Why should s’mores, storytelling by the campfire, stargazing and nature adventures be reserved just for kids? We want to go off on a camping trip too! In the spirit of unity, bolt into the great outdoors to bond with your brood at these eight family camps that feature everything from art to archery, surfing to rock climbing and all the things we love about heading into the wild. Read on to book a family camp that’ll thrill your clan!

photo: Todd Dailey

Camp Marston-Raintree YMCA
Bunk it out at these fun two-night family camps through the YMCA held on holiday weekends throughout the year. Kick summer off with a 42-foot tower climb, canoeing, or aim for the archery bullseye. Or book the Thanksgiving weekend feast, then let the counselors do the dishes. Further, stay in the four-bedroom lodge, tell fireside stories and just hang with your crew.

Dates: multiple dates; check website
Cost: 3-day, 2-night; $116/person, eight years and older; $76/person, four to seven-years-old

YMCA Family Camps
Julian, Ca
Online: ymca.org-camps

Idyllwild Arts Camp Family Week
A fantastic family week in a pretty mountain setting. Truly, you’ll find tons of things to do from pottery to Improv. Also, at night, there are plays, concerts and games. Little campers do short walks close to campus, while big kids can do painting and photography. If interested, act fast, as the camp fills quickly.

Date: June 16-22, 2018
Cost: one week; four people in one room, $4,655; six people in two rooms, $6,080

52500 Temecula Rd.
Idyllwild, Ca
Online: idyllwildarts.org

photo: Camp Pinewood

San Diego Metro KOA
Whether your clan is big or small, this campground makes family togetherness a cinch. Either pitch a tent or rent a cabin. You can order a special pancake breakfast or cook at a campsite fire. Further, there’s a pool and activities from a bounce area to crafts and fireside stories. Really, if you want to customize your sleeping arrangements, dining options and a number of things to do, this is a great place to start your adventure.

Dates: year-round
Cost: one room cabin from $68/night; deluxe cabin from $137/night

111 N. Second Ave.
Chula Vista, Ca
Online: koa.com-groups

YMCA Surf Camp
Surf’s up campers! Now it’s time for family bonding over the low ropes course, crafts, archery, climbing tower and of course, surfing. Also, you choose between camping on the beach (bring your own tent) or staying in a cabin that accommodates a larger group. Further, eat together and talk about your day in the dining hall. Then, it’s s’mores and camp stories at night. Several options throughout the year to get away.

Dates: multiple dates; check website
Cost: 2-day, 1-night, $125-$165 for eight years and up; $65-$70 for eight years and under

560 Silver Strand Blvd.
Imperial Beach, Ca
Online: ymca.org-camp-surf

photo: Camp Stevens via Yelp

Camp Stevens
Unwind and unplug at a weekend camp with the fam in Julian. There are a few weekends that are for the whole family, like Memorial Day, Harvest Day or Thanksgiving. Not only do they offer organic food and raise their own chickens, there are nature hikes, archery, rope walks, campfires, sing-a-longs and an exploration to nearby Julian. You’ll find delicious meals, comfortable lodge-rooms (some with their own bathrooms) and tons to do.

Dates: Memorial Day, May 26-28; Harvest Day, Oct. 12-14; Thanksgiving, Nov. 22-25
Cost: 3-day, 2-night; open-air cabin, $115/person; lodge room, sleeps six, $820/group

1108 Banner Rd., Hwy 78
Julian, Ca
Online: campstevens.familycamp

Camp Fox Catalina Island
Family camp three days (and two nights) over the Labor Day weekend on beautiful Catalina Island. There are plenty of choices to relax or be active with your brood. Test your skills on a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, inner tube or catch the sun on the sandy shores. More still, sit with other fams by the bonfire and sing camp songs. Also, housing is beachside and just what the doctored ordered for a getaway in nature.

Date: Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3
Cost: 3-day, 2-night; $250 per adult; $240 per child

Catalina Island
Avalon, Ca
Online: glendaleymca.org


San Clemente Trailers
A fully stocked vintage trailer that sleeps four adults (plus one half-pint). Moreover, it’s parked on prime real estate, a bluff a short walk from the beach. You’ll find sheets, blankets, pillows, cookware, silverware, dishes, coffee, soap, shampoo and towels (including beach towels). Just show up and bring a swimsuit. Still more, there is corn hole, your own campfire, a grill and your own veranda. It’s paradise calling.

Read our full story on The Holidays Camp Community here.

Dates: year-round
Cost: one night; $189 to $209, depending on the trailer

255 Avenida Calafia
San Clemente, Ca
Online: theholidaysca.com

photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Roar and Snoar at the Zoo Safari Park
Lions, tigers, and elephants… oh my! Spend the night at the Safari Park with your kin. Not only are you sleeping with the animals, you’ll have an up-close encounter too. Even more, you ride the African Tram to survey your campsite before heading to the Safari tent. Further, there’s a campfire program, dinner, snack and breakfast (the next morning). How cool is that to wake with the animals?

Dates: year-round
Cost: one night; $140/person

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
San Diego, Ca
Online: sdzsafaripark.org

Do you know of a great family camp? Tell us about it in the comments below.

––Nikki Walsh

Featured photo via The Holidays Camp Community.


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