Take your family on a glamping trip where social distancing is a breeze. 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 air. Keep reading to find campsites close to Chicago to get fancy in nature with the family.
Big Cedar Lodge - Missouri Ozark Mountains
This spot is a bit of a hike from Chicago, but it's so great we felt it was worth a share—plus, a relaxing road trip might be just what you need right now. A newbie to the glamping scene, Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge invites guests to get their glamp on near Missouri's Ozark Mountains with luxury glamping tents, camp huts and camp cabins. The definitely-not-roughing-it amenities include beach access, a pool, a vintage airstream trailer that serves food & drinks and a must-have s'mores kit upon arrival. They also have nightly programming for families that include scavenger hunts and guided adventures along the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail.
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 it while you can.
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.
Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campgrounds – Gays Mills, WI
The owners of Kickapoo Stump Dodger provide a beautiful space for you to pitch a tent and enjoy nature along the Kickapoo River. There are onsite showers and bathrooms, as well as electricity and running water at each campsite. There is firewood available for purchase to throw in the fire rings, golf carts to rent and campers have access to the village pool and river.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. If you like swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, horseback riding, golfing, canoeing and ziplining, this is the spot for you!
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.
Smokey Hollow Campground – Lodi, WI
Smokey Hollow Campground offers a variety of glampy accommodations, but we have to recommend the Conestoga Wagon because it just sounds so cool and old-timey. The wagons have air-conditioning units, 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.
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 campsites 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