorers and other exhibitions, see an immersive skyshow, and much more!

Camp Length

Full week sessions
Monday-Friday, 9:00 am–3:00 pm
Sign in starts at 8:30 am and sign out is at 3:00 pm.

Full STEAM Ahead Camps

Astro-botics Camp (Entering Grades 4–5)

Challenge yourself this summer! Telescope viewing, lunch by Lake Michigan and cutting-edge sky shows—all unique to the Adler—are the perfect setting for Astro-botics. Based on age and ability, campers will be exposed to the process of designing, building, testing and redesigning as they use multiple types of robotics to overcome escalating challenges. They’ll make connections between the robotic programming they’ve learned and the many types of robotics used in space exploration. Astro-botics is collaborative in nature; campers will work together in pairs or small groups to conquer each robotics challenge.

Camp Length

Full week sessions
Monday–Friday, 9:00 am–3:00 pm
Sign in starts at 8:30 am and sign out is at 3:00 pm.

Skyshow Camp (Entering Grades 6)

You’ve seen the amazing sky shows the Adler has to offer, now you can make one! In the course of one week, campers will work in teams of four to create skyshows, from storyboarding through presenting on the dome of the Grainger Sky Theater. Campers will work with Adler’s visualization, show production, and theater experts throughout the week. The week will wrap with a showcase as campers present their shows to their families.

Camp Length

Full week sessions
Monday–Friday, 9:00 am–3:00 pm
Sign in starts at 8:30 am and sign out is at 3:00 pm.

Mission Near Space Camp (Entering Grades 6)

If you choose to accept this mission, you will become part of a unique team of engineers and astronomers whose goal is to prepare, launch, track, and retrieve a scientific payload sent to the stratosphere aboard a high altitude balloon. The week ends with a showcase in which participants present their exploration results to family members.

Camp Length

Full week session including a balloon launch field experience
Monday–Friday, 9:00 am–3:00 pm with one extended day trip
Sign in starts at 8:30 am and sign out is at 3:00 pm.

Date and length of the extended day trip is determined by weather conditions. Details will be given by Tuesday morning of your camp week.

After Care

After Care FAQ

We are delighted to announce that After Care will be available for full-day* campers, including Astro-Full Day, Astro-botics, Skyshow, and Mission Near Space. After Care campers will have the option to read, create artwork, play games, watch relevant and age-appropriate movies, explore the museum, or participate in other free-choice activities. After Care content will be connected to space science, but will be more relaxed in nature. After a busy day at camp, After Campers will need a chance to relax a bit!

After Care capacity is limited, available on a first-come, first-served basis, and is offered as a weekly, flat-rate session from 3:00 to 5:30 pm. (Note that we are not able to accommodate drop-in or daily rates.) Once you sign your child up for a camp session, you’ll have the option to select After Care before check out.

All campers must be signed out by 5:30 pm. There is a $5 charge for every five minutes after 5:30 pm, to be paid before the child is signed in the next day. Chronic lateness may result in the camper being dropped from the After Care program without a refund.

*After Care is not available for Astro-Half Day camps.

Adler Summer Camp FAQS

Registration

Registration is closed.

Cancellation Fees and Refunds

Camper safety is our highest priority. As we monitor the pandemic situation, we are taking all necessary precautions, following the science, and basing our decisions on guidance from local and state officials; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

At this time, the Adler has made the decision to cancel all summer camps for 2020 out of an abundance of caution. Parents who had children registered for camps have received an email notification with next steps. For questions, please contact summercamp@adlerplanetarium.org.

Scholarships

Thank you for your interest in summer camp scholarships. The 2020 application period has ended.

Camp Programming

Please note that summer camp programming is repeated each session. Each type of camp will have the same curriculum each time it is offered. Registering for more than one session of the same camp program is not recommended. However, if your young child benefits from repetition, you are welcome to register for multiple sessions of the half-day Astro Camps.

For additional questions, check our 2020 Summer Camp FAQ, email us at summercamp@adlerplanetarium.org, or call 312.322.0329.

PURCHASE TICKETS

Your all-access pass to our universe!

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