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 West. In addition, our favorite family camping chain, with locations throughout the US and Canada is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.
1950 Parkside Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158
Concord is situated on 29 acres of the El Dorado National Forest between Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake in the Sierras. From mid-June to the beginning of August, Concord offers a family camp. There is a daily schedule including activities like canoeing and crawdad fishing, but families are welcome to break away from the schedule and enjoy many off-site activities like golf, water sports, and bicycle trails. Families stay in cabins with electricity, accommodations for six, and easy access to restrooms, showers, laundry facilities and the main lodge. Twice a day, Concord’s staff holds special activities for children ages 4-12, and they also provide affordable babysitting during the evenings.
Lair of the Golden Bear
Camp Blue Rd – Exit off Highway 108
Pinecrest, CA 95364
Located in Stanislaus National Forest in Pinecrest, this beautiful mountain retreat affords families an escape from everyday obligations. Families sleep in rustic cabins with electricity and twin-size metal frame beds with mattresses. Bathrooms are located a few steps away from the cabins. Family-style meals are served three times daily, with other dining options available when the hall is closed. The property has laundry facilities, a business center, maid service and a store. Families can opt for a week-long, mini-week, or weekend stay. Some camp activities are paddle tennis, softball, swimming and music lessons, among many other choices. Children are grouped together by age for their activities. Golf, fishing, and horseback riding are offered at nearby facilities for an additional cost.
63410 General’s Highway
King’s Canyon National Park, CA 93633
Montecito Sequoia Lodge offers families a laid-back, busy (as busy as you want) family vacation among the mountain air and giant sequoia trees. Open year-round, the Summer Family Camp welcomes repeat visitors who enjoy hiking, biking, rock-climbing, a myriad of crafts and water activities on a private lake. There are organized kids programs for 2 to 18 year-olds and an infant play area for babies 6 to 23 months-old. Off-duty counselors are easily found for babysitting. Cabins are somewhat rustic and accommodate up to 8 guests. While they have electricity, bathing is done in a nearby bathhouse. Additionally, several lodge buildings offer rooms for 8 with private baths. Meals are freshly prepared and served buffet style.
YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park Center
2515 Tunnel Road
Estes Park, CO 80511
Snow Mountain Center
1101 County Road 53
Granby, CO 80446
YMCA of the Rockies is comprised of two resorts near Denver, Colorado and are very popular for affordable and very varied family vacations. Both resorts are open year-round and offer endless opportunities for sports, creative and educational activities surrounded by the amazing Rocky Mountains. Additionally, relay races, scavenger hunts and more offer old-fashioned family-together fun. Accommodations range from lodge rooms, to cabins with 2-4 bedrooms, to large reunion cabins with 6-16 bedrooms. Snow Mountain Center offers campsites in addition to lodge rooms. Meals may be prepared by guests in cabin kitchens and/or taken at the family buffet at reasonable prices. Both sites welcome pets in the cabins, and the Snow Mountain Center offers infant care.
Top Learning Camps for Families in the West
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 camp is best for families with school-age children ages 6-13 or older.
Cazadero Performing Arts Camp
Cazadero, CA 94707
Focused entirely on the performing arts, Cazadero offers classes in acting, salsa dance, music, drama, circus arts, and many other arts during its family camp weeklong sessions. These are offered annually during the month of August. Accommodations and meals are included in the moderate rates.
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