By: Charlene Toro Arias
Our family has enjoyed camping for many years. We have tried tents, cabins and RVs but I guess you can say our experience has always been considered “glamping” instead of camping. This is the new term used to describe those who prefer to watch a movie on a flatscreen tv after a day of grilling and swimming, versus sitting in a dark tent wondering if a big grizzly bear will come searching for your s’mores in the middle of the night. If the flatscreen tv is more your type, then I suggest you check out Yogi-Bear’s Jellystone Park Campsite Resort in Gardiner, New York. It’s a great balance between the two.
There are so many great things to say about this place. We stayed there with a large group and booked different cabin sites on the campground. The cabins were in excellent condition, clean, and came with a new, full-sized bathroom, flat screen TV, air conditioner and kitchen amenities. My cabin was the smallest, without a stove or oven but that didn’t stop us from cooking up some delicious pancakes with our electric griddle (remember,”glamping”) or using the actual grill outside. We did have a small refrigerator and microwave, so we survived just fine!
The campgrounds were also well maintained with employees often making their rounds and offering friendly smiles. There are many activities to do to keep children of all ages busy. They offered crafts, fishing, miniature golf, a game room, lazer tag, water-tubing, two playgrounds, two bounce pads, two pools and an awesome water park. The water park, more like a water-zone kept the kiddos busy for hours. Even the adults got in on the action, creating teams as they took each other out with large water shooters.
The tiki-bar at the pool provided food and refreshments, including nice cold beer for the adults.
The campsite is large and our family rented two golf carts to get around between cabins and to help transport our older family members. It was fun, but not necessary. Almost every child there had a bicycle and it was safe for them to ride unsupervised. The campground is very family friendly and kids roamed around freely to the pools, game room and playgrounds. I know this is hard to believe, especially for me being a Bronx mom, but we felt comfortable letting our older kids in the group go unsupervised as long as they stayed together.
There was so much to do, as well as not do! Relaxing on the grass and reminiscing with family was probably the most fun we had. Although they offered free wi-fi, our family was disconnected from the internet, and connected to each other. We are considering making this campsite a new family tradition.
For those who want to venture off the grounds, there are some other activities near by. If you like to hike or mountain climb, Lake Minnewaska State Park is a great place to visit. For good eats and shopping, go to New Paltz and check out Dohnut Brothers for some scrumptious sweets and pick up some antique jewelry or vintage toys in the Water Street Market. For the grown- ups, right up the road is Tuthiltown Distillery and Restaurant. You can taste some local whiskey, vodka or my favorite, the cacao liqueur…yum! Definitely Bronxmama approved!
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground Resort is now ending it’s summer season, but will remain open during the Fall with some fun-filled weekend activities through October. For more information, visit www.lazyriverny.com