Like summer camps for kids, "Family Camps"
provide lots of fun activities in the Great Outdoors; lodgings and meals included, too. Lodging might be as rustic as a tent-cabins with no electricity; some family camps, however, have lodges or even inn-style accommodation.
Activities range from typical outdoors recreation and night-time campfires, to stilt-walking, gourd-painting, yoga, and cheese-tasting excursions. You can also find a family camp for seasonal fun, such as New Year's Eve, maple sugaring, Halloween. Musical families can even find a musical family camp.
Photo courtesy of Deer Valley Family Camp.
Deer Valley is a year-round family camp run by the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh; driving time is 2 hours from Pittsburgh, three hours, from DC. Deer Valley has 742 acres with woods, hills, fields, and a lake for watersports and fishing in summer, ice-fishing and skating in the winter time. Lodge has fireplace and activity rooms, and meals are served in a lakeside dining hall.
Forstmann Castle, just one of your lodging options at this family camp!
This family camp -- in New York state's popular Catskill Mountains; driving time is 2-1/2 hours from Manhattan-- has 6000 acres, lake activities, winter activities, Maple Sugaring weekends; platform tents, cabins, lodges, country inn. Note: Family Weekends are offered in Spring, Fall, and Winter - i.e. not during summer weeks.
Gingerbread house photo courtesy of Hulbert Outdoor Center.
The Hulbert Outdoor Center -- on Lake Morey, with 1000 acres of forest nearby -- offers many programs, including several family camps each year. Check out the special New Year's Family Camp, with snowshoeing, stories by the fire, ice-cutting on the lake, and more.
Photo courtesy of Medomak Family Camp.
Medomak has over 250 acres including a mile of lake shoreline. Guests stay in pine one-room cabins; grownups and kids can try over two dozen activities led by counselors: archery, sailing, fishing, arts and crafts, tennis, yoga... Even a Maine cheese & beer tasting. Location is a 3 hour drive from Boston, 90 minutes from Portland Maine.
Photo courtesy of YMCA of the Rockies Family Camp.
YMCA of the Rockies has two centers in Colorado-- Snow Mountain Ranch and Estes Park Center-- and both offer a bonanza of recreational activities during summer-time. Participate as much or as little as you like in scheduled programs, sign the kids up for outdoorsy day camps; or just go take a hike in the woods. This family camp is open year-round; look for seasonal fun at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Holiday Season.
Scroll down for more family camp choices in New England and in New York state.
Music Camp: Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp, CaliforniaSign up early for this one. Cazadero Performing Arts Camp Youth Music program runs through the summer, under towering redwoods in Sonoma County, mixing music classes with recreation such as volleyball, swimming, arts and crafts. Two sessions of Family Camps are offered, with a wide range of classes in music and other performing arts, for kids, teens, and adults. (Note: price is higher than typical family camps.)