Don’t envy your kids’ tales of marshmallow roasting, starlit horseback riding, and lanyard lacing—join the fun! Think Kellerman’s Resort from Dirty Dancing without the drama or creepy camp director: family camps are a relatively inexpensive way to both spend quality, screen-free time with your kids and enjoy learning a new skill (or reliving a childhood favorite!) with your partner. Plus, it’ll never be this charming to eat your food off a plastic tray. Check out the list below for some of our favorite regional family camps.
Photo: Camp Friendship
Camp Friendship (Palmyra, Va)
With a weekend option for new campers and all of the classic camp activities (kayaking, fencing, candle making, yoga!), you can choose to be busy every minute—or simply walk the grounds and enjoy Mother’s Nature’s handiwork. Camp Friendship is known as an internationally diverse program, so your kids will also have the opportunity to meet people from dozens of different countries. All meals are served family-style and include vegetarian options.
When: August 21-27
Cost: Depends on length of stay ($500-$1400 for up to four people, can add additional campers)
Not ready to commit to camp? Take advantage of Family Fun Day at Wilderness Adventure—no registration or RSVP required! Try zip lining, the climbing wall, canoeing and paddle boarding on the pond, hiking, yard games and more—but be sure to bring water bottles, sunscreen, and closed-toe shoes. Food will be available to purchase onsite for lunch, and their Base Camp Store will be open for essentials, snacks, and souvenirs. You can also bring your own picnic lunch!
When: April 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo: YMCA Camp Letts
Lodging options range from tents to “rustic cabins” to lodges, and you can even pay to just come enjoy a day’s worth of activities—Camp Letts is truly a choose-your-own-adventure experience! Want to square dance? Sail a boat? Water ski? Do it all, and refuel in the Dining Hall with seasonal meals that also reflect the cultures of different counselors (and include vegan and vegetarian options).
When: May 26-29; September 1-4
Cost: Ranges from $175-$250/adult, $135/child (12 and under; no charge for children under 3)
This typically all-girls camp, built in 1922, is situated on 180 acres in the Allegheny Mountains—and reachable by boat! Family Camp is open to all family members and includes access to all their activities: arts and crafts, archery, riflery, tennis courts, low ropes course, canoeing—or just hanging out. Platform tents sleep up to five people on cots with a shared bathhouse, and three buffets are served daily in the dining hall—they even host two cookouts under a pair of apple trees.
When: August 6-13 (two-night minimum stay)
Cost: $84.80/night for adults; $42.40/night for children 2-12; free for children under 2
Photo: Camp Tall Timbers
Camp Tall Timbers (High View, Wv)
Family Weekend at Camp Tall Timbers is short but sweet: dabble in archery, baseball, canoeing, wall climbing, team building activities, campfire singing—the list goes on. The beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains create the perfect backdrop for unplugging after the close of the school year. Munch away at the salad bar that’s always available, in addition to hot entrees (vegetarian options, too!). CTT was even rated one of the United States’ 50 best camps by the Early Childhood Education Zone!
When: June 3-4
Cost: $125 for one parent and one child; $45 for each additional person
Would you go to summer camp with your kids? Tell us (the truth) in the comments below.