Family sleepaway camp vacations offer fun, adventure and family bonding at reasonable rates. So, think about going to camp together with your kids this year. Plan ahead, and check out these great family sleepaway camps.
Parents who wish to relive their childhood camp days—or who simply want to enjoy quality family time away from the distractions of modern technology—are flocking to family camps to enjoy recreation and the great outdoors with their kids. Family camps welcome parents to enjoy the overnight-camp experience that is usually exclusive to tweens and teens. One of the fastest-growing trends in the camp industry, about 10 percent of camps in the U.S. now offer family programs, more than double the amount in 1995. Families stay in tents or cabins, eat communal meals in the dining hall, and participate in a variety of outdoor activities. No cooking, driving, or planning an itinerary on this vacation!
Most family camps run three to seven days, and generally include all activities, food, and lodging. The price ranges anywhere from $200 to $1500 per person, although it is often less expensive than the typical family vacation. Family camp is ideal for families with children ages 7-12, however most camps welcome infants (some even provide the option of childcare), and many camps have teen-specific programs as well.
Here is our list of Top Family Camps located in the South. In addition, our favorite family camping chain, with locations throughout the US and Canada is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.
159 Eagle Lodge Road
Rockwood, TN 37854
This camp is located on Lake Watts Bar, one of the best fishing and recreation lakes in Tennessee, stretching 72-miles-long. There is an abundance of wildlife here, with a variety of birds to watch such as red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, osprey, and blue heron. Some recreational options are volleyball, basketball, and high suspension swings. Each family stays in a furnished cottage with a full kitchen, bathroom, and linens, and a pier outside. Also, lakeside and lake view sites are available for RVs and tents. These have campfire areas and are all located near a shower house/restroom. Families can rent boats and sporting equipment, and if no one wants to cook, there is a grill at the resort serving casual fare. Housebroken cats and dogs are welcome.
Camp Grady Spruce
3000 Park Rd
Graford, TX 76449
This YMCA camp in Graford is a kids’ camp during the week but offers a family camp most weekends (Friday night to Sunday afternoons). Ray Bean cabins have a kitchenette, an outdoor grill, and sleep 12, while Main cabins have an outdoor grill and sleep 16. Families can participate in riflery, barge riding, canoeing, swimming, basketball, and hiking, among other things. Keep in mind that some activities have additional fees, and no meals are provided.
2744 Seafarer Road
Arapahoe, NC 28510
This camp offers a one-week family camp in mid-August every summer, as well as family camp weekends in the spring and fall. Because it is located on the Neuse River, many water activities are available such as sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, motor boating, water-skiing, and fishing. There are numerous land programs for families to participate in as well, including soccer, archery, riflery, basketball, horseback riding, tennis, baseball, crafts, and almost anything else under the sun. Families stay in cabins with electricity, bunk beds and private bathrooms. All meals, activities, and accommodations are included in the price; air-conditioned cabins are available at an additional cost. Also available is two hours of childcare per day for children under 6-years-old.
Top Learning Camps for Families in the South
For families that are looking for something outside of the typical camp experience, many places offer family-oriented, camp-like learning programs. These camps are not always all-inclusive, yet are still relatively inexpensive for what they do offer. Parents and their children can learn about outer space, the arts, or other cultures over the course of a week or weekend. The following activity-specific camps are best for families with school-age children ages 6-13 or older.
10001 N. McKinley Drive
Tampa Bay, FL 33612
Families can experience up-close animal encounters, learn about animal habitats, see live shows, and go on rides together over the course of a weekend. The camp is offered certain weekends throughout the summer season; accommodations at a nearby Busch Gardens preferred hotel are included in the price.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
One Tranquility Base
Families spend the weekend studying the history of space travel, while learning how to operate a space shuttle simulator and how to build a rocket. At the end of the weekend campers participate in an eight-hour mission on a mock space station, where they conduct experiments.
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