With summer officially here, camping season is in full swing for Philadelphia families. Regardless of experience level -- first-timers or veterans, bare-bones campers, or real-deal glampers -- the suggestions below have you covered.
Almost all of these campgrounds are 2.5 hours or less from Center City, with a range of amenities from "just the basics" to luxury campsites with pools, playgrounds, and WiFi. Everything from KOA campgrounds to RV campgrounds to campgrounds with cabins makes this list. Check out our Guide to Philly Family Day Trips Weekend Getaways for more quick vacay ideas, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletters.
Family-Friendly Campgrounds in Pennsylvania
This family spot offers fun for every age. From pools and fishing ponds to vintage cars and firetruck rides, Blue Rocks Family Campground provides a wide variety of activities. Situated on 100 acres, this spot is close to Hawk Mountain, Dorney Park, Crystal Cave, and the Crayola Factory. The camping season opens on Easter weekend.
Situated in northern York county about 2 hours from Philly, Gifford Pinchot is one of the many parks that are part of the Pennsylvania State Park System
. The Pennsylvania State Park System offers a first-time camper program, a program for anyone who has never camped in a state park. Included in the deal are two nights of camping, a four-person tent rental, four sleeping pads, four camp chairs, four hot dog roasting sticks, a flashlight, and a camp stove. Gifford Pinchot is one of thirteen parks offering this deal.
RELATED: Poconos Family Vacation Guide
Camping allows kids to get in some much-needed unplugged fun. Photo by author
Located on a peaceful and beautiful 31-acre campground, Homestead Family Campground offers weekend getaways as well as monthly and seasonal rates.
- Lodging: RV and tent camping
- Amenities include bathhouses and an on-site laundromat.
- Family activities include a fishing pond, pavilion, and playground.
Though not as private as state park camping can be, "full-service" campgrounds like the Jim Thorpe Camping Resort can be an excellent starting point for new campers and those with little ones. This family-owned and operated location is just 90-minutes outside of Philly in the Poconos. Waterfalls, a butterfly sanctuary, boating, and historic railroads are all nearby.
- Lodging: tents, family cabins, camping cabins, RV
- Amenities include picnic tables, a fire ring, free WiFi, and an open-air pavilion.
- Family fun includes swimming, nearby whitewater rafting, playgrounds, and wine and cheese tastings (with cookies and juice for kids).
A year-round destination in the Poconos, Otter Lake Camp Resort offers all the bells and whistles and is located near many attractions such as Steamtown, Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, and the National Canal Museum.
- Lodging: tent camping, RV
- Amenities include boat rentals, a convenience store, laundromats, and live entertainment.
- Family activities include an indoor pool, outdoor pool, beach, tennis courts, racquetball courts, basketball court, bingo, and horseshoe pit.
RELATED: Philly Family Day Trips and Weekend Getaways
Get rustic at Ringing Rocks Campground.
Nestled in the wooded hills of historic Bucks County, Ringing Rocks Campground is near Ringing Rocks County Park, which contains 10-foot-high rock piles that make ringing sounds when struck. The campground is also a short drive from Nockamixon State Park.
- Lodging: RV, cabin, and tent camping
- Amenities include free Wi-Fi hotspots, restrooms with showers, and a laundromat.
- Family fun includes horseshoe pits, hayrides, a heated swimming pool, a kiddie pool with water features, a playground, volleyball and basketball courts.
Situated in Chester County and bordering the Brandywine River, Turtle Ridge provides a true retreat. Both French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site are within a short drive from the campground.
- Lodging: tent
- Amenities include picnic tables, WiFi, and potable water.
- Family fun includes fishing, biking, hiking, and wildlife watching.
Bucks County is home to Tohickon Family Campground which is located on 54 wooded acres nestled alongside Tohickon Creek. Sesame Place, Lost River Caverns, Dorney Park, and Peddler's Village are nearby.
- Lodging: tent camping
- Amenities include a general store, gift shop, bathhouse, and free WiFi.
- Family fun includes swimming, a playground, and a game room.
RELATED: Best PA State Parks with Kid-Friendly Hikes and Attractions
Adventure Bound Camping Resort in Tall Pines has its own pool.
Kid-Friendly Campgrounds in New Jersey
Located on 113 acres, Adventure Bound Camping Resort offers families plenty of fun. This is one of many locations throughout the country including spots in Cape May, NJ, Oak Creek, PA, and Robesonia, PA.
- Lodging: tent, RV, rustic cabins, deluxe cabins, lodges
- Amenities include playgrounds, sports courts, laundry, WiFi, and free cable television.
- Family fun includes a gaga pit, swimming pool with water slide, themed entertainment, and fishing.
This family campground is located in Wharton State Forest, the largest state forest in NJ with more than 125,000 acres. About an hour's drive from Philadelphia and 30 minutes from Atlantic City and nearby shore points, Wharton State Forest includes nine campgrounds varying in amenities and method of access. Atsion Family Campground is a good place to start, where campers can settle into one of their tent or trailer sites.
- Lodging: tent, trailer
- Amenities include fire pits, bathrooms, showers, and picnic tables.
- Family fun includes hiking, boating, recreation area, swimming, and a nearby historic village that features a tour of Atsion Mansion and Village.
Families are sure to stay busy at Butterfly Camping Resort. Boasting over 20 amenities, this family-run business has been providing recreation and fun for 24 years. In addition to all that the campground offers, families can find excitement at nearby attractions such as Six Flags Great Adventure and the Butterfly Bogs State Refuge.
- Lodging: tents, trailers, RV, cabin, cottages
- Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, WiFi, full hook ups, shaded lots, a gift shop, and a laundromat.
- Family fun includes fishing, swimming, mini-golf, special activities including arts & crafts, and themed weekend events.
As one may suspect from the name, this campground is open spring, summer, winter, and fall. Many attractions are nearby for vacations such as Cowtown, Fort Mott, and Finn's Point Lighthouse. Families can even bring Fido along for this trip.
- Lodging: tent, cabin, RVs
- Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, coinless laundry, a camp store, Sundae Restaurant, free WiFi hot spots, firewood, and a dog park.
- Family activities include a swimming pool, sun deck, sand volleyball, a playground, an arcade, and fishing.
This camping spot can be found along the Jersey shore! Like the Pocono Mountains, the shore offers many family-friendly campgrounds with all the bells and whistles. Just inland from Sea Isle City and a little over an hour from Philly, the Ocean View Resort Campground is one of them. Ocean View is a glamper’s paradise, so kids may not even realize they are camping.
- Lodging: tent, trailer, cabin, cottage
- Amenities include three playgrounds, two arcades, tennis courts, paddle boat rental, ATM, WiFi, a cafe, and a pavilion.
- Family activities include a fishing pond, a swimming pool, a splash pad, a beach, yoga, bingo, crafts, movies, and musical entertainment.
Another Jersey shore spot, Sea Pirate Campground provides families with tons of activities suitable for all ages. The beach is just a short drive away. Guests can download an app with all the latest information including an online check-in option.
- Lodging: tent, cabins, cottages
- Amenities include restrooms, hot showers, a dog park, an arcade, a store, a playground, and an activity hall.
- Family fun includes crabbing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bike rentals, swimming, volleyball, movies, bingo, crafts, and hayrides.
Pitch a tent on the lake at Cape Henlopen State Park.
Campgrounds for Families in Delaware
Less than three miles from the beach, families can embrace all this campground has to offer. Families can expect to stay active with both land and sea options. Modern conveniences are just a short drive away. The summer season typically runs from early May until early October. Check the site for updates.
- Lodging: tent, trailer, RV, cabin, mobile home
- Amenities include a fire ring, restrooms, picnic tables, basketball courts, a laundromat, a game room, a playground, a camp store, and free WiFi.
- Family fun includes swimming, hiking, biking, basketball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and billiards.
Cape Henlopen State Park is where the ocean meets the bay making for a great vacation destination. In addition to water fun, vacationers can expect hiking, history at Fort Miles Historic Site, and educational opportunities at Seaside Nature Center. The campground is situated in pine-covered dunes.
- Lodging: tent, RV, cabins
- Amenities include a bait and tackle shop, picnic tables, a playground, a laundromat, a guarded beach with bathhouse, a pet area, umbrella rentals, an observation tower, and a borrow-a-bike program.
- Family fun includes swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, canoeing, disc golf, kayaking, and summer camps.
This park is surrounded by water, including the Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Bay, and Indian River. This makes for lots of refreshing fun for the family. Indian River Life-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum, Burton Island Nature Preserves, and Thompson Island Nature Preserves are located nearby.
- Lodging: tent, RV
- Amenities include a beach, boat launch, picnic tables, a pet area, umbrella rentals, equestrian trails, restrooms, showers, a gift shop, and a restaurant.
- Family fun includes hiking, biking, trails, swimming, crabbing, fishing, kayaking, hunting, clamming, and windsurfing.
Take a break at this family-friendly campground. With plenty of nearby attractions, guests can decide whether to stay a night, a week, or the entire season. This is a preferred camping spot for Sports on the Beach patrons. The camping season runs from May 1 through September 30 each year.
- Lodging: tent, RV, cabins
- Amenities include laundry facilities, a dog park, a camp store, a community pavilion, and WiFi.
- Family fun includes fishing, a game room, an adult pool, a family pool, a kids' sprinkler pad, a playground, corn hole, horseshoe pits, on-site entertainment, and batting cages.
With a nature preserve and water park, there is no doubt that camping at Killens Pond State Park will be a vacation to remember. Families can enjoy the outdoors by watching wildlife, boating, hiking, and biking trails.
- Lodging: tents, RV, cabins
- Amenities include a store, firewood sales, picnic tables, and restrooms.
- Family fun includes boating, fishing, geocaching, a waterpark, nature programs, birding, baseball fields, disc golf course, food concessions, horseshoe pits, a playground, and summer camps.
This article has been updated for 2023.
Unless noted, photos courtesy of the campgrounds