Spending my career working on a college campus is pretty great. However, you don’t have to work at a college to take advantage of many of the resources available. How lucky are we to live in an area with so many opportunities! Did you know you can take your kids to see the first carnivorous dinosaur discovered in the Antarctic, send them to Harry Potter camp and see the stars with them?   

Check out all the ways your family can benefit from these amazing institutions right in our own backyard. I have worked at Augustana for twenty-five years now, so have explored all of these with my kids and can highly recommend that you check them out too! 

Augustana College

Fryxell Geology Museum

  • See a wall of glowing, fluorescent rocks, a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, and 22 ft skeleton of Cryolophosaurus. Have a scavenger hunt with fossils, and it’s all free! 
  • Open M-F 8am-4:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays when the college is in session.  
  • Great for school groups, or just spending a couple hours exploring

John Deere Planetarium and Observatory

  • Have a kid who is fascinated with space?  Check out the special events around celestial happenings and open houses throughout the year.  

Kaleidoscope art classes

  • New hands-on art sessions starting each month, ages 4-12
  • Create with SpongeBob Square Pants, animals, Dr. Seuss, fiber, windchimes, dinosaurs, optical illusions, abstract art and landscapes.

Augustana College Theatre (ACT)


  • Take your budding musician to a concert – Opera, Celtic Strings, Flute Choir, Cello, Handel’s Messiah, Symphonic Band, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Singers, Percussion, Handbells, Jazz Band, Choir, and that’s just March and April. 
  • Click here for specific dates, times and ticket information

Residential classes for high school students: Summer Academy 

  • Your student can explore careers and interests in Baseball Culture, Art of Coding, Anatomy of Injury, Neuroscience, Creative Writing, CSI, Dance, Film Production, Politics, Radioastronomy, Speech Pathology, Harry Potter and more
  • Meet students from all over the country and experience dorm life
  • Program fees include tuition, room, meals and evening entertainment

Film Production with Fresh Films

  • Augustana is the new home to Fresh Films, a Hollywood film studio offering numerous opportunities for teens age12-18 to work on an actual film set alongside the pros.  Keep an eye out for free summer camp opportunities and low-cost workshops throughout the year.  
  • Currently offering Scott Co. teens a spring-break program producing videos for area non-profits.  A win-win!  

Viking Athletic Camps

  • Athletic camps offered in baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, cheer and dance.  Your kids can work on their skills, and have some fun too!

  • Year-round clinics including volleyball coming up in April for boys and girls 5th-8th grade

Center for Speech, Language and Hearing

  • Open to the community, our on campus clinic offers assessment and intervention services in speech-language and audiology. 


St. Ambrose
Summer classes including Piano camp, Chemistry, Engineering, Robotics, Model UN  Grades K-8

Fighting Bees Summer Sports Camps – basketball, football, soccer, volleyball

There’s even a wine festival for us grown-ups.  Fun!  We might need that after driving kids around to all these camps. 


Western Illinois University – QC Campus
Summer classes for elementary and jr high students  – Harry Potter, Math and Songwriting 


Black Hawk
Jr high and high school:

  • ACT/SAT Test preparation in March
  • Etiquette class (14+). Whose kids couldn’t use a little etiquette? March 27, 6-7:30pm, $30 at the Cellar in Geneseo. Students participate in a 5 course meal. 
  • Manners still matter. Middle/High school April 17/24, $35
  • Babysitting clinic, ages 11-16 April 7th or 28th, 9am-2pm, $55

Summer classes:

  • Camps: Fashion (Modeling, skin care, design), Language (Sign Language, French, Spanish), Engineering/Technology (engineering, robotics, coding), art (watercolor, recycled art, cartooning)
  • College for Kids (entering grades 6- 9), students must be recommended based on test scores
    Wide variety of classes – technology, art, language, theatre, math, science and more


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  1. Haleigh March 22, 2018 at 12:50 am #

    Great list! Don’t forget to check out The Community’s College Summer Camp offerings as well. Find them here:

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