Special Campgrounds With Kid-Friendly Extras Near Westchester
"Getting away from it all" and spending time camping in the woods sounds idyllic, but let's face it: Sometimes—especially when kids are involved—you just need something a little extra.
Whether it's a place to do laundry or a game to keep the kids happy, these campsites are all within a reasonable distance and have plenty of amenities and activities. You'll still feel like you're getting away from civilization, but with any luck you won't hear the never-ending cries of "I'm bored!"
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp - Gardiner
As if the big cartoon bear wasn’t a clear tip-off, this campground is about as family friendly as it gets. Not only does it have two swimming pools—one of which is heated—it also has a 40,000-square-foot interactive splash pad with water canons and slides. When you get tired of the Water Zone, you can climb on the three playgrounds, bounce on the massive jumping pillow, mine for gems, play in the arcade or go fishing. Day passes are also available.
Lodging types offered: Cabins, campsites, RVs
Fun family activities: Swimming, splash pad, water slides, mini golf, arcade, laser tag, jumping pillow, petting zoo
Amenities: Kitchens, AC and heat, fire pits, dog park
Some of the cabins at Jellystone Park in Gardiner have full kitchens and sleeping lofts. Photo courtesy of the venue.
Jellystone Park at Birchwood Acres – Greenfield Park
Another Yogi campground, this one also features an interactive Water Zone, two playgrounds and a giant jumping pillow. There’s also fishing in the fully stocked 5-acre lake—and no license is required. A variety of lodging is available, including one-room cabins and one-bedroom lodges. You can even rent an RV with a queen-sized bed and bunkbeds for the kids. A full suite of planned activities is available each day, as are special theme weeks—Mardi Gras Week, Christmas in July, etc.
Lodging types offered: Cabins, RVs, campsites
Fun family activities: Swimming, splash pad, water slides, arcade, jumping pillow, fishing
Amenities: AC and heat, microwaves, WiFi, flat-panel TVs with cable
Collective Hudson Valley - Ghent
Got a big budget and a penchant for luxury? Give glamping a try. Collective Hudson Valley is about a two-hour drive from many parts of Westchester. This campsite is set on an actual working farm and equestrian center. Collective Hudson Valley offers luxury tents as well as a communal lodge. The "luxury tents" feature king-size beds, top-of-the-line linens and amenities, and private decks with chairs. Tents can house two adults with an option to add a rollaway bed for kids under 12. Oh, and there's electricity, too, and did we mention the private bathrooms? The chef creates a gourmet three-course farm-to-table dinner each night. Glamping doesn't come cheap, though—rates are $500 to $700 a night. It's right near Hudson, N.Y. which offers antiques, art, music, and lots of places to eat, drink, and shop.
Lodging types offered: Luxury tents
Fun family activities: Hiking, horseback riding, visiting a working farm
Amenities: King-size beds, towels and linens, private decks, electricity, gourmet food, private bathrooms
Mohican Outdoor Center - Blairstown
About 90 minutes away by car, the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) Mohican Outdoor Center is located on a glacial lake in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Areas in Blairstown, N.J..The center offers activities like boating, swimming, and hiking and regularly offers educational opportunities. Campers can hike the Appalachian Trail or swim in Catfish Pond. The Mohican Outdoor Center offers self-service cabins with kitchens. The center is also able to accommodate larger groups and will rent out large cabins, a boathouse, lodge or dining hall, or even the entire camp.
Lodging types offered: Tents, cabins
Fun family activities: Hiking, swimming, boated, guided activities, meal service
Amenities: Kitchens, restrooms, showers, fireplaces
The views at the Mohican Outdoor Center might be some of the best "extras" of all. Photo taken by Katie Moran, courtesy of Appalachian Mountain Club.
New York City North/Newburgh KOA - Plattekill
The New York City North/Newburgh KOA in Plattekill is about an hour from mid-Westchester, and is convenient to Hudson Valley art hot spots Dia:Beacon and Storm King Art Center. This campground offers amenities and activities galore, including an onsite coffee shop and wine store (featuring New York State wines), cable TV, an arcade, swimming pools, bike rentals, a playground, WiFi, and a dog park.
Lodging types offered: Tent, cabin, RV
Fun family activities: Fishing, mini-golf, swimming, sports, movies, fire truck/hay rides, live music, and more
Amenities: Snack bar, coffee shop, wine store, and a dog park
Wolf's Den Campground - East Haddam
Wolf's Den Campground in East Haddam, Conn., boasts tons of amenities for camping families, including toilets, showers, picnic tables, fireplaces, laundry, Wi-Fi, and more. There's also lots of family fun, with mini-golf, sports (basketball, volleyball, etc.) fishing, hiking, swimming (in an on-site pool) and many other activities. Wolf's Den has special themed weekends, so be sure to check the website to plan ahead for the fun.
Lodging types offered: Tent, rent an R.V. on site.
Fun family activities: Swimming, mini-golf, fishing, hiking, sports, themed weekends
Amenities: pool, WiFi, sports, recreation hall.
Top photo courtesy of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park.