Guide to Summer Camps in Lake County that Keep Your Kids Outdoors presented by LCFPD Camps

The Little Lake County Summer Camp Guide contains paid listings. It's presented by the Lake County Forest Preserve District summer camps.  

When I was a kid, camp meant playing outside, all summer long.  Mosquito bites, sunscreen, hats and plenty of running.  We rested in the shade of bur oaks, took a dip in lakes and entered school in the fall with sun kissed cheeks and shoulders.  Our spirits were lifted and our bodies were full of exactly what we’re supposed to get out of summer.  Today, we see camps that are outdoors, indoors, partially indoor and out, and our kids can use them all!  If you’re looking for a camp that aims to keep your kids outdoors for the majority of their day, we’ve got the best list for you!

outdoor camps in Lake County

Outdoor Camps in Lake County

Editor’s note: for this guide we defined outdoor camps as camps where children spend 80% or more of their camp time outdoors.

Lake County Forest Preserves
1899 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville, IL 60048 | 847-968-3321
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Find your summer camp with the Lake County Forest Preserves.

Safe, local, and fun, most of LCFPD camps are held completely outdoors. Those few that aren’t have components outside. Outdoor play helps children improve their creativity, manage stress, and learn in a positive environment.

New for 2018, learn what it takes to build and operate a museum at the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County in “Make a Museum” camp. Experience “Animal Attire” camp at Independence Grove Forest Preserve and discover how fur, feathers, fins, scales, and skin help animals survive. Decipher the clues animals leave behind at Lakewood Forest Preserve with “Skulls, Scat, and Tracks” camp. Or try another of their half-day and full-day camps!

All camps are led by professional educators well-trained in supervision, safety, and activity development. Camps are available from ages four through 14 without repeating a topic.

Register by May 31, 2018 at

Elaine Frank Apachi Day Camp
23280 North Old McHenry Road, Lake Zurich, IL 60047 | (847) 762-0800
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At Elaine Frank Apachi, kids spread their wings, explore new interests and develop lasting friendships. After just a few days, campers describe Apachi as “my camp,” somewhere they belong.

  • Awesome activities, including art, sports, archery, climbing wall, outdoor cooking, zip line, dance, drama and more
  • Daily swim lessons and free swim
  • Outdoor science park and STEAM projects
  • Optional bus service and extended care

Chicago Botanic Gardens
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022 | (847) 835-8361
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The Chicago Botanic Garden’s signature day camp provides exciting, fun, and enriching outdoor learning experiences for your child, with programs for children ages 6 months to 15 years old.

Camp CBG offers morning and afternoon camps, supervised lunch, and full-day camps to give parents flexible scheduling options. Spend a week or the whole summer at the Garden.

Our instructors are highly qualified, and many have been teaching with Camp CBG for more than five years. All staff members participate in annual training, are first-aid certified, and love teaching.


Stock up on the sun screen and bug spray and get those kids outside!

What is your favorite outdoor camp?

No more searching! We’ve got your summer in the bag…

…Or rather your in inbox! Sign up now for Camp LLC and receive a daily email in your inbox Monday-Friday throughout the summer. Each day will have things to do, places to go and ideas for easy summer fun centered around the following themes:

  • Make Something Monday
  • Adventure Tuesday
  • Water Wednesday
  • Thinking Thursday
  • Free Friday

Camp LLC runs May 28 through August 13 and will include optional membership to a private Facebook Group to share ideas, comments and plan playdates.


Disclosure: Listings in this guide were paid for by the camps featured.


Dance academy of Libertyville
About Alli 64 Articles
Alli is a boldly authentic mom to three- because who has time to fake it? She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone's hand.

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