How do you find campgrounds with activities for kids?

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by JHOP, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. JHOP

    JHOP Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    We have a 5 year old and would love to camp at campgrounds with activities for kiddos. We're not the most adventurous people (we would sit by the campfire all day if we could). So, having someone actually schedule things for us is great.

    When we camped at Chippokes Plantation State Park in VA, they had activities every day/evening on the weekends. That was during the summer, though.

    Do you find more activities at campgrounds in the summer? How do you find those campgrounds with things to do? We didn't know they had activities until we arrived and the rangers handed us a packet of information.
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    Some of the franchise campgrounds, such as KOA, Jellystone, etc. have activities for kids. However, that varies according to the campground and time of year.
    Activities at state and national parks also vary. We don't have kids, but I see listings when we research campgrounds for trips or in the email newsletters I get from some states and so on. I get SP info from all 4Corners states, since a large portion of our camping is in those.
  3. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Guess I am lucky, my 5 year daughter loves being outside when we go camping. She is happy just riding her bike around the camp loop while we walk behind her. When we are at the camp site she likes looking at the different animals and collecting rocks and other things. This past summer she learn how to swim in the river by watching other kids and lost her fear of being in the water with us. She is so tired at night time she gets her shower and falls to sleep very quickly and does not waken up until the next morning. Best of all she never ask for any type of electronic devices why we are at the camp ground. She does watch a movie or play with a kids kindle while we are driving though, cant complain on this cause the drive is about 6 hours. Jellystone parks are great for kids but they cost $$.
  4. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    take a hike or ride a bike
    myride and tfischer like this.
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I found most private campgrounds have activities for kids, like suggested, KOA's, Jelly Stone, and other resort type places. Summer tends to cater more to them, but you can usually always find something for kiddos to do there. It's a hit or miss at state parks. Just research where you are looking to go and just research. Most state parks here list their amenities on-line, or a schedule posted somewhere for activities. Obviously KOAs and other resort type places you may pay top dollar. However they may have a lot of amenities to choose from. I'm fortunate in that my little side kick LOVES swimming so as long as the place has a swimming beach or pool we're set. Well obviously during warm months. ;) Playgrounds are a bonus, but many of the state park playground are a little boring. At least here. It does take a lot more research when it comes to places for kiddos. I've finally gotten the kiddo to appreciate the smaller parks as long as I wear her out hiking.
  6. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    It's been over 40 years since I was a 5 year old kid, but camping was the activity. As soon as my bike was off the truck, I was off to find a gang of kids and just do kid stuff.
    Orchid, JBinNV, kcsa75 and 2 others like this.
  7. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Chicago area
    If we can we get a campsite that is within view of the campground. DS is happy and we can keep an eye on him.
  8. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    One of the beauties of camping is letting the kids have some unstructured time. Bring some lawn games, bring the bikes, go on a hike, etc. You don't have to be "adventurous" but you don't need it to be constantly scheduled activities either.

    My kids would be happy with their bikes or inventing some game in the "woods" a few feet from our campsite.
    JPBar and Fbird like this.
  9. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Most campgrounds have a web site that will tell you everything you need to know.
  10. Redbird934

    Redbird934 Member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Activities is something I look for as well. We hike and explore but swimming and activities are things that are important to us. My kids have learned some really neat things from programs.

    I find most reviewers don't mention them so when I review I try to mention the pool/lake and the programming .

    Come visit Ontario, all our provincial parks offer programs in the summer and the National Parks have awesome programs for kids and adults.
    JHOP likes this.
  11. JHOP

    JHOP Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    Our 5 year old also loves being outside and doing her own thing. I like the idea of activities because we don't have another for her to pal around with, activities bring the opportunity of being with other kids. Do you only have one, as well? I do love the camp-sleep she gets when we are out there! She and our dog are both pooped at the end of the day, leaving us campfire time together. :)
    myride likes this.
  12. JHOP

    JHOP Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    If you can believe it, I have never heard of Jellystone parks before, or at least I never paid attention to them. I knew about KOA but Jellystone never hit my radar, I always looked for state parks for camping in the past. Thanks for that reco.
  13. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Jellystone appears to be mostly in the east coast states. So that may be way you haven't heard about them.
  14. myride

    myride Active Member

    May 14, 2015
    Edmonton, AB
    I always do a few things with my granddaughter (6yrs). Take our bikes, book a site within watching distance from the playground, luckily all our federal/provincial campgrounds have daily activities for kids and adults. I get off a bit easier though, as a photographer she was bitten by the photo-bug at 4 and ever since has her own equipment (grandpas hand-me-downs), is waking me up at the crack of dawn and ALWAYS waiting for our next trek into the bush to capture our images....
    We go for 2 week trips just the two of us every summer, and plenty of long good.

    I should also mention, board games, deck of cards and the stand-by DVD movies for when the weather doesn't cooperate have been life savers at times
    jmkay1 and nhlakes like this.
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
  16. JBinNV

    JBinNV Member

    May 10, 2017
    Reno, NV
    I'm a big kid at heart, so I like to entertain the kids and participate in kid stuff. Flashlight tag and hide n go seek, hiding treasure somewhere and drawing up a map for them is cool, and so is making games out of stuff lying around, making targets and shooting air soft guns, lots of fun stuff to do, just have to be creative.
    myride likes this.
  17. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    Jellystone’s are awesome for kids. Activities planned all day long. The “bears” make appearances throughout the day. Big time fun and big time $$. We try to go once a year. Usually we hike, swim, and hike at state parks.
    My 8 year old is going on his 2nd backpacking trip this weekend with us. 16 mile loop, 2 nights, lows around freezing, and he is carrying a 14lb pack. I’m so proud of him, he chose backpacking gear over a game system this year for his birthday.
  18. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

    Mar 11, 2010
    Western NC
    Our grandsons 1st trip was at 6 Months, several trips each year, and 5 years later he loves being outside and playing, riding the bike, fishing, swimming, hiking and searching the woods....Adventures as he calls them... He helps with set up and tear down...even helps cook some.
    tfischer likes this.
  19. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    We have two, but seems like every time we camp they find other kids and do stuff together. We've even had kids come over and invite themselves for s'mores lol.

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