Need a fun-filled vacation to get the whole family outdoors without burning a hole in your pocket? Take a trip to the Northeast and experience the beauty of New Hampshire's pristine lakes and colorful trees, along with a never-ending list of activities for the whole family to enjoy.Need a fun-filled vacation to get the whole family outdoors without burning a hole in your pocket? Take a trip to the Northeast and experience the beauty of New Hampshire's pristine lakes and colorful trees, along with a never-ending list of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
The kids are in school, the sun is fading earlier each day, and suddenly winter is upon us all. While both time and money have a way of slipping through our fingers, there are still opportunities to seize the last of the fading light for some fun outdoor getaways, perfect for the whole family.
Families Are Roughin’ It
Camping may not sound like a luxury experience for younger generations, but the Northeast boasts many campsites offering affordable, kid-friendly getaways to escape the economic slump. In fact, a recent joint report from The Outdoor Foundation and Coleman showed that 33.7 million Americans age six or older participated in car and backyard camping in 2008, an increase of 7.4% from the previous year.
For those who are still looking for one of these unforgettable outdoor adventures, Woodland Acres Campground just across the state border in Brownfield, Maine offers inexpensive deals on both standard and river camping sites. In addition to spending a night under the stars and taking in the breathtaking fall foliage, kids have the freedom to participate in canoeing, use the ground’s large playground, play horseshoes or volleyball and use the recreation hall for pool and video games. Don’t wait around for the last moment for these deals – the campground closes in mid-October.
Also closing its doors for the winter season and not far from the New Hampshire/Maine border, Eastern Slope Camping Area includes similar amenities and also features great kid-oriented activities such as fire truck hayrides, kayaking and their newly added heated swimming pools. This campsite is a win-win for both kids and adults, with the Conway Scenic Railroad only minutes away and several shopping outlets nearby.
Remaining open throughout the fall and winter seasons, Pine Knoll Campground in Albany, New Hampshire, offers some of the best views in the area and a beautiful campground to boot. With opportunities for fishing and boating and the added benefit of an on-site laundromat, a 24-hour grocery store and large playground, this campsite gives their guests a real camping adventure, allowing pull-in motor homes and trailers in addition to tent sites. Note that during the winter months the campground is operating at a discounted rate because after mid-October there is no running water at the site. What’s even better is that the campground is a mere 10 miles from the area attraction, Monkey Trunks, a ropes course for all ages.
RVs & More
For families who aren’t the biggest fans of the great outdoors, have no fear – campsites such as Glen Ellis Family Campground provide 30- and 50-amp hookups for RVs and tagalong campers. With their on-site laundromat, families don’t have to worry about their stays being cut short by dirty clothes. If that’s not enough, the campground also offers trailers loaded with all the amenities a family needs for a relaxing vacation, including a well-furnished kitchen, bath/shower, television with DVD, and an outdoor picnic table and fire pit. Open until mid-October the campground is a mere two miles from the area’s popular amusement attraction, Story Land, where kids can spin in teacups with the Mad Hatter or become a fearless captain of a Buccaneer pirate ship.
Following a similar trend in car and backyard camping, RVs have become a popular and smart way to save on family trips. Also taken from the aforementioned report, statistics showed that the amount of Americans participating in RV camping rose from 16.2 million to 16.5 million from the year 2007 to 2008.
For those who do not prefer RV camping or find that they don’t enjoy a frozen igloo as a tent during the winter months, many New Hampshire campsites, such as Danforth Bay Camping & RV Resort, offer their guests less-rustic facilities complete with furnished kitchens, game rooms and WiFi access to escape roughin’ it in the cold weather. Area attractions include the Fryeburg Fair, Sandwich Fair and Pumpkin Patch Weekend, all occurring during the first weeks of October.
With so many inexpensive ways to get outdoors with the family and experience nature to the fullest, there’s no reason this fall/winter vacation should take a chunk out of any family’s budget. For more information on these campgrounds and more, visit Mount Washington Valley's website and find your perfect family escape!
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.