A girl gives two thumbs up and a big smile while hiking with her group.

Camping Programs in the Parks

A number of tents are lined up for a night of camping at Northerly Island

Northerly Island Camping

A group gathers for a silly photo under a shelter while hiking together.

Camping Programs in the Parks

Family Camping

Camp under the stars with the Chicago Park District.
Learn basic camping principles, take a nature hike and enjoy an evening around the campfire led by our expert camping staff. After you experience Family Camping, you will have the knowledge, skill and confidence needed to camp on your own. 

Note: Family should include at least one child and one adult, up to six family members. Parent or guardian must participate.

Camping begins on Saturday at 2pm, and ends Sunday at 10am.

Cost is $50 per family.  

Online registration begins two months prior to the program start date.


North Park Village Nature Center Steelworkers Park Jackson Park Northerly Island
August 17, 2019 August 24, 2019 September 14, 2019 September 21, 2019
** Event is Full **  ** Event is Full ** ** Event is Full **  ** Event is Full ** 


Family Camping is presented by:  Coleman


ChicaGO Explorers Training at Northerly Island

The ChicaGO Explorers Front Country Leadership (FLT) training is designed for local community leaders and organizations to guide youth on hiking and camping excursions. The overnight training course includes instruction in leadership skills, camp equipment use and care, and group activities related to outdoor recreation and nature-based education. Once leaders are FLT certified, they will be able to check out camping and hiking equipment, making it easier for youth to have a positive experience in the outdoors. When youth are properly outfitted with boots, socks, hats, coats, tents, sleeping bags, etc. and leaders are confident in their ability to facilitate outdoor trips, hiking and camping can help create significant memories, friendships, confidence, and abilities that last a lifetime.

The Front Country Leadership training will run from 8:00 am on October 15th through 1:00 pm October 16th at Northerly Island Park.  All camping gear and food will be provided.  Participants must be part of an organization that leads youth outdoor activities.


Urban Campers

Urban Campers is a week-long program that introduces youth, ages 9-12, to local nature through camping. At neighborhood parks they learn outdoors skills such as fishing, building a campfire and pitching a tent. At the end of the week, participants apply this knowledge during a 24-hour camping experience in a local park, from Thursday to Friday morning.

Meets Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday from 10am - 2pm, and Thursday from 10am to Friday at 10am.  Urban Campers is offered during July and early August at select parks.

View/Register for Urban Campers Now


Under Illinois Skies

This week-long activity is for children, ages 10-13, who have already completed Urban Campers and are ready for the next level of camping. Participants will participate in environmental education and adventure recreation activities and put them into practice during a 3-day overnight camping experience at Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Center.

Meets Monday & Tuesday from 10am - 3pm, and Wedneday from 10am to Friday at noon.  Under Illinois Skies is offered from mid-July to mid-August at select parks.

View/Register for Under Illinois Skies Now