More Than S'Mores: Campgrounds with Extra Entertainment
Camping with kids is fun, but sometimes it can be hard to keep them entertained. These campgrounds offer a little something extra for a fantastic family adventure that is sure to keep the kids happy. Whether you want to visit amusement parks or enjoy extra campground amenities like splash pads and water slides, these destinations will make your camping trip even more special.
Bonus: A few of these campgrounds are nearby to some of caverns and coal mines.
Knoebels Campground- Elysburg
Knoebels is a unique amusement park because admission, parking, and entertainment are all free. Riders can pay per ride or purchase a “pay-one-price” wristband. The wooded campground is right next to the amusement park and features traditional campsites as well as cabins and modular homes. You can also access the park's pool for a fee if you need a break from rides. Knoebels runs a second campground, Lake Glory, which is a bit farther away but offers a free shuttle to and from the park.
Best part: There are lots of dining options in the park if you can’t get your campfire going.
Hersheypark Camping Resort- Hershey
When your kids are ready for bigger thrill rides, consider a stay at this camping resort located just down the road from Hersheypark. Families can enjoy multiple pools and playgrounds, as well as a game room and seasonal resort activities like movie nights and magic shows. Choose a traditional campsite for your tent or RV, or splurge on an air-conditioned deluxe cabin with kitchenette and private bathroom.
Best part: You get all the the benefits of staying at a Hersheypark resort, including shuttle service to the park, early access to certain rides, admission to the Hershey Gardens, and more.
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Old Mill Stream at Dutch Wonderland- Lancaster
Located next to Dutch Wonderland, this campground is a great “first camping” experience for young kids. There is no pool on the campground itself, but kids will enjoy the playground, basketball court, and Gaga Ball Pit. Parents can enjoy free Wi-Fi. It’s just a short walk to the entrance to Dutch Wonderland, a theme park that caters to 2-8 year olds. The rides and shows are all family-friendly and everyone can cool off at Duke’s Lagoon water area on hot days.
Best part: Receive discounted Dutch Wonderland tickets when you stay at the campground.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park- Quarryville
If amusement parks are not a draw for your family, how about a camping park with lots of amusements? Jellystone Park features a water playground with sprays and slides, a large pool, laser tag, mini-golf, jumping pillow, pedal carts, sport courts, outdoor movies, and more. Each summer week has a theme with a full schedule of related special events.
Best part: When you make your reservation, you can add-on a “Yogi Bear Tuck-In.” Yogi will visit to your campsite and tuck your kids into bed, complete with milk and cookies and a bedtime story.
Dutch Springs- Bethlehem
This 50-acre lake is best enjoyed by kids who know how to swim and features an Aqua Park, scuba diving, watercraft rentals, snorkeling a Sky Challenge climbing adventure, and more. Stay nearby in your tent or RV and enjoy the fun all weekend long.
Best part: Kids under 5 receive free admission and camp for free.
Colonial Woods Family Camping Resort- Upper Black Eddy
Featuring a heated pool, a spray pool, hay rides, outdoor movies, mini golf, a gameroom, tennis, volleyball, fishing, and more, there's no shortage of fun activities on this campground. Located in Lehigh Valley, it's close to Crayola Factory, Delaware River Tubing, and Lost River Caverns. Less than an hour away, you can also find Sesame Place and Dorney Park.
Best part: Everything is included in your stay, but there are plenty of nearby attractions to check out as well.
Splash Magic Campground- Northumberland
This family campground offers plenty of on-site activities, including a splash park with slides, a swimming pool with a hot tub, an outdoor movie theatre, bicycle and surrey rentals, fishing, bumper boats, paddleboats and row boats, and mini golf. If that's not enough, nearby attractions include Knoebels, Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine, and Penn's Cave.
Best part: They also offer a full activity calendar, and on select weekends you can take part in cardboard boat races.
Photo courtesy of Cait Sumner for Mommy Poppins.