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Park District Summer Camp Registration Opens Monday

By DNAinfo Staff on April 13, 2013 8:31am  | Updated on April 15, 2013 4:05pm

CHICAGO — Like buying tickets for Lollapalooza or registering to run the marathon, you'll have to move quickly to snag a spot in this Chicago extracurricular.

Park District kids' summer camp registration begins Monday, and some programs will sell out by the end of the first day, said Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, Park District spokeswoman.

The day camps, which are for kids ages 6 to 12, include field trips, nature exploration, arts, culture, sports and swimming, and take place at 230 parks across the city.

Most camps run from either 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, July 1 to Aug. 9. The camps usually cost about $175 to $530, but financial assistance is available, Maxey-Faulkner said.

The Park District saw record numbers register in 2012, a 20 percent increase from the year before. This summer, there are 30,000 spots available, Maxey-Faulkner said.

The most popular programs are the ones at parks close to downtown or along well-traveled commuter routes. Maxey-Faulkner suggests parents broaden their search further than the park near their home.

"Think about a park located near Grandma's house, or close to an expressway or CTA train station," she said.

Parks located west of California Avenue begin online registatrion 9 a.m. Monday, while parks east of California will begin online registration 9 a.m. Tuesday.

In-person registration begins either April 20 or April 22. Depending on the area, some parks have online and in-person registration, while others are online only, she said.

A list of specific park registration information is available online, and includes a list of tips to be first in line for the sell-out camps.