Take your family on a glamping trip. Yep, “glamorous camping” is really a thing—and it’s so, so fun. Lock arms with Mother Nature while you camp in style with special touches like cozy beds, stocked kitchens and even air conditioning. From sleeping in a real treehouse to glammin’ it up it in a cabin in the woods, you won’t have to twist anyone’s arm to get them out in the fresh, summer air. Keep reading to find out where to go.
Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds – Gays Mills, WI
The owners of Kickapoo Stump Dodger don’t expect you to do a thing but relax and enjoy the nature around you while they do all the work. They’ll even set up a walk-in tent for you, complete with a refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, and a decked-out patio for stargazing and whatever else you will save your energy up for by not lifting a finger. While you don’t actually have a toilet in your tent, there are onsite showers and bathrooms, as well as electricity and running water at each campsite.
Glampsite Bonus: With all the relaxation going on at camp, your family might jones for a little action, so have canoe rentals arranged by the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds folks and spend the day chilling on Kickapoo River.
Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins – Elizabethtown, IL
Wanna spend the night in a real treehouse? This unforgettable experience is just a hop, skip and drive to Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins, in the heart of the Illinois Ozarks in Southern Illinois. The White Oak Treehouse sleeps 4 to 6 has heat and air conditioning, a full bathroom, a kitchenette, a campfire area, and an outdoor grill and picnic table. If a treehouse isn’t your thing, try Twin Oaks Log Cabin, an authentic log cabin from 1852. This new, yet antique, cabin sleeps 4 to 6 people, has a fireplace, heat and air conditioning, a full bathroom with a claw foot tub, and a tree deck off the back porch.
Glampsite Bonus: Scout’s honor you won’t be bored for one minute with family fun like fishing, boating, swimming, horseback riding, hiking, archery and kayaking which can be set up through the friendly owners Marty and Elizabeth Canfarelli.
Kinnikinnick Farm – Caledonia, IL
Kick it Little House on the Prairie-style at Kinnikinnick Farm where you can glamp on a real working farm. Only an hour-and-a-half northwest of Chicago, the farm-stay program will have your kids picking eggs, feeding pigs and milking goats. The accommodations are a cross between a log cabin and a classic tent with running water and an insulated chest that functions as a refrigerator. You’ll have to fend without electricity during your visit but with so many fun farm-centric activities, we’re guessing your kids won’t even notice.
Glampsite Bonus: Owners David and Susan Cleverdon will arrange a delicious pizza night during each stay. You’ll make and bake your own pizzas and cook them on the farm’s stove or outdoor grill.
Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins - Elizabethtown, IL
This might just be the best kept glamping secret in Illinois, but we just have to let the cat out of the bag. The family and pet-friendly cabins sleep anywhere from 4 to 9 people depending on which one you rent and include air-conditioning, heat, kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, satellite TV and DVDs, and a screened in porch. And since the glampsite is just across from the Shawnee National Forest, seven miles from Garden of the Gods, and the Pounds Hollow swimming and fishing lake, unless you don’t like swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, horseback riding, golfing, canoeing, ziplining, we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to find something to do!
Glampsite Bonus: For worker bees, there is free WiFi, so you can check your emails in the great outdoors and only semi-disconnect from the rest of the world.
Fuller’s Resort and Campground on Clear Lake – Buchanan, MI
This awesome glampsite is less than an hour and a half outside of Chicago for those who need to get away from it all, and fast! With various glamping options from an authentic log cabin to major luxe-living in the cottages that include beds, bathrooms with showers, full kitchens, cable TV and air conditioning, you can pick your family’s level of outdoorsy-ness when you book your trip. Although the log cabin doesn’t have a kitchen or bathroom like in 1835 when it was built, it’s the most popular rental onsite so grab while you can. They take reservations up to a year in advance.
Glampsite Bonus: While there is a ton to do in the surrounding area, stay put and enjoy the waterfront on the beach at Fuller’s. They can rent you anything from sailboats to canoes to kayaks and each one comes with life jackets, so you don’t have to schlep your own.
Lake Sara Campground – Effingham, IL
No matter how you glamp out, don’t let the summer pass by without a trip to Lake Sara. Drive on in with your RV or set up a tent in one of the campsites and take advantage of their modern restrooms and showers, fire rings, and picnic tables. If you’re looking for more of a 4-walls experience, rent a cabin, which comes fully furnished, along with a kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, central air for those hot Illinois summers, cable TV, and bed linens.
Glampsite Bonus: With two golf courses and a marina that rents pontoon boats nearby, and of course, all the water activities you can dream of on Lake Sara, your family will have endless hours of summer fun!
Smokey Hollow Campground – Lodi, WI
Smokey Hollow Campground offers a variety of glampy accommodations, but we have to recommend the covered wagon, because it just sounds so cool and old-timey. The wagons have air-conditioning, a DVD player, a kitchenette, picnic table, charcoal grill, and a deck. You do have to bring your own linens and kitchen supplies, but every good camper is always prepared, so that shouldn’t be a problem for you!
Glampsite Bonus: If a Conestoga wagon is too 1800’s for your family, check out Smokey Hollow’s rustic yurts, cabins or even one of their rock star coach buses for a truly fabulous glamping experience.
White Pines State Park – Oregon, IL
Set among this picturesque state park's towering pines, 25 authentic pioneer log cabins greet glampers looking for a more rustic experience. All cabins feature gas fireplaces, hand hewn log beds, flat screen tvs, linens, air conditioning/heat and refrigerators. By day, you'll want to explore the park's many trails, bubbling streams, rugged limestone formations and ever-present wildlife; be sure to pay a visit to Lorado Taft's magnificent statue of Chief Blackhawk looking out over the Rock River. Enjoy campfire songs and s'mores around your firepit then tuck little ones in for the night in the old-fashioned trundle beds.
Glampsite Bonus: If cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner over an open fire isn't your thing, the onsite White Pines Inn serves up all three and delicious housemade pies, too.
Stonehouse Farm – Earlville, IL
Stonehouse Farm is an eco-retreat and sanctuary located in Paw Paw, Illinois. Families are welcome to take part in a host of all-weekend events - with themes ranging from Bluegrass to fall harvests. Everyone is invited to stay on the glorious farmland: opt to spend your weekend in a yurt, a modernized versions of traditional nomadic structures from Asia that are circular domed tents over a lattice framework: Stonehouse Farm’s yurts have wooden floors, basic lighting and electricity, a skylight and windows, and bed frames with mattresses. Small yurts host up to two people, while the large yurts are organized dormitory style, accommodating between four to eight guests.
Glampsite Bonus: Though you'll have to purchase a weekend event pass as part of your yurt stay at Stonehouse Farm, all meals, which are seasonally focused and served family style, are included.
Sherwood Forest - Wisconsin Dells, WI
Travel to merry olde England via the Dells at Sherwood Forest Camping, where Tudor-style facilities transport glampers to the legendary days of King Arthur and his court. This family-focused resort features plenty of fun and games for the wee lasses, including a heated outdoor swimming pool, playgrounds and a splashpad. Check into one of the primitive camp sites with a tent of your own or glamp it up in one of the many Tudor-style mini cabins, which sleep up to two adults and four kids and come complete with all your beloved modern-day conveniences, with free WiFi to boot.
Glampsite Bonus: The campground is an easy walk to downtown Dells shopping and dining, so no need to depend on the campfire for all your meals.
— Amy Bizzarri & Jo Aaron