Day camps, concerts fill LP summer schedule

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – The “dog days” are here: Memorial Day and the Fourth of July have come and gone, and parents are faced with the question of what to do with the kids through July and August.

Whether for the children or the whole family, the Parks and Recreation Department has a variety of day camps and evening activities for all ages and tastes.

Building Manager Dennis Anderson said that in spite of budget reductions for some programs, such as the now defunct Movies in the Park summer series, others continue to succeed. Live music at Memorial Park was so well received last year that the city doubled its schedule for 2011.

“Concerts in the park is one of our big things,” Anderson said. “We’ve always had them on Thursday, but this year we added a second series.”

Every Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The “Billy Brown Series” on Wednesdays features music innovations in jazz, alternative or rock, while Thursday’s “Tribute Concerts” programs include testaments to classic music, Dixieland and classic rock bands.

Camp considerations over the years have also fallen victim to budgets or whims. Anderson said that, previously, the Parks and Recreation day camp programs for children ages 6 to 15 ventured into nearby state parks for some time with nature.

In more recent years the day camp concept spread out, and this year’s offerings include four courses: Animal and Princess camps for children ages 3 to 7, with crafts and games; Pop Star Camp for ages 6 to 15 to learn new dances; and Cheer Camp for prospective cheerleaders ages 6 to 15 to learn cheers, chants, jumps and a short dane routine.

Anderson said that all four camps are new entries this year, and parents are able to sign children up for participation the day camps start.

Concerts and camps join a busy summer schedule in Lincoln Park, with children’s classes (gymnastics, dance), adult fitness programs (Yoga, Zumba and more), softball and soccer.

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(James Mitchell can be reached at